Having spent a lot of time campaigning since 2004, you get to meet the other congressional candidates on a personal level. So, as a benefit and aid to those who are going to be voting in the GOP primary on or before August 3, I wanted to give my impression of whom I feel would best represent you, the individual. Naturally, I am no longer running on the GOP ticket. So, I have no bias one way or the other who I will face in the general election.
Therefore, my first choice for the GOP primary would probably be Dan Gilyeat. He has a lot of strengths and generally is running for the right reason-to truly represent the individul. He has honor, charm, a great personality. He is a fighter, not an arse kisser. Dan is also humble and understands poverty. He understands what it takes to raise six kids. So, he is a family man. Being a United States Marine, he is a veteran. A disabled and service decorated veteran.
Gilyeat gives motivational speeches to other vets. He is not employed per se, so he has no connections to any special interest group. So he has plenty of time to campaign. However, he is underfunded and running on a shoe string budget. So we know Gilyeat makes a great candidate worth voting for. He is about as clean and not corrupt as you can get.
So, I give Gilyeat the man to beat in the GOP primary. But just barely. He has a few weaknesses. He is a rookie congressional candidate. He supported a tax plan he clearly did not understand. He tends to be cautious and suspicious of others.
But overall, Gilyeat has the right stuff to be a good congressman. Maybe and hopefully, if he does win the primary, he could work on some of his weaknesses; while concurrently strengthening his strong point. So, Dan, do not give up. If you do win the primary this time, try again in 2012. You will make a great congressman someday.
My second choice would be the fighter, Patrica Lightner. The four of us that were ready to take on Moore before he quit including Lightner, Gilyeat, Rysavy and myself. So, she had confidence along with the rest of us. None of us were afraid to run against Dennis Moore.
All four of us were very upset when Sam Brownback had a secret meeting with Nick Jordan. Us four felt like we had been stabbed in the back. And now Brownback has to deal with his failure to get Nick Jordan elected.
Anyway, Lighter continues to poll very well. The last poll had Yodeling Yoder with 24% of the vote and Lightner had 21%. That is close enough to keep her active. So she has been campaigning consistently since the get go. So hats off to her for enduring and running a well-run campaign efficiently.
I have more confidence in Lightner being a better choicr than I do in Yoder. I could care less how much Yoder has in his war chest. If he has more than 500k, then I am very suspicious of how fast Yoder raised his cash. He is clearly a bought candidate. Yoder, a coward did not enter the race until Moore announced his retirement. So clearly Yoder is an opportunist lacking courage and conviction. And remember, Yoder has only invested 13 dollars in his own campaign.
Lightner has made a few errors in her voting record as a state rep. I also am wary of her employer, HSBC. So that corporation could put on the color of bias and seek favorable legislation from her, should she be elected.
So, some of the blogs are dogging her over some of her voting record as a state rep. She has class and speaks calmly and clearly. She us better at communicating than Yoder. She still has not stated much about what she would do as a congressman. She continues to hedge her position on issues, just like Yoder.
Coming in the 3rd place, is Yoder. He has a lot of money in his war chest. Although only 13 whole dollars are his. Other than Yoder having lots of cash, we have no clue where he stands on issues. His campaign and the media are only focused on how much he has in the campaign. Where he stands on issues, no one knows.
Probably because the media is not asking the right questions. His congressional web site is so generic. It contains no clues on where he stands on issues. So, if you want a candidate you know nothing about, Yoder is your man. But I do not want him to be my congressman.
The media acts like whomever has the most money, must be the best candidate. A position I totally reject. The person with the most cash in my opinion is the most corrupt and/or special interest candidate. From my own attempts to communicate with Yoder, I give him an F. Several blogs also give him an F for failure to communicate. I barely rank him above John Rysavy.
John Rysavy should simply withdraw. He has no support other than some people at Genetech, his employer and should give his few votes to one of the top three candidates. John is an intelligent person, well groomed and a very good speaker. He has done some good things, but not nearly enough to garner much support for him to prevail in a primary election. So, that is a compliment, with a dose of reality.
Ditto on all the other lesser known candidates. Their chances of winning the election are slim. I cannot even remember all the current and past candidates. Including the ones who campaigned, or stated they were considering running but did not.
Naturally, I cannot forget Steve Rose, one of my nemesises. Steve is a liberal and a socialist. I am a fiscal conservative and not a socialist. Steve has a huge ego. Me, I am quite humble. His nine day campaign might be some kind of record. I know of no other congressional candidate that ran for a grand total of nine days. I cannot blame Rose for dropping out. Most of us laughed when he claimed he was a conservative. Rose is what most of us call a RINO. Republican in name only. I cannot believe the JOCO Sun lets him write those dumb editorials he writes.
The only rational reason I can think of for the JOCO Sun allowing Steve Rose to publish his controversial dribble, it attracts negative attention. So, Rose is like the Fred Phelps of Johnson County. Spinning garbage in his weekly editorial. If spin and being controversarial is what we remember about Mr. Rose, then he deserves an A- for being as controversial as Fred Phelps. At least at the local level here in Johnson County.
So whoever I have to face after the dem primary, I am just hoping it is not Dan Gilyeat. We are both disabled vets, honorably discharged. So that would be a wash. So hopefully, I do not have to campaign against Gilyeat, a fellow vet. A fellow vet running for the right reasons-you, the individual that resides in the 3rd Congressional district. Gilyeat would also pull votes I usually get out of WYCO. So him and I would have a heck of battle over WYCO.
Therefore, I highly call on GOP voters to not vote for Dan Gilyeat. Vote for someone else that I will not feel any remorse about after I win the congressional seat come November.
In conclusion, we congressional candidates all have courage and confidence. None of us are dummies. We all are trying to make our nation better. Most candidates this election cycle are rookies at running for Congress. Veteran congressional candidates like Jordan and Paul Showen dropped out early. All that remains are those of us who are steadfast in our conviction that we have the right stuff to be your better congressman.
So after the primary election, all of these people will have a better understanding on how tough it is to run for United States Congress. All these candidates have the understanding of how heavy that burden would be. The weight on our shoulders is tremendous. Taking on the responsibility of representing 700,000 Kansans, as well as impacting everyone in America is a big responsibility.
All we can do is hope and dream about how difficult it would be, if any of us were elected. The responsibility of being a congressman slows sinks in on your shoulders. You slowly come to realize as a candidate, this is a tough job. Sure, the pay is great but so is the demand for you to produce and make America a better place. To solve problems facing our nation. And then afer getting elected, understanding you have to work with 434 other people wanting to do something, just like yourself.
When you start honestly realizing you do not want this job, then more than likely, you are finally qualified to get this job you no longer want. The responsibility is tremendous. The expectations and confidence of the voters weighs heavily on your shoulders the day one becomes a United States Congressman.
So tip of the hat to all who had the courage to run for United States Congress. You all now belong to a very small group of individuals that cared so much about our nation, you were willing to endure all the jibs and jabs that come with being a candidate. But every once in a while, hopefully someone thanked each and every one of you. And if you are like me, that makes running worth it. Some get it. Thanks to those who understand what we all have had to endure.
It is not an easy job running for Congress. And even a tougher job being a congressman.