The recent 1st Congressional District candidates’ forum in Redding, sponsored by the League of Women Voters, was well attended and useful in getting to know democratic challenger, Heidi Hall, and republican incumbent, Doug LaMalfa.
No question, at least from my perspective, Heidi Hall came away as the strongest candidate in the room.
Knowledgeable, quick on her feet, eloquent, passionate, and aggressive when appropriate. Great attributes for someone seeking public office.
LaMalfa, on the other hand, her polar opposite. Lethargic, scarce on details, and seemingly overly confident he’s a shoe-in for another two-year term in the US House of Representatives.
And, LaMalfa has good reason to feel his reelection’s in the bag.
The California Secretary of State reports, as of September 5, 2014, 382,494 folks are registered in Congressional District 1 to vote. That’s a total of eleven north state counties. Of that, 41.14% are registered as republicans and 29.56% democrat. With numbers like that, the election’s over even before it begins.
Best hope for Heidi is to try and peel off some disgruntled moderate conservatives and independents. It’s a long shot, but relying solely on the democratic vote simply won’t get you there.
Unfortunately, notwithstanding all her attributes and strong debate skills, Heidi seems disinterested in truly appealing to those outside her party. After listening to her on two separate occasions, she appears to offer little, if anything, to moderate republicans looking for an alternative to what the republican establishment‘s offering.
While she speaks of bridging the gap between republicans and democrats, her position on key issues tilts hard left, leaving no apparent room for compromise or accommodation.
For example, Heidi proclaims it’s proven science global warming is caused by humans, seemingly dismissive of any other possible causes. She supports the Dream Act and path to citizenship for illegal aliens. No wiggle room there. And, protecting the life of the unborn doesn’t appear to be on her radar screen. How she plans to find the middle ground on these important issues is anyone’s guess.
Unless Heidi can sell a more moderate message and give disenfranchised republican voters a reason to jump ship, LaMalfa gets another two years. Just saying you’re a moderate democrat doesn’t make it so.
But, she better hurry. Time’s running out.
Dare I say, Heidi wins the battle, but, ultimately, loses the war. Too bad.