Congressman Rush Holt (D-NJ 6) was ranked the most liberal member of the House of Representatives in 2009 by The National Journal.
Holt's left field ranking is only slightly more surprising than Mercer County GOP Chairman Roy Wesley's favorite son endorsement of Scott Sipprelle for the GOP nomination to challenge Holt in November. Wesley announced the endorsement on Wednesday.
I say "only slightly more surprising" because Holt's ranking was covered by a mainstream news source, US News & World Report's blog, according to google news.
Wesley's endorsement of Sipprelle was not covered by the mainstream media, according to google.
That's because it is not newsworthy. There will be no front page or back page stories about Alex Rodriquez starting at third base for the Yankees in Opening Day either. It is an "of course." Like the sun rising.
If you knew about Wesley's endorsement before reading it here, that because you read it on a blog, either Save Jersey, CWA, or Politickernj, that got the info from the Sipprelle campaign, or it is because you signed up for Sipprelle's email list or facebook page and heard it directly from his campaign.
Holt's liberal ranking raises the stakes in the GOP primary race. It is essential that we select the best candidate to beat Holt, because he can be beat. His #1 liberal ranking makes him even more vulnerable.
All of the above is why it is so troubling that Sipprelle won't talk to the blogs, and/or won't talk to us now.
The mainstream media is not going to cover the primary until late May. They will not cover the contests for the party endorsement, conventions and screenings, until after they happen, if at all. That's because they don't understand the process. Rarely does anyone other than the party endorsed candidate win a primary.
In all likelihood, the nominee will be selected at the conventions in Middlesex, Mercer, Somerset and Hunterdon, and the screening committee meeting in Monmouth. The people who vote in those conventions and the screening read the blogs.
Scott Sipprelle might be the best candidate to beat Rush Holt. I don't know and neither do you. The money he brings to the race is important, but it is not the most important.
Remember Anne Estabrook and Andy the Goya guy? Neither of them were U.S Senate material. The GOP establishment knew that but didn't care. They didn't care because it didn't matter, in their minds, and probably rightly so. Frank Lautenberg was going to get re-elected no matter who ran against him. Estabrook and the Goya guy knew it too. But they were willing to spend some of their own fortunes in a vanity campaign and donate to the state and county organizations in return for some unannounced gratitude.
I'm not saying that Sipprelle is an Estabrook or a Goya guy. I'm saying I don't know and neither do you.
He might not believe that Holt can be beat. A lot of people don't. He might be spending $1.2 million, plus his donations to the county and local party organizations for vanity and/or another unannounced gratuity. I don't know and neither do you. I don't know if he can handle the physical and emotional rigors of a campaign. Neither do you. I don't know if he can withstand the opposition research that Holt and the DNC will do if he is the nominee. Neither do you.
I do know that he is running out the clock till the conventions and screening. That is a good strategy for winning the party lines, unless a blogger or three screw it up. It is a great strategy for the chairmen who need his money for local races. It is not necessarily the best strategy to beat Rush Holt.
Voters at the conventions and screenings who don't think Holt can be beat should vote for Sipprelle and take his money. Voters at the conventions and the screening who think Holt can be beat should keep digging and make sure they are selecting the right candidate. Scott Sipprelle might be the right candidate. I don't know. Neither do you. He actions say he doesn't want us look very hard. That concerns me.
I don't know if Mike Halfacre is the right candidate either. Neither do you.
If he can't raise money, he isn't.
I do know that Mike Halfacre believes Rush Holt can be beat. He believes he can beat Holt. He believed it a year ago before Chris Christie was elected governor and before Scott Brown was elected to the U.S. Senate. He has a plan and he's been executing it. It would have been easy to quit when Sipprelle got in the race, like the Toms River Councilman who bowed out of the CD-3 race in favor of Runyan's money and celebrity. I told him he should. He's undaunted.
Halfacre believes he can beat Holt and he believes he will beat Sipprelle. That's why I will interview him next week. Is he out of his mind or is he making something unpredictable happen?
I don't know. Neither do you. Next week we'll know better.