Yesterday evening, We The People – Southwest Washington held the second in their current series of Candidate Vetting sessions. Once again, I was impressed with what I saw in this process and once again, I was impressed with the candidate being vetted for U.S. Senate, Chris Widener.
Of course, since We The People is a “grassroots” organization, it’s very important for a candidate to connect with the people who make up the group. One thing that helped Widener in doing this was that he was present, earlier in the day, at a We The People rally held outside the Fort Vancouver office of Southwest Washington’s U.S. Congressman, Brian Baird. In addition to the way Widener joined in with the crowd at the rally and his on-point speech at the rally, I had the sense that folks appreciated the effort required for a Seattle-area-based candidate to fully participate in the rally.
As I’ve said before, key qualities that I appreciate about the We The People Candidate Vetting process are its aim to reveal a candidate’s motives for running and how well equipped they are to serve. Based on this vetting session, here’s how Chris Widener seems to measure up against these criteria:
His primary motive for running seems to be his belief that our federal government is continuing to take our nation in the wrong direction, especially in terms of mounting debt and increasing it’s authority over the States. Furthermore, he sees the U.S. Senator he’s running to replace, Patty Murray, as playing a significant role in our sitting government and their direction.
In terms of being equipped to do the job, Widener seems to have the talent and background needed to do an excellent job. Furthermore, he seemed at ease with and well-spoken on every issue he was asked to address. Ironically, the issue where he impressed me most is one where he may not be in complete alignment with the general attitude of We The People. This regards the 17th Amendment. In simple terms, this amendment means that U.S. Senators are elected by popular vote, whereas previously, they were appointed by their respective State Legislature. Although many in We The People seem to be in favor of a reversal of the 17th Amendment, Widener pointed out that it is the current law he would be required to subject himself to and that it has its pros and cons. One con he pointed out is that, if the 17th Amendment was not in place, our current Democrat-majority State Legislature wouldn’t be very likely to replace Patty Murray.
One point that Widener made that I particularly appreciated, on the topic of “being equipped to do the job”, is that the right candidate needs to be more than technically “equipped”. His observation is that we have a lot of very skilled people in government but, all too often, we find that they lack virtue. From what I observed, Chris Widener appears to have that quality of virtue. I see him as a solid candidate for U.S. Senate and very deserving of your consideration.