Republican Liberty Caucus candidates were playing in the big leagues last night when they were matched up against candidates of the Republican Party machine. Overall, be prepared for some disappointing results — not because our candidates did poorly, but because they didn’t quite do well enough despite coming very close to victories.
Let’s take a look at the race in southwest Indiana’s 8th District. When I was looking at the results, I was floored last night when RLC-endorsed Tea Party “stay at home mom” Kristi Risk was in a very tight race to win the Republican nomination. Ultimately, Kristi ended up losing the race. CQ Politics — geniuses no doubt — reported that “the Republican Party avoided a disaster,” explaining that Risk would not prove to be a challenger to Congressman Joe Donnelly (D) in November. The arrogance of the mainstream media continues to have no bounds. Let’s hope Kristi Risk runs for office again because her campaign clearly lit up the hearts and minds of concerned Hoosier voters.
In the Indiana U.S. Senate race, FOX News’ Carl Cameron reported — long before the polls closed — that Republican Dan Coats had won the race. Again, the media just doesn’t seem to get it: elections are for voters, and every seat is the people’s seat! Coats did win the race, but Marlin Stutzman made it close. My belief is that if either Hostettler or Stutzman were not in the race, the other could have siphoned enough conservative votes to beat Coats in the primary. I believe Indiana is now left with a vulnerable and uninspiring Republican U.S. Senate candidate.
Although he was not endorsed by the Republican Liberty Caucus, Tea Party candidate and a personal friend of mine, Travis Hankins, had a similar performance to Ms. Risk in the neighboring southern Indiana district. Hankins was running against two others — a former Congressman and an establishment choice — for the right to challenge Congressman Baron Hill in November. Unfortunately, Hankins lost by a few hundred votes. Travis Hankins’ youthfulness — he’s just 28 — and his lack of name recognition — this was his first race — did not seem to cause problems for Hoosier voters. I’m sure we’ll see more of Travis, or his twin brother Aaron, in the future.
On a positive note, RLC member Steve Davisson won his primary and will now advance to the General Election for State Representative in Indiana’s 73rd District — the largest State Representative district in the state that includes much of southern Indiana.
There are no positive results to report from Ohio. All of our Republican Liberty Caucus candidates lost their respective races. Beth Lear, running for State Representative, ran a tremendous campaign and got bested by only a small margin of votes for a Delaware County state legislative seat.
The most interesting race in Ohio was perhaps the contest in District 16, whose winner would go on to face vulnerable Democrat John Boccieri — a vocal proponent of government-run health care. Former County Commissioner Matt Miller was the Tea Party candidate and he narrowly lost to the establishment choice, businessman Jim Renacci. Let’s hope Renacci can defeat Boccieri this fall.
There were two Republican Liberty Caucus victories in North Carolina. First, but not surprisingly, BJ Lawson won his primary for Congress in District 4. Lawson will face David Price in November in a district that is overwhelmingly Democrat.
Newcomer Jon Hardister won the Republican primary in North Carolina’s 57th District — which includes the city of Greensboro. Hardister will bring youthfulness and common sense if he’s selected by North Carolina voters in November.
Let’s work to help Lawson, Davisson, and Hardister win their races this fall!
Clearly the Tea Party had an impact on these races. Let’s hope its impact is more imprinted on upcoming primary races in Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Utah.