Losing By a Landslide
Tuesday, June 4, 2019
“I don’t pretend to be honest. I only pretend to be as honest as anybody in politics.” – former Louisiana Gov. Henry Clay Warmouth, 1868-1872
It was September 2008 and I was campaigning door-to-door, trying to persuade people to support my long-shot bid for the U.S. House of Representatives. A political novice, I had somehow won the Republican primary in June and was ready to face my Democrat opponent, Camille Andrews, in the general election.
The wife of Rep. Rob Andrews, Camille announced her candidacy for her husband’s seat after he decided to run for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Frank Lautenberg. When questioned by the media, Rob insisted that he would retire from public service if he lost his primary challenge to Sen. Lautenberg. Likewise, Camille told reporters that she was in the House race for keeps.
Fast forward to Labor Day weekend. Having been trounced by the 84-year-old Lautenberg, 59%-35%, Andrews broke his promise not to run for re-election to his House seat. Instead, Camille – who hadn’t actively campaigned – stepped aside and Rob was placed on the fall ballot by the Democrat power brokers.
As you can imagine, a media frenzy ensued, with the Philadelphia Inquirer calling Rob a “bald-faced liar” in a banner headline. And, in a first for the staunchly liberal newspaper, the Inquirer’s editorial board decided to endorse me, a conservative prison minister.
Buoyed by their endorsement and that of two other newspapers, I continued knocking on the doors of what eventually became 10,000 houses. At one of the homes, a “swing voter” and I had the following conversation…
Voter: “I’m a Democrat and I’m voting for Rob Andrews.”
Me: “But doesn’t it matter to you that he lied and bumped his own wife off the ballot?”
Voter: “All politicians lie.”
Me: “But you deserve better and should expect more.”
Less than two months later, despite garnering more votes than any Republican candidate in the district in 30 years, I lost to Rob in a landslide. Evidently, there were many more people who thought honesty and integrity didn’t matter when it came to politics.
Folks, please demand more from your elected officials as well as your pastors. Both of them have been placed in positions of authority by God and should be held to a higher standard.
“My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.” James 3:1 (NKJV)
- Rev. Dale M. Glading, President