Good Will McBride Hunting

Posted: Jul 08, 2006 12:00 AM

Conservative voters in Florida, where my family and I reside, have a muy importante senatorial race coming up this November. Democrat Senator Bill Nelson, who politically makes Hillary look like Jerry Falwell, is up for re-election. This 43 year old conservative no likey Nelson’s voting record and would love to see him de-throned.

Taking Nelson’s seat should be a snap for the Republicans in the Sunshine State. The only problem is the leading Republican candidate queued up to tackle Bill doesn’t have the moxie to remove him come November.

Representative Katherine Harris is currently leading the pack of four Republicans seeking their party’s nomination, and Democrats are hoping Kate creams her conservative competition.

Yeah, throughout the state the Dems – and according to Fox News, Nelson himself -- hope this dame dogs her Republican rivals. My buddy Squiggy who runs a gator farm in Tallahassee said he saw a notable Democrat the other day on his front lawn with his shirt off and a cold beer in his hand yelling at passing cars, “Vote for Harris.”

So, why can’t Harris hammer Nelson in November? Here are a few notable strikes against Katy.

• Harris, our former Secretary of State, who hewed to the law in the seemingly endless 2000 presidential re-count slog that gave Bush the presidency, was endlessly skewered in the court of public opinion and she has never recovered. Bush’s narrow victory gave him Florida’s electoral votes and the Presidency … and gave Katherine Harris 100% notoriety across the US and 110% enmity of Florida Democrats. Matter of fact, when I want one of my Democrat buddies to spit up their drink, I simply drop Harris’ name. It works every time.

• Another major hurdle for Harris is that Florida has a good many more registered Democrats than Republicans. This means Ms. Harris has little chance of recovering from her current poll standing versus Sen. Nelson: she’s sinking by 59 to 26 percent [Quinnipiac Poll, June 26, 2006].

• For those of us who pay taxes and have to balance our family budget, during her four years in Congress, it seems Rep. Harris has hardly ever met a spending bill for which she couldn’t and wouldn’t vote. This has resolutely turned fiscally conservative Republicans off. In fact, Ms. Harris’ electoral prospects are so low Florida Governor Jeb Bush has twice publicly suggested she stand down.

• Here’s where it gets ugly. If you remember last year’s tragic corruption case of California Rep. Duke Cunningham, a genuine air force hero during the Vietnam War, you may recall the name of Washington lobbyist Mitchell Wade, who was Cunningham’s principal corrupter. Well, Cunningham is currently doing eight years in the pen and – here’s the sad part – Wade [who is himself on trial] has at least tried to work his wiles on Rep. Harris. Despite dining out with him at least twice and receiving $32 thousand into her campaign coffers, Katherine Harris staunchly defends her innocence in the matter.

• Is she innocent? I don’t know and I really don’t care because I’m not out to fry her. However, I (along with a gazillion other voters) am fed up with Congressional inaction and dereliction and the ones with whom I chill are especially vote shy with someone that’s suspect.

What sucks is that I sorta know Rep. Harris and I believe she is not only Christian but also reasonably conservative … at her core, a good lady. But, like a lot of other good hearted folks who wade into Washington, I think the Beltway has blinded her. When you become a proven big spender and you hang with creepy fellows of the baser sort, you might want to pull out of DC, regroup, find your soul, drink a margarita, shake it off and let someone else get into the fray.

The good news is that there is a strong contender in all this muck who could possibly spank Nelson. Yeah, believe it or not, there is a solid conservative challenger in the race for the Republican nomination: his name is Will McBride.

Will McBride is new to the political game (A plus for me. He doesn’t have the Beltway slime encrusted on his hull). He’s a solid character, as is his wife, the former Kristy Epperson. Kristy’s maiden name may ring a bell: her father, Stuart Epperson was cited by Time in 2004 as one of America’s 25 leading evangelicals.

Tampa born and raised, a combination of Hispanic and Caucasian blood, resolute in his Christian faith, bilingual McBride is four-square against the mess in Washington, especially what has been going on in Congress. On top of that, he is pro-life, in favor of a marriage amendment to the Constitution and -- this is particularly tasty to me -- a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association [NRA].

Y’know, as much as I respect many of the things Ms. Harris has done during her political career I believe she ought to take one for the team and bow out of her Senate bid. As a Christian, a conservative and a Florida resident I am delighted – and relieved -- Will McBride is gunning for the Senate.

And lastly … a note for Senator Nelson: You might want to look out, Bill -- chances are you won’t be competing against Ms. Katherine as you would like. From here it looks very, very, very possible you’re going to collide with Will McBride.

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