Assigned Reading: Conservative Candidate Drops Senate Bid Against Moderate
(FROM: Fox News)
If this is what it looks like it is, then we’ve got a problem on our hands. Despite being fantastic when it comes to pressuring this administration on financial support for Moammar Qaddafi and Libya, Illinois Republican Congressman Mark Kirk isn’t quite known for his conservative bona fides. Indeed, Kirk scored a mere 48 in the American Conservative Union’s congressional rankings.
The problem here, however, arises not from Kirk but from a guy named Eric Wallace, a conservative GOP candidate who announced on Tuesday that he is dropping his primary bid for President Barack Obama’s former Senate seat. Kirk is also seeking the seat.
Wallace, it seems, withdrew under the pretense that he didn’t want to split conservative votes and give the moderate Kirk a free pass into the Senate. Unless every conservative in the Land of Lincoln shows up in that primary, however, it seems apparent to me that what Wallace is doing is jockeying for a third-party bid and a ticket straight into the general election.
Unfortunately, we learned a lesson about this two nights ago, when Democrat Bill Owens prevailed in New York’s 23rd Congressional District thanks to a split vote between a conservative third-party candidate and a liberal Republican who had already withdrawn and endorsed the Democrat. Should Wallace do what I think he’ll do, the seat currently occupied by Sen. Ronald Burris will go to another Democrat. Had he remained in the primary, however, the process could have worked as intended and Wallace could very well have been in a better position to take on all comers from the left.
I understand the draw of a third party. I really do. I know our founders did not want parties to begin with. I also know that running as an independent provides a better chance of reaching a ballot in November. However, we must think about the downhill consequences of our actions here. Do I want moderate Republicans in Washington, D.C.? Of course not. But conservatives need to be able to stand on their own — otherwise, we’re going to have a big problem on our hands come 2010 and beyond.