There are a wide variety of definitions for the two word phrase, "political viability." In reviewing the candidates announced so far in the 18th District, "viability" refers to even a possible likelihood that the candidate will ultimately be successful in their bid to become elected.
There are a number of indicators of viability. Money is a critical element; typically the one with the most money USUALLY wins (The only thing I've learned in this business for sure is that there's no such thing as a sure thing) and of course, name familiarity goes a long way to help.
Having a clue, a plan, a vision and knowledge as to how to achieve those ends is a pretty good indicator.
Understanding how government works, how to build coalitions, how to work across the aisle, how to compromise on goals but never on principle.
How to understand reality.
It's fairly clear that all the candidates in the 18th are having a difficult time raising money, save for one.
It's a fair question to ask what that means. Here's today's figures:
Some of these numbers are, well, curious. Did Jon Russell, best known for screwing up his congressional campaign while helping to turn Washougal into a train wreck (can we soon forget Stacee Sellers partying on city money... tens of thousands of dollars vaporizing... hiring the somewhat lacking city finance director... the thousands of dollars Russell personally made in running a campaign to implement a HUGE Port Levy increase? ) REALLY not raise or expend any money in his campaign?
I guess not. Otherwise, he would have reported it.... right?
Brandon Vick has brought in 15 donations in the 14 days between the 12th and the 26th for a total of $2450.
Rich Carson went short form, limiting himself to $5000 or less for the whole campaign, which means he can't raise money and he knows it; Anthony Bittner is an outstanding young man in every way, but apparently hasn't raised any money.
Shannon Barnett has put together $9,655. That's a VERY curious figure, given his past contacts as former Cowlitz GOP Chair, and his involvement with a contractors association along with his school board membership... why, you'd think that all these people would be falling all over themselves to donate to his campaign.
Ann Rivers, on the other hand, has raised over twice that amount, at $20,655. A review of her PDC's show that she's getting a lot of support from both individuals and businesses in the district and in the area.
Some have whined about her money coming from out of the area, but those same people support Herrera, and they had no trouble with HER out of area money, and they had no problem with Herrera's decision to ditch us to go to an ENTIRELY special-interest fund raiser during session in Washington, DC.
The ability to raise money is an indicator of viability. The INability to raise money when you would think that past contacts and history with the community would lead to a groundswell of support is a truer indicator of a LACK of viability.
The ability to rise beyond rank partisanship is an indicator of viability, because it shows an understanding of the system and the practical reality that no man (or woman) is an island.
The ability to understand that while not everyone is going to share your view, they deserve representation as well and that means listening while you let the conversation continue.
Who among these candidates has those abilities?
I make no recommendation here. Draw your own conclusions.
Cross posted at Jon Russell Watch.