Saturday, September 24, 2005

A Hell of an Election

By way of The Coffeehouse Soapbox (who mentions our mutual friend, Nigel Ashford, in the process) and Boi from Troy, I have learned that a Log Cabin Republican activist is challenging a sitting member of Congress in the 2006 GOP primary in New York's 19th District.

Boi from Troy links to an article in The Hill that explains how 26-year-old Jeff Cook, who is openly gay, has thrown down the gauntlet to Representative Sue Kelly, first elected in the "Contract With America" class of 1994:

In the Hill article, published on September 22, reporter Peter Savodnik -- who, if memory serves, used to cover local politics for the Daily Progress here in Charlottesville -- writes:

Training his sights on Kelly, Cook portrayed the congresswoman as having lost sight of the Contract With America, which she endorsed when she was first elected to Congress, in 1994.

He cited the recently passed transportation bill, which was loaded with thousands of local spending items, or “pork,” and was supported by the congresswoman.

The American Conservative Union has taken issue with Kelly’s opposition to a conservative budget resolution, support for funding of the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities, and other issues.

“I have become really concerned in the last couple of years about the direction of some of the leaders in our party,” Cook said. “If the Republican Party is unwilling … to stand up to the trappings and the temptations of big government, then who will? We’ve got to have a dividing line. There’s got to be a party to stand up for the taxpayer.”
Sounding a couple of libertarian notes, Cook explains how being gay and being a conservative Republican are not irreconcilable:
Cook maintained that being gay would not hurt him in a Republican primary. He added that he opposes the Federal Marriage Amendment on the grounds that it’s unconstitutional and contrary to his small-government philosophy.

Striking a careful ideological balance, Cook said families, not government, should make life’s most important decisions — about schools, for instance — but offered an expansive view of “family” including adoption by gay couples.

“The reality of life in America is that many gay and lesbian couples are raising children,” he said. “I do not have children. I hope one day to have children.”
A currently unavailable web site for the "Jeff Cook for Congress Exploratory Committee" says:
This fall I will meet and visit with residents of New York's 19th Congressional District. I look forward to sharing my conservative vision of less government, individual opportunity, and a secure America with voters in Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, and Westchester Counties. My candidacy brings strong leadership and a new voice to in these times. I hope that you will join me in bringing accountablitily and responsibility.
It adds:
www.jeffcook.org is under construction. Please check back here in October to view my completed website.
This race should be increasingly entertaining as it develops.

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