Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Friendly Neighborhood Republican's endorsement goes to...

A lot of thought went into this decision. Even more than what I wrote about here regarding Emmer and Seifert's campaign styles and their personal and professional differences and similarities. I listened to each candidate's KTLK-FM interviews. I scoured their websites. I read every piece of mail they sent to me. I listened to and read what others thought, and I even interviewed former gubernatorial candidate Senator David Hann about why he thinks Marty Seifert is the man for the job. I also spoke to a representative from Tom Emmer's campaign. I did my research.

In the end it came down to two things: experience and campaign style.

Friendly Neighborhood Republican endorses Tom Emmer as the Republican candidate for governor of Minnesota.

Asking Emmer's representative Chris Van Guilder what he considers to be the biggest difference between the two candidates, and his answer that the two men formed their experience in two different walks of life, lead to one of the most influential pieces of research in this journey.

Comparing the two men's backgrounds, mostly as detailed on their own campaign websites, clearly showed that Emmer has much more life experience outside of government on which to base his decisions and actions. He is older has held positions in the private sector much longer than Seifert. When compared, Emmer stood out as the candidate with the kind of life experience to lead the state of Minnesota.

The other influential piece was campaign style. For Seifert to go negative didn't sit well with many people, including me. DUI is a very serious issue. I lost a cousin to a drunk driver, and I've seen the devastation that ripped through the family afterward. But I thought Emmer's response was appropriate. If the incidents had been more recent, it would have made a difference to me. I don't excuse what Emmer did so long ago; but I ask you, would you want to be judged by the mistakes you made when you were 19 years old? It seemed desperate to bring it up. It was as if Seifert put his personal victory over the potential victory of the party. I still think Seifert is a good man, but this campaign strategy was a mistake.

That, combined with the obvious gap in experience between the two candidates, sealed the deal for Emmer. I'm also thrilled with Emmer's choice of running mate, Annette Meeks, as his lieutenant governor.

Who knows what will happen Friday night at the Republican Convention? But now I know what I wish will happen.

No matter what, I wish for all of us to unite behind our newly endorsed Republican candidate for governor. We have two good candidates, and we must all choose one.

There is nothing to be gained by fighting amongst ourselves. Whoever is ultimately chosen must be supported by us all, or we risk losing the governor's office to a Democrat.

Preventing that is worth fighting for.

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