Although it looks like it will be a bad year for Republicans as a whole, GOP candidates advocating for limited government (and meaning it!) are going to do well in 2008, just as they did in 2006. (The only RLC-friendly member of Congress who lost in 2006 was Arizona’s J.D. Hayworth.)
In Virginia, the state RLC’s favorite legislator, Ken Cuccinelli, is running for Attorney General in 2009. He will face another Republican in the state primary, but he is the favorite to win both the primary and general election. Senator Cuccinelli addressed the newly chartered Virginia RLC earlier this year:
In Georgia, things are looking good for 2010. If Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, who the RLC has supported for years, jumps into the race for Governor, then the RLC’s leader in the State Senate, David Shafer, has a real opportunity to become Lt. Governor.
Georgia Senator David Shafer.
In Missouri, State Treasurer Sarah Steelman is facing an uphill fight against establishment Congressman Kenny Hulshof in the open gubernatorial race. Steelman is favored by RLC members for her no-nonsense, common sense approach to the issues. Ron Paul supporters are even planning a Money Bomb for Steelman. Treasurer Steelman also attended the Ron Paul Freedom Rally in Branson earlier this year. Roy Blunt, predictably, has endorsed her opponent, Kenny Hulshof.
Finally, the RLC is thankful for its current incumbent Governors, Mark Sanford of South Carolina and Sarah Palin of Alaska. Although not perfect, these state leaders have shown independence from the GOP establishment and have the chutzpah to make real inroads toward returning the GOP to its small government heritage.
Of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention our heroes of past, namely former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson and former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld.
While Governor of Massachusetts, Bill Weld ended the state’s borrowing, controlled Medicaid spending, reduced property taxes and balanced seven budgets in a row while passing 19 tax cuts and never raising taxes. He was elected during a tumultuous time when the state’s bond rating was near junk status, unemployment was nearly 10%, and the state had continuously borrowed money to close large operating deficits.