1. Fighting Dems Vets who have previously blogged or have been invited to come back and discuss the topics of the week (or anything else the netroots wants to engage them on) in an OPEN FORUM feature we will have over the next few weeks. In addition, the Kentucky Fighting Dem candidates have been invited to join in since their primary on May 16th is coming up soon.
3. An extra feature at the end of the diary is a rundown on the Fighting Dems record in the primaries to date. Out of 24 candidates who were unopposed or who ran against other candidates, 14 remain to run against Republican incumbents in the GD in November.
1. The star attractions invited to live blog today are as follows.
You can read the profiles of these candidates at Fighting-Dems.com and checking out the Muster Rolls by state:
Ted ANKRUM (TX-10), Mishonda BALDWIN (MD-03), Dave BRUDERLY (FL-06), Bill FALZETT (CA-02), Jay Fawcett (CO-05), David HARRIS (TX-06), John LAESCH (IL-14), Jeff LATAS (AZ-08), Karen Marie OTTER (CA-52), Rick PENBERTHY (FL-05), Gene SCHARER (AZ-02), Carl SHEELER (RI-Senate), Rick SIFERD (OH-04), Terry STULCE (TN-03) and Bill WINTER (CO-06)
And from Kentucky:
Andrew HORNE (KY-03), Ken Lucas (KY-04), Kenneth STEPP (KY-05), Eric STREIT, Mike Weaver (KY-02)
Availability depends on campaign schedules so some who are invited will have to decline, but others may join for all or part of the session.
2. The next Primary is the Kentucky Primary, May 16th, 2006
4 Fighting Dem vet challengers in Kentucky
1 unopposed (ex-Rep Ken Lucas, two terms in the House, for KY-04; returning after a draft Ken Lucas effort)
Mike WEAVER for Congress (KY-02)
Colonel, U.S. Army.
Mike joined the Navy at 17, serving on a Destroyer Escort. Later he served as an enlisted man in the 1st Cav in Korea. Attending OCS he was commissioned and served as an officer in Vietnam with the 1st Cav and the 73rd Airborne Brigade. During his 30 year military journey, Mike rose in rank from a Private to a Staff Sergeant and from a Second Lieutenant to a Colonel. Along the way, Mike received a military scholarship for undergraduate school and another for graduate school.
Webpage :: Contact :: Donate :: Profile: Mike Weaver was born and raised on a farm in southern Davies County, Kentucky. In 1996, four and a half years after retiring from the Army, Mike was elected to fill a vacant seat as State Representative for the 26th District. For eight years, Mike has sponsored, co-sponsored, and voted for legislation that had to meet a simple test: "is it good for family, faith, and freedom, and will it be good for our community?"
Andrew HORNE for Congress (KY-03)
LtCol, U.S. Air Force.
Iraq War vet. Commissioned as a Marine, Col. Horne was deployed to the Mediterranean, the Far East and Northern Europe, entering the Marine Reserve. He was recalled for Operation Desert Storm, and then was once again recalled to duty to serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Throughout his legal career, Horne has advanced in the military from his enlistment as a private to the rank of lieutenant colonel. Along the way, Horne was eventually promoted to company commander of the unit in which he first enlisted! Though he was eligible to retire after 20 years of service, Horne continued to serve because the corps needed him. He will mark his 27th anniversary as a Marine in March 2006.
Webpage :: Contact :: Donate :: Profile" After honoring his six-year active duty commitment to the Marines, Horne re-joined the USMC Reserve and entered the Brandeis School of Law at U of L. During school, Horne was awarded a Leon Seidman Memorial Award for demonstrating honesty, integrity and a commitment to community service, and clerked for a prestigious local law firm. He also honed his interest in the environment as a member of the Environmental Moot Court team. Following Desert Storm, Horne returned again to Louisville and to law school, where he met his wife, Stephanie. Horne graduated in 1993 and established a successful legal practice. Today, he and Stephanie are proud parents of two young sons Ty and Nick.
Ken LUCAS for Congress (KY-04)
Major, USAF, USAR.
Served 12 years in the Air Force, later in the Air National Guard, retiring as a Major.
Webpage :: Contact :: Donate :: Profile: Ken Lucas is an ex-Representative from Kentucky, elected as a Democrat to the One Hundred Sixth and to the two succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1999- January 3, 2005); he was not a candidate for reelection to the One Hundred Ninth Congress in 2004 due to a promise to keep to a term limitation, but is returning now because of the grave situation facing our nation. Ken was born in Kenton County, Ky., August 22, 1933; graduated from University of Kentucky, Lexington, Ky., 1955; M.B.A., Xavier University, 1970; Florence, Ky., city councilman, 1967-1974; Boone County, Ky., commissioner, 1974-1982; Boone County, Ky., judge-executive, 1992-1998, and, of course, ex-Rep from this district and a retired Major in the USAF.
Kenneth STEPP for Congress (KY-05)
Lieutenant, Junior Grade, USN.
Vietnam era veteran. Trained in Naval OCS, in Naval Operations, Weapons, Engineering, and Navigation; Graduate of the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School at Monterey, California with an M.S. in Management. Kenneth served as Gunnery Assistant and Second Division Officer with supervision over eighteen fighting men who ran the gun mount, the gun fire control system, the anti-aircraft missiles, and the anti-aircraft missile fire control system in addition to the small arms gun locker. Kenneth Stepp was proud to serve alongside such patriots in the United States Navy on the USS Blakely.
Webpage :: Contact :: Donate :: Profile: Born 9/8/1947, Kenneth, his wife Wilma and their two children reside in Barbourville, Kentucky. Ken is a lawyer with Law Offices at Carl A. Short II. He graduated from the University of Georgia, School of Law, juris Doctor, law degree; M.S. in Management, Clemson University, South Carolina, B.A. in Industrial management with a minor in Economics.
Contribute Now! They are all excellent candidates, not the mix of good and so-so candidates one sometimes finds. And the FDVets have stepped into the breach to oppose GOP incumbents.
3. Where do the Fighting Dem vets stand?
Out of a total of over 90 who have run for office, 73 FDVets remain. Most of these have dropped out for one reason or another. For example, Bryan Lentz in PA dropped out to run for state senator, David Ashe of VA dropped out to accept an offer for a position in upcoming Kaine administration, and Tim Dunn of NC dropped out for personal financial reasons. However, some have lost out in primaries that have occurred to date and these are surveyed below.
For the profiles of these vets visit Fighting-Dems.com and check out the Muster Rolls by state.
Texas Primary - March 3, 2006
10 Texas Fighting Dem Challengers before primary
1 Won primary and runoff (Ted Ankrum)
2 Lost in primary (Duane Shaw and David Murff)
1 Lost runoff (Paul Foreman, vet, lost to Ted Ankrum, vet)
Current: Seven (7) Dem Challengers in November: Dan Dodd vs. Sam Johnson (TX-03), Charlie Thompson vs. Jeb Hensarling (TX-05), David T. Harris vs. Joe L. Barton (TX-06), Ted Ankrum vs. Mike McCaul (TX-10), Roger Waun vs. William M. "Mac" Thornberry (TX-13), John Courage vs. Lamar S. Smith (TX-21), Rick Bolaños vs. Henry Bonilla (TX-23)
Illinois Primary - March 21, 2006
4 Fighting Dem Challengers
2 winners in primary
Current: Four (4) Fighting Dem Challengers in Illinois in November: Tammy Duckworth vs. Peter J. Roskam (IL-06) and Jonathan "John" Laesch vs. speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert (IL-14), Richard "Dick" Auman vs. Donald A. Manzullo (IL-16), Steve Waterworth vs. Ray Lahood (IL-18).
Indiana Primary - May 2nd, 2006
2 Fighting Dem Challengers
1 won in the primary
1 lost in the primary (Rick Cornstuble)
Current: One (1) Fighting Dem Challenger in Indiana in November: Thomas E. Hayhurst vs. Mark E. Sounder (IN-03).
North Carolina Primary, May 2nd, 2006
2 Fighting Dem Challengers
1 Withdrew (Tim Dunn)
Current: One (1) Fighting Dem Challenger in North Carolina in November: Craig Weber vs. Jones Jr. (NC-03).
Ohio Primary, May 2nd, 2006
6 Fighting Dem Candidates
2 pairs running against each other
Upset was Joe Sulzer, a good candidate who came in a surprising 3rd.
Current: One (1) Fighting Dem Challengers in Ohio in November: Richard Siferd vs. state senator Jim Jordon for open seat left by retiring GOP incumbent Michael G. Oxley (IL-04). This district is very competitive with an excellent Fighting Dem Vet candidate.
Out of a total number of twenty-four (24) Fighting Dem vets who have been through primaries and runoffs, fourteen (14) remain to oppose Republican incumbents in the General Election in November. This is a loss of ten (10) of which one (1) was due to the withdrawal of the candidate (Tim Dunn, North Carolina). There was an unusual opposition of three pairs of FDVets running in the same districts so loss was inevitable; but non-vet FDs won in two of these and one of the FDVets won in the other (Ted Ankrum won the runoff against fellow vet Paul Foreman, both of whom had bested the two non-vet candidates).
1 candidate dropped out (NC)
3 lost in Texas (1 running against another vet; one had to lose)
0 lost in Illinois (2 won, 2 unopposed)
1 lost in Indiana (1 out of 2 - 50/50)
5 lost in Ohio (two pairs running against each other, one or both had to go and both lost; Joe Sulzer losing was an unexpected upset as he was a good candidate).
10 withdrew or lost out of 24 in primaries to date. Considering we need 15 more reps to win back the House, the casualties are not severe (except in Ohio).