David Hedrick, Candidate For U.S. Congress (WA-03) – From “YouTube” Moment To Vetting By “We The People”

This week, We The People – Southwest Washington held the third session in their semi-monthly candidate vetting series. First-up for this session was David Hedrick, who is running for the seat to represent Washington’s 3rd Congressional District.

In keeping with my reports on these vetting sessions, up to now, I will offer my observations of what this session seemed to indicate about the candidate relative to: “Ability to connect with the grassroots”, “Candidate’s motives for running” and “How well equipped is the candidate to serve?” However, I’ve decided to add a dimension meant to help those who may not be familiar with each of the many candidates being vetted by We The People. This dimension is what I refer to as “Background” – i.e. an overview of my familiarity with the candidate, going in.

With Hedrick, providing “Background” is a little easier due to what I refer to as his “YouTube moment with Brian Baird.” It’s hard for me to imagine anyone having enough interest to read this article who isn’t also familiar with this “moment”. So, I won’t elaborate on this. However, if you’re not familiar with this “moment”, just Google it and you’ll find a YouTube clip from incumbent Congressman Brian Baird’s Town Hall last August. You’ll, also, find related clips from numerous radio and TV broadcasts. In short, David Hedrick is a USMC Veteran whose number was drawn in the lottery to question Baird and he used the opportunity to boldly confront the Congressman with views held by many of Baird’s unhappy constituents. I have to admit that all this had me going into Hedrick’s vetting session with a bit of a bias, thinking that Hedrick’s moment may have just “gone to his head” and that his candidacy might not be much more than him extending his “15 minutes of fame.” This bias was augmented by my last visit to Candidate Hedrick’s website, prior to the vetting session and still seeing a lot of reference to this “moment” along with details of how Hedrick differs from Baird … who, last December 9th, announced that he won’t be running for reelection. While this ongoing theme colored much of Hedrick’s vetting session and I could understand why others might continue with the bias I had going in, I felt Hedrick’s performance indicated that he’s matured in his candidacy to a point where he should, at least, be taken more seriously than one who is just extending his “15 minutes of fame.”

Of course, regardless of anyone’s predisposition regarding Hedrick’s “moment”, relative to the seriousness of his candidacy, that “moment” leaves no question about his “Ability to connect with the grassroots.” He does that easily. As alluded to above, the biggest remaining questions concern whether there is substance to Hedrick’s candidacy beyond his “moment.”

I think it turns out that Hedrick’s “moment” is also a good indicator of this “Candidate’s motives for running.” His “moment” certainly seemed to come from the heart and I have to say, so did everything he had to say at this vetting session. He doesn’t seem to be in this race for what he can get out of it for himself. Rather, he seems to be interested in making a positive difference in America, especially the America his children will inherit. This was augmented by Hedrick pointing out that he has chosen an extremely challenging route for his candidacy in not accepting any special interest money. Likewise, this was amplified with Hedrick indicating that he will limit himself to serving no more than three terms. And, I think the strongest indication here is David Hedrick’s decision to run as a Republican rather than as a Third-Party Candidate … something that would probably be to Hedrick’s benefit more so than any other candidate in the race.

The remaining question then is “How well equipped is the candidate to serve?” It seemed to me that Hedrick’s responses to the questions presented by the We The People panel, along with the questions of those selected from the audience by lottery, were the best indication here. In my estimation, Hedrick seemed to have a good command of the issues that were raised. Furthermore, his perspectives seemed to be well aligned with those of We The People and he appeared to have a decent understanding of the issues relative to the U.S. Constitution. To be fair, I think that much of the Q&A at these sessions is aimed at the missteps of our sitting government but I would feel more comfortable with Hedrick’s candidacy if I’d heard him offer more on his ideas for positive alternatives. And, I have to admit that I was a little put off by Hedrick’s comment in his wrap-up that he wants to take his “YouTube moment with Brian Baird” with him to Congress to “fight” for us. Maybe it’s just a personal thing with me but I’m more interested in having a Representative who is willing to stand up for us (as David did in his “moment”) when necessary but who is, otherwise, there to “work” for us with his colleagues, to persuade them about the positive alternatives he’s bringing to the table.

As I said earlier, I felt that David Hedrick’s performance at this vetting session indicated that he’s matured in his candidacy to a point where he should, at least, be taken more seriously than one who is just extending his “15 minutes of fame.” But, as always, I want to encourage you to examine this candidate on your own and arrive at your own conclusions.

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