Just a few personal thoughts on the senate race in my home state of Washington.
We had a candidate forum at the convention center here in Yakima this past wednesday. We called it the “One Nation Under God” forum. The event itself was a home run. NBC described the turnout as “standing room only.” I’ve not heard any official numbers but I think it’s safe to say that we had around 600 people in the room. My only regret is that one candidate, (Craig Williams), did not get an opportunity to speak due to a unfortunate miscommunication. No plans are in the works at this time, but we are hoping to do this again a little later in the spring once the field of candidates has narrowed a bit.
I want to start out by saying that I personally like every one of these candidates. Any one of these gentlemen would make a fine Senator for the State of Washington. I believe every one of them represent the values of the people who make America great.
Clint Didier: I really like, and share, Mr. Didier’s passion and resentment toward our federal government. He reflects the anger felt by many of us that our elected leaders have sold our futures for the benefit of their own political careers. My concern is that while his anger resonates very well on the east side of the Cascade Mountains, he may have trouble finding voters who share his resentment of the federal establishment in the liberal suburbs of the Puget Sound area.
Art Coday: Being a medical doctor, Mr. Coday has great ideas on how we can improve out health care system without destroying the best health care on earth. He understands that government will not, and can not, improve our system and will only succeed in destroying it. Like the rest of the men in this race, he also shares the conservative philosophy of limited government, combined with a strong national defense and fiscal responsibility.
Sean Salazar: Of these five candidates, Sean Salazar may have the best chance of reaching out to voters, including minorities, who typically would not vote Republican. Having grown up in the inner city of Seattle, Sean has a unique connection and understanding with the people who Republicans have traditionally not tried to reach.
Chris Widener: Easily the most energetic of the five candidates, Mr. Widener has a almost Reagan/Clinton appeal that connects well with an audience. Charisma is not the only Reagan trait that Chris shares with the late President. His conservative political philosophy could have been written by Reagan himself. Mr. Widener has a very well organized campaign, an impressive string of endorsements, and at this point could arguably be considered the front runner in this race.
Craig Williams: Perhaps more so than any of the other candidates, I think Mr. Williams understands the complexity of the financial problems facing the United States. As someone who has spent the majority of his life in the energy business, he also understands the challenges we face in meeting our nations future energy needs.
In some ways, the voters of Washington State are lucky. We have five good conservative candidates to choose from. The bad news is that only one of them can win. Sadly, in our great state, being a good candidate is often not good enough. In order to win in November, and hand Patty Murray a pink slip, a person has to be able to convince a sizable number of people in King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties to go against the grain and vote for a Republican. It won’t matter if they carry every other county in the state, if they can’t get a significant percentage of the vote in these counties, Patty Murray will get a fourth term as Washington’s Senator.
At the present time, there are only three candidates in this race who have a better than average chance of winning the hearts and minds of voters in the Puget Sound area. If by the end of March, those three candidates are still leading the race, I would hope the others would step aside and endorse one of the top three. The sooner we can narrow the primary race, the better chance we will have of replacing Patty Murray in November with someone who has the right vision for America. In my opinion, the people who have the best opportunity to do this are Chris Widener, Sean Salazar and Craig Williams.
Let me be very clear. I like Dr. Coday and Clint Didier. I believe they are decent and honorable men with great ideas and a deep seated love for our country. I just don’t believe they can create the energy that will be needed to win in the liberal suburbs of the Puget Sound area. I would have loved to see Mr. Didier challenge Doc Hasting for the seat in the 4th Congressional District. I believe his personality would have been a great fit for the House of Representatives and he would be a much better reflection of the values of that district than the current occupant of that office.
Some people reading this might not know that here in Washington State we have this strange thing called a “Top Two Primary”. The two top voter getters, regardless of party, proceed to the general election. Wouldn’t it be a hoot if Patty Murray was not in the top two?
Hey, a guy can dream, right?