On Saturday, our own Proud Progressive noted that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Janesville) might not have an opponent in this year’s election, but it appears Rep. Ryan will have an opponent after all, as indicated by Paulette Garin, a Democratic candidate for Rep. Ryan’s seat in 2008 (and who was considering a run this year:
Garin was informed that 1st CD Executive Board of the Democratic Party, in what she considers an 11th hour move to save face, has apparently chosen to rally around and support Board Member, John Heckenlivey, as their candidate for Congress. Through emails and phone calls, Garin learned that the Board, contrary to the long standing policy of not siding or acting on behalf of one candidate over another met Saturday, July 10, and chose to organize a last minute drive to assist Heckenlively in collecting over 1,000 signatures by the Tuesday filing deadline.
“The irony about all of this is that after over a year of conducting a search for a moneyed candidate they anoint John at the last minute who intends to run the very kind of grassroots campaign I asked them to consider all along.”
“While I am disappointed that the party took so long to embrace the idea of a grassroots campaign, the good news is they finally appear motivated to take measurable action. Still, it is impossible for me to perceive most of the leadership in a serious manner. Therefore, I am sitting this one out so that the focus of the next few months is on defeating Paul Ryan and not the dysfunctionality of the Democratic Party.”
I don’t know anything about John Heckenlively, but what I can’t help but wonder is what exactly he’ll bring to the table as the Democratic Party’s standard bearer in the 1st Congressional District race that Paulette Garin wouldn’t have brought to the table.
It’ll be interesting to see how the 1st CD Executive Board rationalizes their decision to hand-pick their preferred candidate to run against Rep. Ryan, and while their decision is disappointing, it’s certainly not surprising, considering the Democratic Party here in Wisconsin has made a habit of hand-picking their preferred candidates in races all across the state.