by Gary Odom
National Field Director
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Brings Victories and Near Misses; Highlights
Progress And Reveals Challenges As The
Constitution Party Looks To The Future
Congratulations To Nevada…Again!
In 2006, the Independent American Party, the Constitution Party’s state affiliate in Nevada elected two of its candidates to office. This year it doubled up and elected four:three who were elected for the first time and one who who re-elected.
Falcon Finlinson is the new Public Administrator in Nye County. He received 6,765 votes with 51%.
Arthur Wehrmeister is the new District Attorney of Esmeralda County. He won in a three-way race with 47.96% and 188 votes.
John S. Lampros is a new County Commissioner in White Pine County. In a three-way race he received 47.11% with 1524 votes.
Remarkably, all of these successful candidates are new to the party in 2010.
Jackie Berg was reelected as Eureka County Clerk Treasurer. However, Jackie Berg won by only 3 votes and there is going to be a recount. Pray for Jackie’s vote total to stay steady or rise in the recount.
Many IAP candidates scored in the mid-30% range in losing efforts for local offices.
The Nevada IAP, as usual, was competitive in many of its legislative races and also had candidates who showed well at the statewide level as well.
Joel Hansen candidate for State Attorney General received the highest percentage and highest number of votes for our Independent American statewide candidates with 7.81% with 54,980 votes.
Janine Hansen led in the legislative races. In Assembly District 33, Janine received
30.43 % of the vote, with 4,100 votes, in a hard fought three way race coming in second and defeating the Democrat. Republican Ellison, who had been in local office for 18 years outspent Janine 3 to 1 and had to hang on with all his might to escape defeat.
Constitutionalist, Lyle Nelson, Captures Non-Partisan Seat In Utah
Lyle Nelson ran openly as a Constitution Party candidate, www.utah-constitution-party.org/candidates/LyleNelson.html, for the Morgan County Council Dist. # 2 and was elected by a significant margin. Congratulations to Lyle Nelson and the Constitution Party of Utah!
Sadly, the most high profile of our Constitution Party “non-partisan” candidates, Mary Starrett, was edged out in her bid to be elected Commissioner of Yamhill County, Oregon, by the two-term incumbent Commissioner. Starrett won about 48% of the vote in the runoff which was necessitated when frivolous write-ins prevented either candidate from achieving a majority in the Spring Election. In that election, after a recount, Mary Starrett was leading by 9 votes, but, unfortunately, had less than the requisite 50% plus one required to win.
Mary Starrett mounted an outstanding election campaign in the Fall, but was faced with a particularly vicious opponent who made use of her second chance to martial the forces of the ultra liberal Democratic establishment in Oregon and those of the powers that be who were not excited about the prospects of the kind of transparency wage a brutal campaign of fear against Mary Starrett. Although she ultimately came out on the short end, Mary Starrett shook the eye teeth of the political establishment in Oregon’s Yamhill County.
You can bet that Mary will continue to play a major role in the growth and development of the Constitution Party, not only in Oregon but on the national stage as well.
Bradley, Bergquist Among Top US Senate
Vote Getters For Alternative Parties
Speaking of the Utah CP, mention should be made of the excellent showing of its outstanding US Senate nominee, Scott Bradley, who captured nearly 6% of the vote. Those who heard Scott Bradley have no doubt that he should be Utah’s next Senator. While his vote total was probably assisted by inclusion in a major televised debate with his opponents, like many other Constitution Party candidates, his campaign was hampered by a lack of funding and media attention, compared to the so-called major party candidates. Nevertheless, Scott Bradley’s campaign assured increased credibility and attention for the Constitution Party in the future in Utah.
Bradley’s showing was second among all so-called alternative party US Senate Candidatesin terms of percentage of the vote.
Placing fifth in that category was Randy Lynn Bergquist, Idaho’s Constitution Party US Senate nominee, who garnered 17,382 votes, 3.88% of the total.
The 2.3% of the vote won by Jerry Beck in Missouri assure the Constitution Party of Missouri for a position on the ballot until 2014. The outstanding Constitution Party of Missouri is beginning to look like a permanent fixture in Missouri politics. Congratulations to the Missouri CP state chairman, Donna Ivanovich and all of the folks who worked and campaigned so hard in the show me state.
In Wisconsin, Rob Taylor, an incumbent councilman in the township of Cumberland, ran a very aggressive race for US Senate. He had technically qualified as an independent but his ballot designation was “Constitution” and he was clearly the nominee of the Constitution Party. Because the media largely ignored his candidacy, he lost out on many votes because many voters were simply unaware of his candidacy. Nevertheless, he still managed to gain 1.1% of the vote which assures the Constitution Party of Wisconsin of ballot position in 2012! Congratulations to Rob Taylor and CPW state chairman Andrew Zuelke and all of those Constitutionalists who are working hard to build the Constitution Party in Wisconsin.
While he was unfortunately squeezed out by both the media and the Tea Parties in Florida’s US Senate race, which focused on three media favored candidates (amazing how they can give attention to three candidates when they want to) Bernie De Castro ran a first rate campaign for the Constitution Party and was the first Constitution Party US Senate candidate to qualify for the ballot in Florida. The entire Constitution Party is extremely grateful to Bernie for his extraordinary efforts on our behalf in 2010!
Two Constitution Party Gubernatorial Nominees Lead The
Pack In Popular Vote Among Alternative Party Candidates
Tom Tancredo’s American Constitution candidacy in Colorado won 620,632 votes. This total is far and away the top vote total for any candidate outside the Democrat or Republican Party. It appeared near the end that he might win the race. His total percentage nearly doubled his poll numbers when he entered the race. His race assured the American Constitution Party of Colorado major party status in that state. He received more than three times as many votes as his Republican opponent.
Receiving the second highest vote total of all of the “alternative party” candidates for Governor across the country was Chelene Nightingale in California. Nightingale, the Constitution Party endorsed American Independent nominee attracted, according to the California Secretary of State, 133,716 votes, or 1.7% of the total vote for the six candidates for Governor (the California results for Governor are amazingly still incomplete). To put this result in some perspective, Chelene won more than twice as many votes than the AIP nominee for Governor received four years ago, in 2006. She also, obviously, ran ahead of all of the other “alternative party” in California in this election. In recent years AIP candidates had generally placed well back in the crowd, or dead last, in Gubernatorial contests in California.
Despite her absolutely heroic campaign efforts as well as those of her excellent staff of campaign volunteers, Chelene Nightingale was fated to run for office in a media intensive state where the news media actually went to great lengths to ignore her candidacy. Thirty years ago, in California, when media was far more independent and at least radio and television media were required to give some kind of fair and equal treatment to all candidates, her campaign would have created a sensation in that state.
In the current atmosphere, and with a very closed media–most owned by a very few corporations– it would not be a stretch to say that at least 80% of the voting public was still unaware of her candidacy on election day, despite the aggressive 24/7 nature of her campaign throughout California. Still, Chelene Nightingale indeed was a complete sensation in the relatively small universe of voters who actually became aware of her campaign.
Another factor influencing the final vote total was that, while receiving enthusiastic support from rank and file “tea party activists,” Chelene was victimized by a number of so-called “leaders” of the Tea Party movement who, ambitious for power and seeking that power through capitulation to and cooperation with the Republican Party, urged their members to ONCE AGAIN vote for the lesser of two evils rather than to follow their individual consciences. This no doubt dramatically cut down the number of votes from people who were exposed to her candidacy.
Finally, in many cases, although not universally, organizations which should have publicized, supported and/or endorsed her campaign often did not even tell their members that she was a choice, let alone a recommended one. This included some pro-life, pro-gun, pro-family and “tea-party” groups. Sound familiar? In fairness, there were exceptions. Numbers USA which gave her excellent ratings, some local gun groups, the Christian Voters Guide and the Auberry Tea Party in Central California come to mind
The above factors that combined, ultimately, to limit the vote totals for Chelene Nightingale are really illustrative of problems the Constitution Party continues to face
all over the country.
The positive effect of the Nightingale Campaign can be seen in the significantly greater vote that her Constitution Party endorsed colleagues in California, especially those running for the United States House of Representatives and state legislative offices.
Finally, there was a very interesting result concerning the Governor’s race in Wyoming. In Wyoming the newly energized Constitution Party narrowly missed achieving ballot access, but nevertheless, endorsed write-in candidate, Dr.Taylor Haynes, www.haynesforgovernor.com/Haynes_for_Governor/Home.html for Governor at its first ever state convention earlier this year. Haynes ran an unprecedented and effective campaign, particularly for a write-in candidate, achieving excellent media attention (for a change). His campaign was energized somewhat by a backlash of Republicans to the nomination of a rather unpopular choice, but also by strength of the personality and principles of Taylor Haynes.
Haynes was the only known write-in candidate for Governor in Wyoming and yet over 8% of the vote, 16,059, were cast for write-in candidates. It is doubtful that every one of the write in votes was for Mr. Haynes, but it is highly likely that the great majority of them were. It will be a few weeks before the number of votes for Taylor Haynes is ascertained. Whatever the final count, congratulations are definitely in order to Taylor Haynes, who is quickly becoming a political force in Wyoming and to the emergent Constitution Party in Wyoming!
Also to be noted is the 5% of the vote secured by Paul Venable in his Lt. Governor race in Idaho. Idaho continues to be fertile ground for the message of the Constitution Party.
Excellent Results For Constitution Party In Congressional Races
California’s Bill Lussenheide led Constitution Party (AIP) Congressional Candidates in three way races, garnering 12,513 votes, or over 6.3% of the vote, race in California’s 45th Congressional District. Following closely behind Lussenheide is his Constitution Party endorsed AIP colleague in the 26th District, David Miller, who collected 11, 184 votes, or 6% of the vote in a 4 way race. Miller attracted nearly twice as many votes as did the Libertarian candidate in the race. Another significant California result was the 11th District where the CP endorsed AIP nominee David Christensen received 9,077 votes, or 4.9% in a race where the Democrat squeaked by with a victory margin over the Republican of .3%. John A. Smith, in the 39th District captured 4% of the vote in a three way race and Jerry Leidecker won 2.5% in the 3rd District placing third, ahead of the Libertarian candidate.
One of the truly outstanding results in a House race for a Constitution Party candidate was achieved by Dave Edwards in South Carolina’s 4th District. Dave was not only running against the traditional Democrat and Republican nominees, but also against the nominees of both the Libertarian and Green Parties, the chief competitors of the Constitution Party in the race to break into major party status in America. The following are the results, which speak for themselves:
|C. Faye Walters||Grn||2,552||
Congratulations on an outstanding campaign in 2010, Dave! Understanding the obstacles that our candidates still face in competing with the major party candidates, this is a truly outstanding and encouraging result! We hope to see you on the ballot again soon in South Carolina.
Of particular note was that the Constitution Party was represented in Congressional races for the first time in Alabama (David Walter, 1st District), Iowa (Jon Tack, 2nd District, New York (Anthony Tolda, 2nd District) and West Virginia, (Phil Hudok, 2nd District). All did an excellent job of representing the Constitution Party and David Walter, who ran a very effective campaign, received 17% in a two way race–an excellent beginning for the Constitution Party of Alabama!
Recently organized new state affiliate parties in Ohio and Maryland ran Congressional candidates (and others) for the first time as well. Their efforts contributed to the increased visibility of the Constitution Party in their respective states and their efforts are greatly appreciated.
The Constitution Party Takes Big Steps Forward In Legislative Races
Like the US House races space does not permit an exhaustive accounting of our results in these races other than to say that they are definitely on the upswing as represented by the vote received by Janine Hansen in Nevada mentioned previously and a few candidates mentioned below.
From South Carolina comes another excellent result, this time secured by Ralph Davenport in his race for the State House in District 37:
|Steve Parker (i)||GOP||5,304||56.0%|
In past years, the Constitution Party was happy to see a percentage such as that secured by Ralph Davenport in a two way race. Now we are beginning to see significant totals in 3 way races which indicates that the Constitution Party is beginning to be competitive. This process takes time, but where we are beginning to see definite improvement which provides reasons for hope that an electoral breakthrough is getting closer.
Whereas only a few years ago it was common to see one and two percent totals for CP candidates in these races, we are now seeing results as depicted by Hansen and Davenport and increasing numbers in other races such as Richard Blowers in Missouri who received 7.5% of the vote; Ivan Chou, who set a California AIP record for a State Senate race in California by securing 9, 270 votes, or 5.5% of the vote in a three way race; Ray Writz scored 5% in his State Senate race in Idaho; David A. Hansen received 8.78% in Utah’s 22nd State Senate District; Sherry Phipps won 10.4% of the vote in Utah’s 17th District and Michael Dawson, drew 5.1% of the vote in Legislative District 34B for the Constitution Party in Maryland. These are just a few examples. There are many more across the country in this range.
This summary could not be exhaustive nor inclusive. Constitution Party News and Information can almost guarantee that some notable results have been inadvertently excluded from this report and we welcome news from the various states on any significant omissions. We will post such updates in future editions.
Constitution Party News and Information wishes to express its gratitude and appreciation to each and every Constitution Party candidate and his or her family, regardless of the outcome of the election, who sacrificed so much for our mutual cause over the past year or more. The work and sacrifices of each and every one of you has contributed greatly to the continued growth and progress of the Constitution Party and has helped to take the Constitution Party ever closer to its rendezvous with destiny of being the political party that can and will preserve our Constitutional freedoms and save our Republic.