As I conclude the first month of travel around the state in my bid for the Republican nomination for Lt. Governor here are some of my observations.
First, our state and our party hunger for leadership. People crave substance over style and solutions over speeches. The base of the Republican party is looking for candidates who will adhere to our party's platform and do so with enthusiasm. But, they also want action. They want a clear plan of action from candidates that will lead to victory. Our party is nervous about 2024. They know our party should win, can win, and needs to win. It is up to us as candidates to lead with a clear plan to win elections.
Secondly, I have already travelled to nearly a fifth of the state in this campaign. I love traveling the state and love the interaction with voters. Mostly, I enjoy answering questions at the end of every speech. I love thinking on my feet to answer unfiltered questions from the people in the audience. Each of my speeches becomes a focus group. It's real and raw and sometimes emotional. I wish more of our elected leaders would get out and do the same. It would help them. It would strengthen them. It would better serve the people of the state and it would solve problems before they become problems. And I believe it would unite our party at a time when we so desperately need to unite in opposition to the challenges in front of our state and nation.
Finally, I often hear that people are concerned a contested primary will be brutal and hurt us in the General Election. To be clear, I believe that "as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another". In fact, I know of no other way for our eventual party nominees to be prepared for the onslaught of attacks from the Left in the General Election than to prepare for them first with members of their own party during a primary.
I do want peace within our party ranks, but that peace should be rooted in strength... and strength comes from being field tested and battle tested and that's what primaries provide.
Onward and upward. See you down the road somewhere.