I have been meaning to write about my experiences over the past few weeks as a State Delegate for the Republican Party. But I just can seem to get my self to write lately. It just hasn’t been as fun.
But I would really like get my opinion out on the Internet before I cast my vote. So here it goes.
My first experience with the candidates was with Dave Leavitt. I was really impressed with what he had to say. He sounded like a principled conservative, and I was sure that he thought about things like me. I honestly walked out feeling rather overwhelmed. I wasn’t sure that this was going to be a very easy decision.
The things that impressed me about Leavitt was his approach to politics. He seemed very introspective and well thought out. He is a big reader of both moderate-to-liberal news and conservative news. Further, He seemed to be his own man. His thought are his and he will act according to his principles.
I was unimpressed by Leavitt’s riding on the coat tails of Tom Green. Frankly, for as often as Leavitt mentioned Tom Green during our meetings, I wasn’t sure if Green or Leavitt was the candidate for office. I also don’t like his slogan. What does “Restoring America’s Promise” mean? I could write several posts on what those words might or might not mean. And I would still have no conclusion.
My next canidate visit was about a week later with Jason Chaffetz. And I honestly went into this meeting with my guards up. As I have indicated before, I was leaning towards Chaffetz. However, after having met with Leavitt, my leaning was tilted in another direction. So, I wanted to make Chaffetz convince me.
Simply put, I was sold when he mention that he was debt free. That spoke volumes to me to know that in his personal life he was living what he proposed to do in Washington. Further, he claims to have run his campaign in the black too. This type of discipline is what we need in Washington.
I was also impressed with his campaign materials. Every mailer, letter and web article from Chaffetz is about an issue. Jason knows where he stands on the issues, and he isn’t afraid to say it. He wants those who are voting for him to know what he stands for. I could spend time talking about each issue he has addressed, but you can look over his website and read for yourself where Jason stands. I find that I am in agreement with a large percentage of what Chaffetz says.
I had several concerns about the Chaffetz when I first met him. He seemed to act like he was the morally better candidate. There was an air of we aren’t spending a lot of money, so we are better. We aren’t polling to form our opinion based on yours, so we are better. This moral high grown approach comes off as a little abrasive. However, as I thought about this, these are either non-issues to me, or Chaffetz approach is the same as mine. So, I had to put that aside as I considered him as a candidate.
The next big thing that bothered me was that Chaffetz has a tendency to go negative. He is almost too quick to let you know how he disagrees Cannon or Leavitt. This is probably the number one issue that most delegates have with Chaffetz. However, it does show us a couple of important things.
First, we see that Chaffetz is aware of his competition. He doesn’t ignore them like they aren’t there. Nor does he treat them like the fly that buzzes around you, and swat at them occasionally. He takes the fight head on. Jason appears to be the same way with the issues. He studies it. He gets to know it inside and out, and then he will attacks or supports it based on the his guiding principles.
Second, and this is closely tied to the first, Chaffetz will take this same passion to Capitol Hill. As a general rule, we as Utahns don’t like like aggressive candidates. However, if you think about it, we need an aggressive representative in Washington. New York will pick an aggressive candidate, so will California and many other stats. The Third District needs a fighter, so let’s vote one in.
Some have argued Chaffetz’s aggressive nature will alienate him on Capitol Hill. However, I believe that this will have just the opposite effect. People will see a real leader in Chaffetz. They will want to put him into positions of power because he is willing to fight, even when it is up hill all the way.
For me, Chaffetz is the best candidate, and he has my vote on Saturday.
In the interest of full disclosure, I want to state that I have been working on the Chaffetz campaign for the past few weeks. The campaign has even requested that I write a post about Chaffetz. I hope that Chaffetz comes out on top of this race. And I look forward to the results on Saturday. However, I would never write something that wasn’t my opinion. I hope that this gives those who are still undecided a little push toward Chaffetz, because he is the true conservative in the race.