Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): Endorsements... Continued

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Endorsements... Continued

One reason I am trying to endorse in every race in Johnson County is to poke fun at the myriad of organizations across the state who make endorsements in hundreds of races.  Some use questionnaires, but having read many questionnaires, it's really, really easy to guess exactly what to say on a questionnaire to earn the favor of the group sending it.

Most politicians answer honestly, but the questionnaires are a far cry from being able to fully understand the issues in races that have a local flair, and they certainly don't consider things like boardmanship, just how hard someone would fight for a specific issue and other personality traits.

Political races aren't simply a matter of black and white -- there are often varying shades of gray.

All of that is my windy way of saying, mass endorsements of every race are kind of a joke. My endorsements are also a bit of a laugh, but I'm making them based on knowing in the vast majority of cases, not just where the candidates stand on the issues, but knowing them personally. In the races where I truly don't have a clue, I'm not offering my opinion at all.Initially, I intended to endorse in every race in the state, but I quickly changed my mind. I'm only doing Johnson County, and even then, not every race. In one Senate race, for example, I really dislike the only Republican. In many House races, I don't know enough about any of the candidates to make a clear choice. And I don't have a CLUE what's happening on the ground in say, Garden City -- even though I know some of the players. I don't know the people who live there or what's important to them.  (Although, please note, when I make an endorsement I am 100 percent correct in my assessment and you should just take my word for it and vote as I say.)

Now that that's off my chest, let's move on to more Johnson County House endorsements

District 30: Lance Kinzer

Lance Kinzer is kind of the lion in the Kansas House when it comes to pro-life causes. That said, almost every bill he's sponsored has required a full-blown clean-up once they pass. I don't know if he's light on details or doesn't have the reasoning abilities to take into consideration the Laws of Unintended Consequences. But, his heart and his principles are in the right place.

He is facing another sitting representative after redistricting. Kinzer is by far the more conservative of the pair, and I like his chances. He hails from a more conservative part of the county, and I'll be surprised if he doesn't win.

That said, prior to the redistricting shake-up, he had his eye on the Speaker's job. I think it would be a mistake to make him Speaker. Of course, that could well change depending on who else throws their hat in for the job.

That brings me to my other concern about Kinzer: He's been grooming himself for politics since he was a child. He's an attorney and a veteran. And he has his eye set on even higher office. I'm not a fan of the lifelong politician of any political stripe.

District 38: Willie Dove

Dove has an uphill battle, but he's one of my favorite candidates in the Republican primary. My reasons for naming him among the vaunted few are not probably the wisest way to choose a candidate, but...

Dove is one of a handful of conservatives running who also happens to be black. He's extraordinarily active in his church and has a wonderful, wonderful way of speaking with people. It should be a matter of shame to the entire Republican Party that while Gov. Brownback is making it known exactly who he supports in each race in the state, he's been very careful to absolutely avoid all of the black candidates. (Yes, I'm saying it. I've thought it for some time and I'm saying it again now, I think the Governor is uncomfortable with black people.)

This is one of the major reasons we need people like Dove in elective office. The Republican Party in Kansas, and specifically in Kansas, has an absolute dearth of minority and women candidates. The few we do have are given minimal support UNLESS they were recruited specifically by the powers that be. This is shameful.

All of that said, Dove faces a very difficult primary in a very strange district that encompasses De Soto and Bonner Springs and a few rural parts of the county. His opponent seems like a fairly decent candidate as well and is the current mayor of De Soto.

This race is one to watch, and I am ever-so-hopeful that Dove carries the day on Aug. 7.

District 39: Charles Macheers

Macheers is an attorney, but don't hold that against him! He's one of the good ones, if such a thing actually exists. He ran and lost a difficult campaign for city council just last year, and now he's on the ballot again.

In the previous election, and in this one, he has faced the typical Johnson County RINO. This race's RINO is one of the lead RINO activists in the county, and I am hopeful that we can stick a fork in her efforts. Unfortunately, his opponent is well-known and has served in the legislature before and on the JCCC Board of Trustees.

It's going to be a very tough race, but I hope Macheers pulls it out.

District 43: Dan Thompson

Thompson is a relative political newcomer, who, like Willie Dove is the rarest of birds -- a black conservative. He served on the Gardner City Council and has a fairly, politically active daughter who writes for a newspaper.

He's approachable, friendly and conservative. Plus, he's an advocate for term limits, which I love. His opponent is a nice enough guy, but see my comments on Keith Esau in the previous post. I share that same concern about Thompson's opponent.

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