Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): State House endorsements (a partial list)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

State House endorsements (a partial list)

It's not quite as dramatic as my Senate endorsements, but I can't leave voters high and dry in House races. They NEED a voice of reason and sanity to tell them exactly who they should support in every election. Note: I'll only be endorsing in Johnson County races, because that's all that matters. Am I right? Also, there are some races where I really don't know the candidates personally or through social media or their websites. I won't be offering my thoughts on those races, because I don't have any. So, without further ado, Gidget's House endorsement list:

District 8: Craig McPherson

I met this guy when he was running in the Republican primary for the Third District. I thought he was a very good candidate, though a little green and significantly outmatched by Rep. Kevin Yoder and Patricia Lightner. Throw in candidates with interesting personal stories like Dan Gilyeat, and well, McPherson really didn't stand a chance.

But I liked him. By far his worst trait is that he's an attorney.

So I'm thrilled he's tossed his hat into the ring for a seat in the House. He faces Sheryl Spalding, your basic Johnson County RINO, so the choice is clear.

District 14: Keith Esau

I'm about to say something not that nice, and for that, I apologize in advance. Please read further and get to the explanation for what I'm about to say: Esau is kind of a geek.

He has all of the right values. He serves as the Third District Republican Chair, and for the most part, he's kind and decent. I will admit I have been extraordinarily annoyed watching him seat alternates at the state convention. I really think he relishes his power there -- probably because this guy most likely was the last choice on the playground many years ago.

In everyday life, geekiness doesn't really matter. I mean, Bill Gates obviously shares that quality and look where he ended up. BUT, in my experience, the geeks of the world never quite recover from being picked last in dodge ball. They walk around with the tiniest chip on their shoulders and in politics that little chip can turn into a giant block of power happy. That does NOT result in good leadership down the road.
That said, Esau is clearly the better candidate. He has worked tirelessly on behalf of conservative ideals and he deserves a chance in the spotlight. (I hope I'm wrong about that chip.)

District 17:  Brett Hildabrand

Much has been written and discussed in political circles about this race. It's become a little, well, bitter. First Jason Lieb, Hildabrand's opponent, made a big to-do about being a family man. Lieb insinuated that Hildabrand couldn't serve well because he is single. Hildebrand is young and has never been married. That is not to his detriment. God says being single is good and a gift, so it's surprising that a self-described "family values" candidate like Lieb would make hay of Hildebrand's marital status.

But that's just the beginning of the story. Lieb has been convicted of giving booze to minors, AND if his Twitter feed is any indication, he likes to drink. Often. And brag about it. I like a drink now and again myself, but if I had a conviction for providing alcohol to minors, I probably wouldn't brag about the many, many, MANY times I have a libation.

All of this is a little beside the point: Hildebrand is a great candidate. He was one of the very best and brightest in his first term, and he absolutely deserves a second. (My one beef with Hildebrand: he moved after redistricting to land in this new district. I don't really care for carpetbaggers, but when you move a few miles, it's not like you're vaunting to a new community.)

District 18: John Rubin

Rubin is the conservative in this race and his opponent, Neal Sawyer, is the "moderate." Rubin has served admirably in the House. Sawyer is a tax-and-spender on the Shawnee City Council. (As an aside, his daughter is also running for a seat in the House. I'm not endorsing in that race, because Neal's daughter is an an advocate of never-ending school spending and adamantly pro-choice, but I know absolutely nothing about her opponent other than what I've read on his website. Neal and his daughter Stephanie are both terribly nice people, but they are Democrats in elephant clothing.)

District 20: Rob Bruchman

I'm really not that big of a fan of Bruchman. He's served one term in the House and voted correctly, however, if I remember correctly, he was a carpetbagger at the time. Despite mentioning my distrust of geeks with a chip on their shoulder in office, I also have a mistrust of men in office who have spent their entire lives with the hope of being a politician. We need NORMAL people in Topeka -- not men trying to prove they're cool enough and not men who began their lives with the dream of power in their eyes. We need people who are called to serve for a time -- men who have interests outside of politics.

 Bruchman strikes me as someone who has lived his entire life with the idea that he would seek office. These are types who eventually will do anything to maintain power and stay in office. But, to date, his votes have been spot on.

Stay tuned for the remainder of my House picks as well as the sheriff's race in Johnson County and the contested Johnson County Board of Commissioners race.

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