Today, the candidates for the 5th District Republican nomination had their third in a series of debates sponsored by the area TEA parties. I was able to attend the first half of the debate and here are some random thoughts that came out of the first half. I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to attend the second half, but I had to host a TV show at 5PM and had to get to Reidsville. That being said, let’s go to the thoughts…
- We’re LIVE! at DCC for today’s 5th District. Republican Debate. LIVE! Comments follow and we’ll clean this article up later tonight.
- Opening from Nigel Coleman. Good speech, but I disagree that “shouting down your Congressman” is part of the American way.
- Chuck Vipperman explains the rules. Now comes each candidates’ opening statements.
- Ken Boyd says he can bring the Charlottesville votes in and if that had happened last time, Goode would still be in office.
- Ron Ferrin does well. Robert Hurt’s up next and does well too. McKelvey does a prop joke to start, and pushes the FairTax and 4 year self-imposed term limit.
- Mike McPadden pushes military and his outsider status. Funny thing, his wife (beside me) leads off applause and the audience follows, so it seemed that McPadden really won the crowd. Well played.
- Feda Morton’s up and she’s nowhere as bad as others have said. Laurence Verga goes last and pulls a smooth move and comes out in front of the table to do his stuff.
- All seven candidates passed the opening test.
- First question is from Catherine Amos about compromising and little experience.The field all had decent answers to that question except Jim McKelvey. McKelvey said that if elected, he’d immediately get with the other incoming freshmen Representatives and start forming an agenda based on their mandate. Sorry, Jim. That sounds great, but that’s not the way Washington works.
- Second question is from Chuck Vipperman about term limits. Hurt & McPadden actually hit the bullseye by saying term limits just don’t work. Ferrin agrees and pulls another joke. And now some follow-up on this… Self-imposed term limits by our representative will do nothing but doom the 5th District to mediocrity unless the entire Congress imposes universal term limits. In Washington, seniority has its benefits and if our Representative self-limits themselves out of office, we have to start back with a freshman member. Mike McPadden is on the money with his thoughts on another front. He’s very leery of amending the Constitution for any purpose and I can’t argue with him on that. Term limits are a great concept… for everybody else and not for your guy.
- Third question is from Gracie Gunnell and it’s about foreign aid vs. domestic programs.All of the candidates answer that question in the standard conservative matter. McPadden comes out with the most interesting answer of cutting out foreign aid completely.
- ***This debate is running way over scheduled time and I’m going to have to leave at halftime for a TV show. *** And of course I need to clarify that… I had to host a LIVE! TV show at 5 PM over in Reidsville NC. Work has to take precedence over SouthsideCentral, until SC pays the bills.
Overall, the format was good. I’m pleasantly surprised that Danville’s TEA party (in partnership with the local Republican committees) were able to put an event like this on. Chuck Vipperman did a great job moderating the debate, and Gracie Gunnell & Catherine Amos each had a good question for the field.
And that’s the recap from the first half of the debate. We’ll have an article on how the candidates performed soon.