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A conservative first, a Republican second

John Raese (R-Cand, WV-SEN) has been endorsed by Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty according to Huntington News, a local West Viriginia news site. This follows an endorsement from FreedomWorks PAC earlier this week.

Yesterday, I posted a piece on Raese in his bid for the Senate seat once held by the late Robert Byrd (D-WV).  At the end, I stated that I felt certain that his opponent, Governor Joe Manchin (D-WV), would not be a strong Blue Dog Democrat and, like other so-called Blue Dogs, would end up voting liberal more often than his constituents really want.

I also stated that I wasn’t certain of John Raese’s conservative Bona Fides.  I’m happy to report that RedState user Jim Mullins showed me where I was wrong:

You can donate to John Raese here.

Meanwhile, even as Governor Manchin embraced the US Chamber of Commerce for its endorsement, he quickly moved to reassure labor that he is their friend.  Despite opposing the so called “Card Check” provision, Manchin wants unions to have an even stronger position at the bargaining table.

Ken Hall, a national Teamsters vice president and leader of Teamsters Local 175 in South Charleston, said the union remains a strong supporter of Manchin in November’s election.

“We may not agree exactly on everything, but Joe Manchin understands that there should be a balance,” Hall said. “He believes negotiations should be conducted in good faith, as opposed to John Raese, who believes workers don’t deserve union representation.”

Or perhaps, like me, John Raese thinks that workers should be able to make their decision on whether to be represented by a union without intimidation from union organizers?  Or maybe he doesn’t think the unions represent workers all that well?  There are a number of reasons to oppose the so-called “Employee Free Choice Act” that have nothing to do with thinking workers don’t deserve representation.

This Senate race is a special election, so the winner should be seated immediately for any Lame Duck congressional sessions, putting the brakes on any Obama agenda items in the Senate.  There are other races like that, including the much ballyhooed Delaware race and the little talked-about New York race for Hillary Clinton’s old seat.

This race, however, is in a truly conservative state with a political identity crisis.  Traditional values are strong in West Virginia and Democrats have to play to the center to get any traction at all in that state.  Like Ronald Reagan, however, the Democrats left West Virginia behind long ago.  Like Ronald Reagan, John Raese has a real chance to win in November and put a stop to the continued push toward socialism and ever-expanding government.

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