My intention to write a straight forward candidate profile piece turned into a more interesting story of how David Taylor, Independent Party Candidate for Oregon House District 30, ended up affiliating with the Independent Party.
The issues that David is focusing his campaign on are:
- Assuring K-12 education funding meets the needs of students and teachers
- Assure that veterans received their earned benefits and help them with employment and health care
- Protect consumers, increase transparency in government and reduce special interest influence over the political process
- Grow small businesses and expand larger businesses in ways that benefit the public and reduces unemployment.
Dejected, but not discouraged by the Democratic Party leaders shunning, David decided to approach the Washington County Republican Party. He figured, since HD-30 is seen as a safe Democratic seat, perhaps the Republicans would be interested in a socially moderate former Marine combat vet with a Masters Degree in Administration challenging The Democratic Candidate in a general election.
He was wrong.
“When I met with the republican chair (of Washington County) I was told that my veteran, unemployment and education issues weren’t the republican parties issues and instead Gay Marriage was the only “frontal assault” that they intended to use. I was told that unless I would ‘carry that flag’ I would be asking their party to set aside their beliefs and they wouldn’t. He then tape recorded my defiance to his position as I reiterated that a government that taxes equally better give civil rights equally.”
David then decided to re-register as non affiliated and reconsider his candidacy. It was then that he discovered the Independent Party of Oregon. He did a little more research and found out that the Party platform matched his views. And, fortuitously, the Independent Party of Oregon shortly thereafter achieved major party status and would allow him to campaign for the IPO nomination and appear on the May Primary ballot. So on September 10th, 2015, the first day to file for office, he was the first Independent Party candidate to file. He will be opposing Joe Gallegos – or his heir apparent who will likely not file until 5 minutes before the filing deadline which is standard operating procedure for Washington County Democrats as a way for Democratic insiders to select the Democratic nominee themselves. There may or may not be a Republican on the ticket. I guess it depends if they can find someone to “fly the anti same sex marraige” flag in Washington County.
But at least David is giving voters a real choice. A choice that both the Democratic and Republican parties in Washington Country tried to silence.
Davids experience mirrors that of voters as well. The Democrats need to limit their nominees to known insiders who can be trusted to vote with the financial interests of their donor base. And Republicans maintain a strict social litmus test for candidates they will support, losing election after election in socially liberal districts then blaming the voters for returning Democrats to office.
Come to think of it. Davids story could have been told by the many voters who have also found their way to the IPO.