Among the six Republicans seeking to represent the 5th Congressional District in Washington, there is only one candidate who has a track record of independent leadership that merits voters' support: John Anderson.
In this critical Aug. 8 primary, Anderson's biggest asset is that he is his own man. He is not beholden to the radical right or local development interests. A former sheriff of eight years and law enforcement officer for three decades, Anderson stands for much of what the regime currently controlling Washington does not particularly protecting individual liberties and preserving the Constitution. He also stands more closely aligned to the historical Republican ideals of preserving individual liberties than any of the others in this race to replace Rep. Joel Hefley, who is retiring after 20 years in Congress.
The cornerstone of Anderson's campaign is securing the nation's borders, working to improve economic prosperity within the district, and preserving our constitutional rights.
Unlike all the other Republican hopefuls, Anderson is not interested in going to Washington to pursue divisive ultra-conservative social agendas. While personally opposed to abortion, he would not vote to support a constitutional amendment to overturn Roe v. Wade. He would also vote to give women who have been victims of rape or incest the right to choose whether to carry a child to term. Unlike his opponents, he does not support the so-called Marriage Protection Amendment.
Instead, Anderson rightly recognizes that, as a congressman, his focus should be on the critical issues facing our country: a soaring deficit, the continuing war in Iraq and ensuring that terrorists and organized crime syndicates aren't crossing our porous borders.
With registered Republicans outnumbering Democrats 2 to 1, the 5th Congressional District has been termed one of the most conservative in the country. The Aug. 8 primary could decide who we will be sending to Washington for years to come. It is essential that the voices of the 110,850 unaffiliated voters and 71,646 registered Democrats are heard as well, and Anderson has a track record of reaching across party lines. We need someone who can work in a bipartisan manner.
If he wins the GOP's nomination, Anderson has also vowed full public accessibility. He has pledged to publicly debate the likely Democratic candidate, Jay Fawcett. This last point is important because, in past years, many local Republican candidates have run stealth campaigns, refusing to engage in meaningful discourse, including media interviews and public debates.
In the months leading to the Nov. 7 general election, the Independent will not and voters should not tolerate candidates who refuse either to make their positions known or to publicly debate the issues. It is antipathetic to democracy, and any candidate who argues otherwise is, simply, unworthy of holding public office. Early voting begins July 31 Early voting for the Aug. 8 primary election begins on Monday, July 31, and runs through Friday, Aug. 4. Unaffiliated voters who could well decide this important election can declare themselves Republicans at their primary polling locations. Call 575-VOTE (8683) for information on early or absentee voting, early voting locations and Aug. 8 voting locations.