Sunday, July 5, 2009

First Congressional District - more updates

A few weeks ago, another challenger has emerged for Vaughn Ward in the First Congressional District Primary Race - Ken Roberts, a state legislator from Donnelly (a small town around the Cascade/McCall area).

At this point, Roberts' main disadvantage is that he is an unknown - I, personally, never heard of him until now. There's also talk that he is the man backed by the Ron Paul/libertarian wing of the Party, which is a mixed bag, depending on where you go and to whom you talk.

Looking at his vote-smart bio from his last campaign, http://www.votesmart.org/bio.php?can_id=32883, he seems pretty active in his local Baptist church, which is sure to help among social conservatives. However, otherwise, his voting record, http://www.votesmart.org/voting_category.php?can_id=32883, doesn't seem to shed much light on his positions on the "hot-button" issues voters are interested in, and his refusal to fill out the Vote Smart questionnaire is also somewhat troubling, http://www.votesmart.org/voting_category.php?can_id=32883. Furthermore, he side-stepped some important issues in his reponses to the Gem State Voter Guide questionnaire as well: http://www.gemstatevoterguide.com/2008generalraces.asp?raceid=32&racetype=2. Basically, he answers the "safe" questions, laying out a run-of-the-mill Idaho conservative platform, but avoids answering those which could hurt his popularity with one wing or another of the party, which is also cause for concern. See also his answers to the 2000 Vote-Smart questionnaire on the link cited above (tax internet sales, but eliminate, not just reduce but eliminate welfare assistance?? Also note what he didn't answer then, as well).

In sum, Roberts may be a fine, conservative fellow, but the information available about him on the internet, where most voters do their research nowadays (that is, those few voters who do research their candidates) is sketchy, at best. Also, from what I've been able to find, he has not even bothered to set up a website.

Ward, on the other hand, has run a smart campaign, and has made a point of visiting North Idaho on several occasions which, again, is always a plus. His military credentials should also gain him support in this generally conservative district, but, first and foremost, he is a talented speaker and very approachable. He's not the gruff, outspoken ideologue that Sali was, but he is not a "back-slapping used car salesman" either. He's got that smooth, persuasive demeanour about him that has, so far, been lacking in First District Republicans in the past decade or so, and just may be the one who, if elected, could lend some credibility and influence to the Idaho delegation after he has been in office a few terms. Most importantly, I think he is the most likely out of the two to beat Minnick in the general election.

Who do I choose? I'm sure it's obvious from the rest of my post that I am currently leaning toward Ward. However, I will not have made up my mind completely until after the next couple of rounds of Lincoln Days, when I have had a chance to hear, and speak to, the different candidates. Hope everyone's had a happy Independence Day!

3 comments:

  1. I saw Roberts has a website www.robertsforidaho.com.

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  2. Thanks Anon! I'll be sure to check it out.

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  3. Just checked it out - there isn't much up there yet, but hopefully he will clear up some of those issues I raised, where his positions are unclear.

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