RHODE ISLAND’S 1ST U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT
Loughlin vs. Cicilline
When no one was willing last year to say he would carry the Republican banner against Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy in 2010, State Rep. John Loughlin stepped up and said that, yes, he would take on the heir to New England’s most illustrious Democratic name in Rhode Island’s 1st District.
A lot has happened since House GOP Whip Loughlin, a three-term state legislator, decided to run. Kennedy stunned observers in the Ocean State and nationwide by announcing he would leave Congress after 16 years. That caused a four-candidate free-for-all Democratic primary, out of which Providence Mayor David Cicilline, a onetime state legislator, emerged as the winner.
“And, under my opponent, the city of Providence went $50 million in the red,” says Loughlin.
“That and the fact that his first vote in Congress will be for Nancy Pelosi are what you need to know most about him.”
Moderate and liberal GOPers are familiar in state offices, but Loughlin is an unabashed conservative on economic and cultural issues. A pro-life candidate, he has worked with a fellow Republican, Gov. Donald Cancieri, to hold the line on state spending—not easy, with a state legislature in which all but a few seats in the house and senate are held by Democrats. In this campaign, Loughlin has long made it clear he would vote to repeal the healthcare “reform” plan enacted by Congress.
“And I’m fed up with people saying my party is just the party of ‘no’ and doesn’t offer solutions,” snapped the GOP hopeful. “If you want real healthcare reform, you start with permitting the purchase of health insurance across state lines and genuine tort reform. One measure will ensure competition and lower costs of healthcare and the other will reassure our physicians that they don’t have to fear costly and sometimes frivolous litigation. That’s what I will fight for.”
Along with his passion for issues, John Loughlin brings to the campaign a passion for patriotism. After joining the Rhode Island National Guard in 1978, he became a helicopter pilot, was deployed to Bosnia and to Iraq and then retired as a lieutenant colonel three years ago.
In ’09, it was said that a Republican like Scott Brown could never follow a Kennedy in Massachusetts. But history was made and Brown is now senator. In November, conservatives have an opportunity to show that a Republican like John Loughlin can follow a Kennedy in Rhode Island—and again, make history.
(Friends of John Loughlin, P. O. Box 244, Adamsville, R.I., 02801, 401-383-1818; www.johnloughlin.org)
DELAWARE’S AT-LARGE U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT
Urquhart vs. Carney
With all the national—international, in fact—attention showered on Delaware because of the outcome of its Republican U.S. Senate primary, it is perhaps understandable why even the most rabid political junkie might have overlooked the GOP nomination for Congress decided the same day.
The Republican primary for the lone U.S. House seat in the First State was almost as significant as that for U.S. senator. And its results were just as dramatic.
With liberal GOP Rep. Mike Castle leaving the at-large House seat to run for the Senate nod (unsuccessfully, as it turned out), the GOP “establishment” and the smart money were behind security alarms heiress Michele Rollins for the congressional nomination.
With a name almost as respected in Delaware as DuPont, a multi-million-dollar fortune and the blessings of the state party convention, Rollins seemed a cinch to win the primary. But the smart money and party establishment had not reckoned with stalwart conservative Glen Urquhart, small businessman and former Reagan Administration official.
Beaten at the state convention, the 61-year-old Urquhart took his case to Delaware’s 30,000 registered Republicans. Going door-to-door, addressing Lion’s Club lunches and Kiwanis breakfasts, and button-holing voters on the street, the Rehoboth Beach man caught people’s attention with his “everyman” campaign.
“And by the grace of God, and a fantastic volunteer staff, we won a major victory for the average man and woman,” said Urquhart of his nomination, a slim victory (48.6% to 47.7%) over the better-known and far-better-funded Rollins (who graciously endorsed the conservative hopeful on the day after the primary).
As it was in the primary, Glen Urquhart’s message is one that is simple-but-powerful: a base-closing commission-style panel to review every non-military-related program in government, a freeze on federal non-defense spending at ’08 levels, and a major cut in corporate and capital gains taxes to jump-start small business.
“Big government and big business caused much of the mess we’re in,” says Urquhart, a father of five and grandfather of 14. “The conservative agenda of opportunity that I will fight for will show there is life after debt.”
The conservative hopeful now faces Democrat John Carney, a former lieutenant governor. To Urquhart, Carney is “Silent John” because, as he put it, “he said nothing, not a word, when [former liberal Democratic Gov.] Ruth Anne Milner was running Delaware into debt and such nonsense went on as felons’ taking care of patients at the state psychiatric hospital.”
If Carney would not say a word of criticism about Milner, Urquhart asks, “then do you believe for a minute he could stand up to Nancy Pelosi?” Urquhart also cites the Democrat’s support of “Obamacare” and cap and trade as “issues I can’t wait to debate my opponent on.”
Shoe leather, hard work, and common sense helped Glen Urquhart score a never-anticipated upset in the Republican primary for Congress. With the same ingredients—plus help from fellow conservatives around the country—he can do the same in November and score another “victory for the average man and woman.”
(Urquhart for Congress, P.O. Box 768, Rehoboth Beach, Del., 19971; glenIVliberty.com)
WASHINGTON STATE’S 3RD U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT
Herrera vs. Heck
When Democratic Rep. Brian Baird announced his retirement from Congress after 12 years, the stage was set in Washington State’s 3rd District for a barnburner of a race—what is easily one of the sharpest contrasts in any battle for a House seat anywhere in the U.S. House.
Republicans nominated State Rep. Jaime Herrera—young, vivacious and conservative.
Home-schooled until the 10th grade and then going on to graduate from Prairie High School, young Jaime has had a passion for politics since her teenage years. This led her to a series of internships at the state capitol in Olympia and in “the other Washington” at the White House Office of Political Affairs under George W. Bush.
Following her graduation from the University of Washington and a stint as legislative assistant to conservative Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R.-Wash.), the young woman moved back to her home town and was appointed to a vacancy in the state house of representatives in ’07.
Re-elected in ’08, Herrera went on to become assistant Republican floor leader. Nominated for Congress with ease over two opponents earlier this year, Herrera’s bottom line on the campaign trail is the same as it was in Olympia: smaller government and lower taxes.
“Federal spending is out of control,” says the conservative hopeful, “and the addiction to spending by Democrats in Congress and the White House is costing us jobs here in Southwest Washington. My election to Congress would mean a renewed focus on getting families back to work in good jobs.”
If Jaime Herrera is the “Miss Outside,” then Democrat Denny Heck is surely “Mr. Inside.” A former majority leader in the state house and top aide to former Democratic Gov. Booth Gardner (“Toll Booth” to opponents of Gardner’s liberal tax-and-spend agenda), the 58-year-old Heck later served as chief clerk of the state house.
Put another way, he has been “on the inside” where all the decisions to raise taxes and increase government spending and regulation were made.
“I’m not pointing fingers,” says Herrera, “but my opponent clearly believes we have to spend more of our tax dollars. Why do you think we have 13.9% unemployment in Southwest Washington and people now trying to refinance their mortgages are being turned down so often?”
“More of the same” is clearly what is in store were Denny Heck to go to Congress from the 3rd District. “Something different” will come from a “Rep. Jaime Herrera (R.-Wash.)”—and that’s why conservatives have to make that vision come true.
(Jaime Herrera for Congress, P. O. Box 1614, Ridgefield, Wash. 98642; 360-887-3546;