How should we choose?

In the waning days of the 2010 Primary, it appears that many voters remain undecided.  With the Republican Party choosing its candidate for governor, much attention has been focused on this race.  The negative campaigning in Districts 6 and 8 have drawn attention away from the congressional race in the 5th district, a key district if Republicans are to take back the House in November.

What should voters make of a Primary with 11 listed candidates?  I confess I would be confused as well if, as a voter, I had just raised my head from the important daily routine of taking care of my family.  But here we are anyway.  What should voters be looking for?

First, voters should be looking for a candidate who is serious, mature and informed.  The candidate should have a grasp of the issues that voters care about and be able to demonstrate his/her ability to engage workable solutions or come up with alternative solutions that will make a difference.  The candidate should have demonstrated knowledge of the real world in which constituents live, sympathy for their needs and concerns, and a determination to make things happen regardless of the political consequences.

Second, voters should be looking for a candidate with a demonstrated ability to speak clearly concerning these issues.  He/she should be understandable in articulating reasonable solutions.  Because a Representative must engage in debate on and off the House floor, District 5 deserves a capable fighter in its corner.  A candidate must carry weight in the public square.

Third, a candidate must exhibit restraint in times of crisis, to be a steady voice in the face of opposition and criticism.  He/she must be able to engage many sectors of the opinion pool and posit reasonable answers that can deal with problems and do the least harm to as many as possible.  However, difficult times require difficult solutions and a candidate must present a willingness to make the tough calls.

Fourth, voters should be looking for a candidate they feel understands the fiduciary trust involved in the office.  A trust to care for the assets of the Republic, the voters, and the heritage of the nation.  National office is not a stepping stone to personal wealth, but a path to service.  If a candidate appears to be longing for the glitz, he/she is probably a bad choice.  Voters should listen to and watch, in person if possible, a candidate in radio and TV and on video channels to see if they can believe the candidate.

Fifth, almost all “purchasing” decisions are emotional.  I recently heard a voter say that he wanted a candidate to look him in the eye and tell him why he thought he was the right candidate.  I have been doing this for seven months nonstop.  If I have not had the pleasure of meeting you, I will be visiting as many of the voting sites in the district possible on Thursday.  Look for the grey Ford F-250 with the Hartline For Congress decals on the back and both doors.

As of today, you have one more day to do your research.  I encourage you to find out about our campaign by clicking onto our website, our blog, our Facebook page, and our YouTube account to listen, read, view the information we have been able to pull together to inform the voters.  Check your mail for recent biography, policy position, and Governor Mike Huckabee endorsement information.  We are trying to reach you with good information.  You will find my position on jobs, immigration, energy independence, tax policy, federal spending and balancing the budget.  What you will not see in our information is any criticism of my opponents, just reasons for you to elect me to this seat.

I nedd your vote, so I am asking for your vote.

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