The Senate Nomination Race (no, the other one)
The press and most bloggers have been fixated on the current Republican nomination race for US Senate because, hey, the odds are in their favor of winning handily in the general election. Little attention is being paid to what’s going on on the other side, though. Sam Granato and Christopher Stout are currently vying for position on the ballot and what’s going on there has been rather telling.
In the past, I’ve criticized Granato for not telling us where he stands. Months (and many speeches on YouTube) later, I still don’t know what positions he holds, what solutions he proposes, or exactly what kind of Senator he plans to be. I’m sure he’s a nice guy and I hear a lot of good things about the job he’s done as part of the DABC. That, however, is greatly insufficient to win my support, especially given my prior criteria for selecting a candidate for federal office. While I may not agree with all of the positions of Christopher Stout, he at least has the courage to tell us what he wants to do. Sam, however, seems scared to let us know. All of the items on his Issues page are nothing more than vapid talking points, void of firm positions or proposed solutions.
We should also consider the dynamic of the intra-party politics in play. Some of you may recall that Jeff Bell ran for State Chair of the Utah Democratic Party last year and was beaten pretty badly. Most of that came from the party establishment who closed ranks to defend the incumbent, Wayne Holland. I see a lot of that same dynamic playing out right now. Stout, while calling out Granato on his continued lack of positions, bemoaned that many delegates are aligning with Granato because he’s the front-runner. And he’s the front-runner because delegates are aligning with him. See the circular argument going on here? I’d normally just chalk it up to petty sniping from a candidate that’s failing to get traction, but the Bell Incident made it very clear that there is a party establishment in the Utah Democratic Party and they are just as willing to flex their muscle as the Republicans.
While I’m not entirely sold on Stout as the best choice in a general election, I agree with him on a fair number of points and can respect his willingness to talk about what he believes. (Having the cajones to go toe-to-toe with the Republican candidates in front of a hostile crowd also earns him a lot of street cred.) If the choice is between him and “I like Ike” Granato, there isn’t much of a choice at all.