...In the August 8th Republican Primary
I live in Jackson County, Michigan. According to Michigan folklore, Jackson is the birthplace of the Republican party,which, at the time was a reaction against "slave power", which I suppose gives the place some good abolitionist history, but the county continues to be strongly Republican in it's conservative incarnation. No Democrat will be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from this county. So the Republican Primary is pretty much my chance to cast a vote for the person who will represent me.
This year, there is a choice. The incumbent, Joe Schwarz was elected to the U.S. House in 2004; he is being challenged by Tim Walberg. There are some big differences between the two, and while this district won't help change which party controls the House, I think it will help determine the tone.
Walberg accuses Schwarz of being a Liberal. While I happen to think that isn't an insult, I'm not delusional. Schwarz isn't liberal, he's a Republican because that is the party that best fits his political beliefs. He's pro-Iraq war, against the estate tax (at least he refers to it that way more often than "death tax"), for the Patriot Act. Eh. Read his page yourself.
But he is no wingnut. He is pro-choice, for embryonic stem cell research, against drilling in Alaska (and in the Great Lakes). He is against the ban on same sex marriage in Michigan.
I generally think Schwarz is a stand up guy and he genuinely wants what is best for Michigan and for this country. Unless the Democrats stand a candidate that doesn't try to out-conservative the Republican, I'll vote for him again in the general election in November. Do I agree with everything he does? No. But I believe he makes the U.S. House a better place. And, in these times, that's a start.