Last evening the King County Young Republicans held a candidate forum for those running in the state primary for the nomination to run against Patty Murray. Seven declared candidates attended. There is an eighth, but he is currently serving in the state senate and it is in special session, so his input was missed.
To begin with – NONE of these men are professional politicians. They all work in the private sector save one who is a U of W Professor. This aspect in itself was a true breath of fresh air. None of them were tainted with years of deal making, log rolling, lobbyist influence, or that sense of entitlement that that seems to infect the perennial office holder types.
The parking lot and hall were packed, with standing room only available to those who arrived close to the meeting hour. The enthusiasm was contagious. It was obvious that the present political situation has grabbed the attention of a large sector of concerned Americans. The candidates were introduced and each had a few minutes to describe themselves and their reasons for running and the priorities they would pursue once in office.
We will not advocate for any of them here, only briefly describe the strengths and weaknesses observed without naming names. The reader is encouraged to follow the links to each candidate’s website, listed below, to gain more information and make a decision on whom to support.
All candidates were strong on reigning in out of control spending, deficit reduction, and entitlement reform. All maintained a high degree of seriousness about national defense. They came from varied professions and backgrounds, with different areas of personal expertise. Each has a particular strong suit and interest in being involved in related subjects and committees once in the Senate. Every one, to a man, would be far superior to the decaying Murray legacy of spendthrift policies and minimal respect for the rights and liberties of American citizens.
Three of the candidates have great messages, but lack in body language and delivery skills. Talking softly and/or holding the microphone too far away adversely affected the ideas they wanted to express. Stilted, or no movement or gestures betrayed a lack of public speaking comfort. The audience found themselves mentally pulling the messages out of the speakers instead of experiencing the power of a convinced and clear delivery of answers on the subject at hand. These men could improve these deficits with some coaching and practice, but personal charisma is vital in a political campaign. They had better turn to and address these deficits immediately or get out of the race.
One of the candidates is very strong in his right to life position. This principled position will doubtless cause some difficulty for his candidacy. Washington seems to have more than its share of very hard core single issue voters fixated on abortion rights. We should love to see such a man in the Senate, but in this state, his views will inflame the “choice” bunch and motivate them to expend every effort they can to defeat him. He will have a very strong base, but that base in Washington is not big enough to put him over the top. Keep in mind that the Democrats quit running flagrant anti Second Amendment candidates years ago because Republicans have single issue voters on that subject that defeat them at the polls.
Another candidate is making it a point to reach out to various minority groups in efforts to convince them their blind faith in liberal governance is a dead end. This lack of support for Republicans among these groups has always been a weakness, and that bloc has rarely been cracked in the past. He may be trying to part the seas without the help of Moses here, but even a measurable increase of minority votes will be helpful. Let us wish him luck and support him in these efforts.
One of the men has a vast background in human relations, communication, and public speaking. He has a great outgoing personality and emphasizes the need to relate to those with whom he may disagree in order to get things done. This is a very necessary skill in the “Club of 100”. Joe McCarthy, as right as he was about the basics of his concerns, ruined his career and life with his acerbic, driven, overreaching and “damn the torpedoes” personality. However we must sincerely hope that the ability to work with opponents does not eventually create another John McCain.
All of these men are an exponential improvement on our present, pathetic representation in the Senate. Any of them would make us proud and advocate for our positions. To a man, they will fight the exorbitant spending, erosion of liberties, and absorption by government of our businesses and economy. They all deserve support. The eventual winner of the primary deserves every dollar we can spare, every doorbell we can ring, and every squishy voter we can convince individually.
We Republicans thought we won this battle in 1994 and 2000, but those we sent to do the job rotted in office and let us down. Now we have to re-fight that same battle with even bigger and more awful consequences if we lose. Let us send the right person to DC and stay in contact to observe that they live up to our expectations.
Below are the names and website addresses of each. Please make the time to peruse these sites, contact the candidates, attend an upcoming forum near you, and bring your friends. By all means, pick your favorite and send him a few bucks.
Paul Akers: http://www.akersforussenate.com/
Don Benton: http://www.bentonforsenate.com/
Art Coday: http://codayforussenate.com/
Clint Didier: http://www.clintdidier.org/home.html
Skip Mercer: http://www.mercerforsenate.com/
Chris Widener: http://www.chriswidener.org/
Chris Widener has an auxiliary site also: http://www.notpatty.com/
Craig Williams: http://www.votewilliams2010.com/