Can I Count on Your Vote?
At the Kansas City Tea Party there were lots of political candidates in attendance, each trying to convince everyone that they are best for the job. So who showed up and courted the Tea Party vote? I have a few favorites, and I’ll talk about them more.
US Congress: Kansas 3rd District
Dennis Moore’s 3rd District seat is up for grabs. Despite being a heavily Republican district, Democratic Moore has been successful because of his normally moderate positions. His vote for Obamacare has pissed a bunch of people off, however, and Moore has decided to retire. Moore’s wife Stephanie has decided to run, apparently on the basis that being married to a US Congressman qualifies you to be one as well.
Patricia Lightner (Facebook) is one of several Republicans running for that seat. She has been vetted by the Independent Caucus with a 96%. She has served three terms as a State Representative and has worked as an attorney.
Craig McPherson (Facebook) is also running for the 3rd District seat. He has received an 89% from Independent Caucus. McPherson is completing law school, which or course interests me, because I hope to attend law school. His experience includes working for the Department of Justice and running political campaigns. Check out his iCaucus interview, because even though he is young, he does show a very good grasp of constitutional issues. While I’m currently leaning towards Lightner, McPherson seems to be very promising as well.
US Senate: Kansas Seat
Senator Sam Brownback is making a bid for the Governor’s office, leaving his Senate seat up for grabs. The race right now is between Todd Tiahrt and Jerry Morna, and it appears to be heating up quite a bit. I honestly have not looked much into this race yet, although people that I trust have favored Tiahrt, and he has apparently been endorsed by the Tea Party Express. He’s also been much more vocal in his opposition to Obamacare and other leftist policies, so my first instinct is to lean towards him. Still, I must do more research before I come to a real decision on who I favor. I didn’t meet either of them at the Tea Party, and their booths didn’t really grab my attention.
Dave Powell is running for insurance commissioner. I’m not sure what an insurance commissioner does, but I bet it has to do with insurance. Powell has been involved in the insurance industry for some time. Powell has been vetted by the Independent Caucus and received a 100%(!). He is running against Sandy Praeger, who is a Republican, but has supported Obama’s position on health care reform. When I spoke to him he was friendly, earnest, and very passionate about why Praeger was not fit for the position. He convinced me.
Kansas Secretary of State
The big name here is Kris Kobach. Kobach is a professor of law at UMKC. His biggest issues of concern are enforcing Kansas law as written (the current and previous governors have discouraged enforcing certain abortion laws) and stopping illegal immigration. He is engaged in the vetting process at Independent Caucus, and his interview is posted there.
I didn’t meet Dr. Koback at the Tea Party, but I had a lot of fun chatting with the volunteers working his table, including his campaign manager. His positions seem very solid, and while some of his views on social issues may differ from mine a bit, the office he is running for involves enforcement of the law, not making policy, and he is very well suited for it. (I actually got a Kobach yard sign, but my girlfriend pointed out that given the heavy liberal demographics of the neighborhood we live in, it probably wouldn’t last long, so I gave it to my father.)
Sam Brownback is the shoe-in for governor. I’m honestly not too pleased with him, but he’s the only Republican candidate, and he has a big lead already. I have some disagreements with him on policy, but I suppose it could be worse, and he has some high points. Still, perhaps I’ll take a look at the Libertarian candidate. Or is it heretical of me to suggest such a thing?
Kevin Yoder is also running for Moore’s congressional seat. I’m honestly not up to speed with what he’s all about, and I should probably get on that, but I’m so far very impressed between Lightner and McPherson.
Dennis Pyle is running for US Congress, Kansas 2nd district. I don’t live in the 2nd district, so I haven’t checked him out. But he had a presence there, so that should count for something, right? (I’m noticing how uninformed I am on a lot of these candidates. Once I finish my degree I really need to take my politics more seriously!)
This booth was shared by several local state representatives. I chatted with them briefly, but I’m not in any of their districts. I signed Anthony Brown’s mailing list, and he told me he would refer me to candidates in my district. Thanks, Anthony! Tracking down state representative districts and candidates can be very tricky of you don’t know just where to look.
There may have been some more candidates there, but these were the ones that I noticed. Anyone who lives in Kansas is encouraged to check all of them out in more detail. I’m going to be involved in some campaigns this year, so I’ll have more information as the elections close in, especially after the primaries.