I wasn’t planning on endorsing in this race mainly because I was undecided. I have always seen my top three choices as Jim Gibbons, Brad Zaun and Dave Funk. I’ve decided who I’m voting for and thought that since this race will likely be close I’ll go ahead and make my vote public.
I’m voting for Jim Gibbons on June 8th, and I ask you to do the same. I was impressed with Gibbons during my interview with him, his knowledge of the issues, his demeanor, and the positions that he takes. I’ve subsequently been impressed with other interviews he has done, as well as his performance in debate/forum venues. He is a solid conservative both fiscally and socially. He is solidly pro-life. He wants to reign in government spending and decrease the size of government largess. You can read about his positions here, read his story, and check out his op/eds (many of which have been posted here as well).
I’m also impressed with his background not only as a national title winning wrestling coach, but also as a financial planner. He also grew up on a farm and studied agriculture at Iowa State, so he understands first hand issues that our farmers face. I also appreciate his devotion to his family, and can see in his life and positions that he is pro-family.
In regards to the complaint that he lived in Perry (in Iowa’s 4th District). I feel that in interviews that I have listened to and read (I didn’t know this when I interviewed him) that he’s been forthright. He now has an apartment in Des Moines. His family still lives in Perry. How much time he spends at each? I really don’t care. This isn’t an issue for me. He has worked, lived and still worships in the 3rd District. He lived only 15 miles outside the district. It isn’t a constitutional requirement, the only thing that is required is that he is a resident of the state. Also with Iowa losing a congressional seat due to the Census, who knows which district will go and what the map will look like at that point? You may disagree, but that is where I stand.
I want to be clear that this is not an anti-endorsement of Zaun or Funk. I would be happy to vote for either of them if they are on the ballot in November. In regards to their positions there isn’t much that separates them. Because of that I want to explain what the tipping points for me were.
The first was Zaun’s vote in favor of the anti-bullying bill. He was wrong on that vote. His response to questioning on this vote was that he was against bullying. So am I, but school districts by and large already have policies in place. It was unnecessary, and then it only protects certain groups of kids. It doesn’t protect the fat, white kid who gets bullied because of his weight (bringing back bad memories here). This is an example of what of what I perceive to be a lack of thoughtfulness on issues like these. He, in my opinion, hasn’t demonstrated in interviews I’ve listened to the depth of knowledge regarding important policy issues.
Second, Gibbons has also run a positive campaign (so has Zaun), and that is something I can’t say about Dave Funk. Those who have followed this blog for sometime knows that is one of the primary reasons I switched from endorsing Sam Brownback to Mike Huckabee in 2008. It’s fine to educate voters on differences between you and your opponent regarding policy and record, but in my opinion Funk has taken that too far. I certainly wasn’t thrilled about Funk using my interview with Gibbons as a launching pad for what I see as a baseless attack. This is obviously a personal preference, some of you may like that. I personally get tired of conservative on conservative bloodshed. Especially when it turns into gross mischaracterizations (this has been an issue with supporters, not the candidates). I will give Dave some props. He has done well in the debates, and his social media presence is unmatched by the other candidates.
Third, I also look at the ability to run a general election campaign. Gibbons is the fundraising leader. Zaun isn’t doing bad in that regard, but he’s nowhere near Gibbons. Dave Funk has not shown the ability to raise enough funds to run a successful campaign against Boswell. Those who see this as a bad thing, well I think its being delusional. It isn’t the most important thing – principles and positions are, but it takes money (a lot of it) to unseat an incumbent. That’s just reality.
So please join me in voting for Jim Gibbons on Tuesday.