Interesting times here in the 1-8.
Everyone knows that Sen Zarelli has dumped water on the fire and called in the dogs; in the natural course of things, the senior representative generally moves up to the senate, leaving an open seat behind them.
That seems to have happened here, hasn't it? Rep. Ann Rivers announced for Senator Zarelli's seat; the end result is that her House seat is up for grabs.
I don't know much about Adrian Cortes. I know he has a varied background of service on a number of local boards and commissions.
I know he took out an entrenched incumbent city councilman to win his election.
And I don't know if I'm going to endorse him (FWIW) or not... but I should know, soon, since I live in this district and either Cortes or Vick will be MY state representative... the democrats having screwed up and overloaded the other seat... which is, I guess, the risk you run when you decide to run a 19 year old.
But what I do know is that I cannot support Brandon.
I like Brandon as an individual. He has a small business background, works on the family landscaping business.
In 2010, when Brandon ran for the seat ultimately won in a hard-fought battle by Rep. Ann Rivers, Brandon had a difficult time working the campaign. It was difficult, as I understand it, because of family concerns related to business; he had to work very hard during the day and then campaign when he could.
He had a difficult time raising money, putting just over $4400 together for his effort, and received 5.9% of the vote in the primary, coming in fifth in a field of eight.
He went on to become Chair of the Clark County GOP in December of 2010.
That night, I asked Brandon if he could do something that other chairs had apparently found impossible:
Address the pre-packaged, looks-like-it-was-slammed-together-by-an-8th-grader-for-a-class-project GOP website that utterly pales in comparison to the democrat website, and:
Restart the newsletter... which hasn't been published in years... also handled neatly by the democrats.
SIX years, to be precise.
I've asked him about it a time or two. I was told something was being done.... but... well...
The Clark County Convention was a disaster of epic proportions... for which Brandon both IS responsible, and to his credit, took responsibility.
Nevertheless, it showed a pattern of failure, a pattern of inability to anticipate the issues confronting arguably the largest Convention in this county's political history, save for the state convention.
It was a total failure.
The mishandling of the Boldt debacle and the subsequent publicity.
Brandon was quoted repeatedly by the Columbian.
The Columbian is not our friend. As a result, Brandon's ONLY comment to the Columbian about the Boldt matter should have been "no comment."
The GOP is not a public organization. The more Brandon talked, the more the cancer on our community was able, since they were already most willing, to poke our party's entrails with a stick.
Brandon failed to recognize he was being played. He failed to understand that the Columbian is not interested in accuracy or facts; they're only interested in protecting their token, for their agenda alleged Republican.
In the past, party chairmanships have been a launching pad for political careers.
It's also been a wrecking yard for some.
When added to the fact that Brandon is about to become a brand new father for the first time... and to campaign, by definition, will take every waking moment... as will the next legislative session, as far as that goes... one wonders: Why would he leave his wife and baby home alone? How can he discharge his family responsibilities and obligations sitting in interminable meetings in Olympia with his family... his wife... his newborn baby... home... alone.... day after day.... night after night?
This is a tough situation for Brandon... very tough. He wants to be a politician and a legislator so bad that he'll do almost anything to achieve it.
Except in this case, the cost is just too high... he loves his wife and baby too much... and his vision is clouded by those with an ulterior motive who don't care what the cost is to Brandon personally.
There will be other opportunities... other elections.
But likely not for Brandon if he screws this up.
And I cannot support someone who would.