Gone Mild Endorsements for August 2008

Two weeks from today, the primary season of 2008 will be completed. The Star will start issuing its endorsements this week, so I thought I would beat them to the punch with my own. I’d hate for anyone to think that the Star’s analysis influences me . . .

I’m tempted to put in a cautionary note on the difference between endorsements and predictions. Sometimes, the better candidate doesn’t really stand much of a chance, but, in this cycle, I’m feeling pretty confident that each of my favorite candidates will win his or her respective race, so these are both predictions and endorsements.

In order of the ballot:

Jeremiah W. (Jay) Nixon – By no means is Jay Nixon my favorite Democrat, but he’s the best candidate in the governor’s race by a long shot. He has the ability to win the general, and the experience to be successful in the Governor’s Mansion.

Sam Page - Sam Page may be one of the nicest people I’ve met in politics, and his sincere desire to serve the public as our Lieutenant Governor is exceeded only by his qualifications. He should win the primary easily, and then the real race begins. Look for Sam Page to oust Peter “Crooked Cash” Kinder from the office of Lieutenant Governor.

Robin Carnahan - She’s served us well, and will win the general in November, too.

Clint Zweifel – This is going to be an interesting race. I like Andria Simckes a lot, but Clint has the edge in qualifications and savvyness. Either would be great in the office, but Clint has had a sharper campaign team.

Jeff Harris – No surprise here for regular readers. Jeff has experience, integrity, and a willingness to outwork his opponents. As a result, he has better poll numbers without selling his soul through unethical campaign finance shenanigans. Jeff is just plain solid – a great guy with a good sense of humor and an outstanding sense of himself. If you want to see Missouri’s Attorney General’s office function as one of the best and most ethical AG offices in the entire nation, then vote for Jeff Harris.

5th District: Emanuel Cleaver, II – He’s had a couple surprisingly bad votes (favoring the credit card companies over his constituents was particularly egregious), but Emanuel Cleaver is one of our best, most dedicated public servants. I hope he serves a long time.

40th District: John Patrick Burnett – This is not my district, but I cannot understand why Rizzo would try to unseat John Burnett. John is smart, hardworking and effective. He deserves to retain his seat.

44th District: Jason Kander – This comes as no surprise – I’ve admired Jason as a person of integrity and serious purpose since I met him before he went to Afghanistan. When I started this campaign, I thought he was a great candidate running against two good candidates. I haven’t changed my feeling one iota – Jason’s integrity and class have proven to be exactly as I thought they would be. Less importantly, but still persuasive, is the fact that he is precisely the kind of straight-shooting, dependable, competent, hard-working, thoughtful leader who will stand out in the legislature. He doesn’t waffle, he doesn’t flinch, he doesn’t whine. He will get things done in Jefferson City, and he will be a spark for the entire Democratic team in our Capital.

Jim Kanatzar – Jim is a fine prosecutor, and will continue to serve us effectively.

John Bullard, Jr. – John Bullard is simply the kind of guy you want in the Sheriff’s office. Law enforcement is what he thinks about when he wakes up, and he stays on point all day long. He has great plans to increase cooperation among the local departments, and he has the credibility to pull it off. He will also make the Sheriff’s office more accessible and visible.

8th Ward, Stephen Bough – Stephen Bough is fair-minded, has solid values, and is the hardest working politico in Kansas City. We disagree often enough that I know my endorsement isn’t solely due to lockstep agreement – he’s just a great volunteer, and belongs on the County committee.

8th Ward, Mary Frances Weir – Mary is a solid Democrat with a solid grounding in social justice. In 2006, she received the prestigious Tiera Farrow Community Award from the UMKC Association of Women Law Students for her work on behalf of victims of domestic violence.

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