Thursday, November 29, 2007

New Primary Opponent for Wayne Gilchrest

Of the 200 or so Republicans in the House of Representatives, the one I'm probably least concerned with beating is Wayne Gilchrest. He's pro-choice, pro-environment, wants to leave Iraq and has a relatively moderate voting record on economic issues.

And his district is pretty heavily Republican (62-38 for Bush in 2004, 57-40 for Bush in 2000). So even a True Believer® will be tough to beat here.

Wayne's biggest fight has always been in the primary. He's nearly been Clubbed for GrowthTM several times now.

And Pat Toomey's organization is at it again with a new attack website, Wayne Gilchrest is a Liberal.

This is the same strategy they used to help True Believer® Tim Walberg take down Rep. Joe Schwarz, another moderate Republican. Well, that and $500,000 in Schwarz-bashing ads.

So True Believer® State Sen. Andrew Harris is running as a "real conservative" and could well take him down.

But it looks like Gilchrest may have some good news. State Senator E.J. Pipkin has announced his intentions to run against Gilchrest as an "Eastern Shores conservative," and pundits believe this will help split the anti-Gilchrest vote.

The Club for Growth will stick with Harris (they've been a conduit to raise money for him); however, E.J. Pipkin is a multi-millionaire and is willing to spend vasts sums of money, so he'll get himself some exposure.

Frankly, I think that may be a good thing. In heavily Republican districts, I'd much prefer a moderate Republican to a far-right Republican.

However, there is always the possibility that Gilchrest could choose to run as an Independent and skip the primary; he's popular enough to do that.

It wouldn't be the first time a Republican left the party (or made noises about it) after a Clubbing for Growth.

  • Lincoln Chafee left the Republican party after narrowly winning his primary against CFG-backed Steven Laffey and then losing the general

  • Joe Schwarz has made noises about leaving the party

  • Arlen Specter, who was challenged by now-CFG president Pat Toomey, would probably leave if he wasn't a coward-he Bloomberged his way into the Republican party [Bloomberg = running as a Republican for city office to avoid heavily ethnic Democratic primary]; he should Bloomberg his way out again

  • Bob Smith endorsed John Kerry for president after losing his primary to CFG-backed John Sununu


Anonymous said...

Club for Growth is an evil organization hell-bent on destroying the GOP from within.

What they did to Joe Schwarz was unconscionable. His district is left with Tim Walberg, a far-right loony bird with no business being in public office.

Growth? I don't think so!

Anonymous said...

It is time for Gilchrest to go. He votes with the Dems more often than with his own party. He should just be honest and switch parties.

From what I have seen of Pipkin's work in the Legislature, I like him for the US Senate.

The Waterman said...

What's so evil about the Club for Growth? A dislike for high taxes? A belief in the evil of big government? Adherence to the ideals of true conservatism? I'm just curious, please enlighten me.

Of course, Pipkin won't get any love from the Club since they've already lined up behind Harris, but at least either actually adheres to something a real conservative believes in. That being said, Pipkin has my vote.