Carnahan Faces 2 Challengers; 3 Candidates In GOP Primary
July 09, 2010Encouraged by an anti-incumbency mood nationally, more than a half-dozen candidates have lined up to challenge sitting U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-3rd District.
Voters will eliminate some of the challengers on Aug. 3, with the party primary elections set for Republicans and Democrats. Libertarian Steven Hendrick and Constitution Party candidate Nick Ivanovich face no rivals in their third-party primaries and so are guaranteed to appear on the Nov. 2 ballot.
Carnahan was first elected to Congress in 2004 to the seat that was held for years by House Democrat Richard Gephardt. Before his election to the U.S. House, Carnahan served in the Missouri statehouse. He previously worked in the health care field and private law practice.
Three candidates are running officially in the GOP primary: John Wayne Tucker of Arnold; Ed Martin of South St. Louis; and Rusty Wallace of House Springs. Several more names have been mentioned as write-in candidates.
Ed Martin easily has the most active campaign and has collected the most political contributions to take on Carnahan. According to Martin, the issues Americans are most concerned about now are jobs, economic recovery and the financial viability of the local, state and national governments.
"When I decided to run for Congress, one of the things I promised was that I would show the respect to the voters they deserve, and to tell them the truth, no matter how much it hurt," Martin noted.
"The truth is that the government cannot fix the economy," added Martin. "In no uncertain terms, the fiscal policies of the government and of the people have caused the nation as a whole to accumulate too much debt. In an economy that's 70 percent consumer-spending driven, and with a government that is already hopelessly in debt, this behavior was destined to come to collapse."
According to Martin, Social Security is now "unsustainable as a government-run retirement pyramid scheme." On his website, Martin outlines a five-step program to save Social Security that includes "adjusting the age of eligibility to reflect improvements in longevity."
John Wayne Tucker insists he will beat Martin in the Republican primary and cited a Missouri Sovereignty Poll in which he said he "soundly beats" Martin. He said if he is not selected in August, area voters will get "a lawyer from New Jersey" instead of the home-grown candidate.
Tucker, who ran in the primary in 2008, Tucker wants a restoration of Christian values in U.S. social and political life. He said he wants more adherence to the Bill of Rights, which means strong support for the Second Amendment right to bear arms. In addition, he wants an end to deficit spending, an end to policies that allow porous borders for illegals, and an end to judges assuming the authority to tax and legislate.
Rusty Wallace has been accused of entering the GOP primary race at the behest of Democrats hoping to cause trouble for Republican front runner Ed Martin. That's because Wallace sports the popular, well-known name of the champion NASCAR race driver from Fenton.
Candidate Wallace is no relation to the race care driver. This is his first time running for office. He said his lack of experience in the politics is an asset because he owes no political favors to anyone.
Wallace stressed that he is pro-life, pro-gun rights and pro-family values, including the sanctity of marriage as between a man and a woman. He said he would like to bring back a simpler time "when saying Merry Christmas didn't raise a firestorm."
Three candidates are running in the Democratic primary: David Arnold of South County; Edward Crim of South St. Louis County; and incumbent Carnahan of South St. Louis.
David Arnold said he is tired of the Federal Reserve dictating domestic economic policy and the International Monetary Fund dictating foreign policy. He said it's time to return power to the elected representatives of the people. He said only Congress should declare wars, and it's time to rein in useless defense spending.
"Our defense budget is larger than the combined defense budgets of the rest of the world," declared Arnold. "This much imbalance encourages foolish meddling in foreign lands. We will self destruct if we don't bring this budget under control.
"Russ Carnahan continues to vote for this country's killing sinkhole 'defense budget' that is going to kill us from the inside like the parasite it has become," Arnold added. "We need real defense. We do not need to starve the rest of the nation to over spend on this."
Democrat Edward Crim also wants to rein in defense spending and withdraw most troops from Afghanistan and Iraq. He said runaway national debt requires that the new federal health care bill's implementation be suspended for 10 years and all federal department budgets should be trimmed by 20 percent.
To further address the deficit, Crim wants to raise the retirement the retirement age for Social Security and end the cap on contributions. He said America's wealth is finite, and true leaders will start explaining this.
"The poor don't want to work, the working people want to live like kings, and the wealthy want no-risk gambling for themselves. Did I cover everyone?" Crim asked. "This is a crisis of expectations more than anything else. We talk about how rich America is without realizing that all wealth is finite and perishable."
Russ Carnahan. In asking voters for another two years in Congress, Carnahan points to his work on consumer protection, health care reform and the unveiling of an economic revitalization plan for the region in April.
He said eight years without accountability for Wall Street and the big banks under President George W. Bush has cost the country 8 million jobs. Carnahan said he has pushed for consumer protection, so big banks can no longer gamble with our economic future.
As chair of the Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights, and Oversight, Carnahan stressed he has urged the U.S. to fully engage with our allies around the world, and utilize our membership in international organizations, such as the United Nations, to advance U.S. interests around the world.
In contrast to the years under Bush, Carnahan believes it is time for a new direction that includes the use of both military and diplomatic strategy. Relationships abroad must be strengthened through promoting human rights, while decreasing U.S. dependence on foreign oil.