I am genuinely impressed by this man's leadership.
Meet Matt Webb from Overland Park, KS. Until recently, he had been one of three candidates running in Kansas House District 20, currently held by moderate-to-liberal Republican Kevin Yoder, who is retiring from the Legislature after eight years (at the young age of 34) in order to run for the US Congress.
The three-way primary in District 20 presented a minor problem for conservatives, because two of the candidates were conservative and pro-life. Matt Webb was one of those conservative candidates. The third candidate is very liberal and well-connected to activist liberals. It's not a liberal district, but it's not a conservative district. There are lots of far-left Republican voters in that area of the county, who vote almost 100% for Democrats, but who refuse to change their registration, and who make it a personal mission to make life difficult for mainstream Republicans, 60-70% of whom are conservatives.
I'll estimate that a liberal Republican candidate gets at least 35% of the vote in that district, and without trying very hard. That leaves 65% for the two conservative candidates.
Honestly, it would have been a tough choice for conservative voters, in terms of choosing between Matt Webb and his conservative opponent Rob Bruchman. I don't live in the district, but my family does, and I was intending on volunteering for one of them. I had to think carefully about the decision. Just last week, I had decided to support the other conservative candidate -- Rob Bruchman. This was also after Webb was endorsed by Kansans for Life. With no disrespect meant to Webb, I had decided that Bruchman had the campaign plan and funding in order to win, I had known Bruchman for several years, and after I had talked with Bruchman about the pro-life issue (Bruchman is also pro-life).
Bruchman's a very hard-working guy, and he has an impressive campaign in place. Also, his record in life is one in which he's known to end up with great results when he puts his mind to something. He's 31 or 32, and he's been successfully starting and running businesses since age 15 or so (he now runs his own law firm). Frankly, I was confident that in a three-way race, Rob Bruchman was still going to prevail the winner.
To be clear -- Webb was not a weak candidate, and he had a shot at winning the primary.
But just tonight, I learned of Matt Webb's decision to drop out of the race. This shows real leadership, and it shows that he puts the issues first. Hats off to Matt Webb. I've never met him, but I'm very impressed by these selfless actions.
Matt Webb's press release:
Contact: Webb for Kansas
Email: [email protected]
Overland Park, KS - June 24, 2010
Candidate for the 20th District Kansas House of Representatives Matt Webb has resigned from the campaign, effective immediately. In order to replace Kevin Yoder with a conservative vote in the House, Webb believes that his resignation and support for Rob Bruchman will reduce the possibility of a split conservative vote and help the Republican Party. Webb said "I cannot in good conscience deny the voters the ability to elect a fiscal conservative no matter how strong my desire to represent this district, conservative principles are more important than a personal victory."
Upon news of his resignation Rob Bruchman states "Matt Webb is a great young Kansan, who has shown a willingness to sacrifice in service of the state, I have no doubt he will be of great service to Kansas in the future."
Webb continued, "I appreciate the response and support I have received from across the state and district. I would like to officially endorse Rob Bruchman for the Republican nomination for the 20th district Kansas House of Representative's seat, as he represents the fiscally responsible voice our district needs in Topeka. Rob understands the issues and concerns of the district and county, including the importance of our great schools of which he was a graduate. His strong background in law, academics, and small business assured me that he is the right choice for the 20th district and will never betray the district or his values for political expediency or petty side issues. I appreciate the opportunity to run and the support I was shown."
Here is Webb's Facebook group. Here is a June 3 article about Webb on KU's Web site -- Webb was a former Undergraduate Business School Student President
Connect with Benjamin Hodge at Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, The Kansas Progress, and LibertyLinked. Hodge is President of the State and Local Reform Group of Kansas. He served as one of seven at-large trustees at Johnson County Community College from 2005-’09, a member of the Kansas House from 2007-’08, a delegate to the Kansas Republican Party from 2009-’10, and was founder of the Overland Park Republican Party in 2011. His public policy record is recognized by Americans for Prosperity, the Kansas Association of Broadcasters, the Kansas Press Association, the Kansas Sunshine Coalition for Open Government, the NRA, Kansans for Life, and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).