A few nights ago I attended (with my brother Aaron and his wife) a heal-the-wounds event that was meant to reunite Utah conservatives after a hard-fought primary for the Senate seat. Both Tim Bridgewater and Mike Lee, along with many other Utah notables, agreed to attend the event before it was known who would win the primary election. Our small group arrived extremely late, too late to see Lee or Bridgewater, but we we’re in time to talk with the one person that I most wanted to meet: Morgan Philpot.
There are many congressional races in the 2010 elections where the average conservative can make a large impact - the Utah 2nd district is right at the top of that list. Morgan Philpot is the Republican nominee to run against the 5-term Obama-endorsed Democrat incumbent Jim Matheson. In this short post I hope to convince you that Morgan Philpot is not just worth voting for, he is worth investing your precious time and your hard-earned money.
Meet Morgan Philpot:
Morgan Philpot and his wife Natalie currently reside in American Fork, Utah with their 5 children. Philpot has served 2 terms as a Utah State Representative. He did not run for a third term, instead he chose to attend the Ave Maria School of Law in Michigan. After returning from school Philpot again became heavily involved in Utah politics where he served most recently as the Vice-Chair of the Utah Republican party, until he voluntarily gave up that post in order to run for congress in January of this year. Philpot had also worked for Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff after his graduation.
Philpot vs. Matheson
Jim Matheson is a moderate Democrat at best, but Utah can do much better. As members of the reddest state in the union, Utahns don’t have to settle for a mediocre, luke-warm moderate when we have the wherewithal to elect a full-blown conservative. Jim Matheson voted for the stimulus package to nowhere, cash-for-clunkers, and enough other high-spending bills to make the average fiscal conservative go bonkers. He has done nothing to put the brakes on the out-of-control-freight-train spending in Washington. And though Matheson didn’t vote for ObamaCare (likely due to intense pressure from the Tea Party crowd at home), he has made it clear that he will not seek to repeal that bill in anyway.
On the other hand we have Morgan Philpot, a constitutional loving, card-carrying conservative. Morgan Philpot will fight to protect the constitution, halt and reverse the rapid growth of the federal government, protect states’ rights, restore fiscal sanity (fiscal restraint as he calls it). He recognizes that government is most often the cause and not the solution of our problems. Josiah Schmidt of RightOSphere.com recently touted Philpot as one of “5 Super Awesome Underdogs To Get Behind Now“:
Philpot’s campaign is being fueled by Tea Party energy and lots of state/national support. Philpot is a proud “liberty candidate” who will oppose deficit spending, tax increases, and government regulations, and will fight to stop any increase in the national debt ceiling. He is a strong supporter of limited government and 10th amendment states’ rights.
Plus Morgan Philpot is a Romney endorsed candidate to boot.
Can Morgan Philpot Win?
YES!! But only with your help. Patrick Ruffini captures well why Morgan Philpot could and should win in the Utah 2nd district:
Over the coming days, I’ll outline exactly where I think the “sleeper” seats are, and this past weekend, one more popped on my radar: Utah’s 2nd Congressional district.
You might be asking why Utah, one of the most Republican states in the Union, sends a Democrat to Congress, and it’s a good question. In a year when Republicans got massacred, McCain still managed 58% of the vote in the Salt Lake City-based UT-2, making it #5 on my PVI-ordered list of Republican targets for 2010.
The vulnerability for now rests on the Democratic side of the ledger. In a sidenote to Bob Bennett’s ouster at the state Republican Convention last weekend, Blue Dog Democrat incumbent Jim Matheson was forced into a primary with pro-HCR liberal Claudia Wright. In a shocker, Matheson only managed 55% among party insiders against an opponent with $9K cash on hand.
The Republican nomination fight is clearer: Morgan Philpot managed to clear a primary and is the nominee. We need to get behind him with our dollars now.
In a wave year, I’m watching for dozens of mini rogue “waves” to take out incumbents previously thought safe — think of how Rosty was famously ousted in 1994, or Joseph Cao’s shock victory against Dollar Bill Jefferson, or races like Tim Walz vs. Gil Gutknecht or Nancy Boyda vs. Jim Ryun in 2006 that were basically thought safe.
Philpot is an appealing grassroots candidate who could capitalize on a national wave and take the seat.
In a year when Republicans got swept across the board McCain won 58% of the vote in Utah’s most liberal (or rather least conservative) district! The UT 2nd district has a Republican +15 PVI (Partisan Voting Index) meaning the GOP should have a 15% edge over the Dems, making it the 5th highest GOP leaning PVI in a district that has a Democrat incumbent. Utah has taken steps recently to vote-in more conservative candidates (ie. Chris Cannon and Bob Bennett - I should note that Mitt’s endorsement of Bennett is one of the very few things I disagree with him on.) We can do more of the same with the Matheson/Philpot race. With the proper organization, funding and national attention there is no reason Matheson should be allowed to retain his seat, especially against a strong conservative like Philpot.
No matter where you live, this is a battle worth fighting. Or, as a businessman, I’d like to say this race will give me the highest ROI for my money and efforts. Morgan Philpot is a candidate that all Utah Republicans can agree on, whether they be moderate, conservative or libertarian.
What you can do to:
Give Philpot your vote: If you by chance live in UT-2 be sure to register to vote, and get 10 of your friends to commit to register and show up at the November elections to vote for Philpot.
Give Philpot some of your hard-earned money: DONATE HERE. Plenty of funding is ABSOLUTELY VITAL for any campaign. Matheson is an incumbent and well-funded. He will not go down quietly. He will have plenty of money to spend on advertising to assuage conservative family-centered Utah voters into thinking he is just like them. Let’s level the playing field and give Philpot the boost he needs to compete.
Give Philpot some of your precious time: If you live in or near the 2nd district please consider volunteering for his campaign. Volunteers can post signs, do neighborhood walks, and even join Philpot in marching in some summer parades.
Spread the word: If you are not on Facebook yet it is time to sign-up and get with the action. It is extremely easy to network with friends (who are all on FB already) and share with them Morgan Philpot’s Facebook page. In fact MittRomneyCentral.com will be doing a one-day “Like-Bomb” on our Facebook page to encourage people to “like” or become a fan of Philpot’s page. Our goal is to push Philpot’s fan total (currently at 760), past that of Jim Matheson (1242) by the end of tomorrow.
1 - I’m convinced Morgan Philpot is right for the Utah and right for the nation. I plan to use whatever influence, time, and energy I have to help promote him. I have a 80% probability of going to march with him during the American Fork Steel Days parade this Saturday and will bring as many family and friends as I can. I would thrilled to meet any of our readers there. Any supporter that attends will get a free PHILPOT PHAN t-shirt from his campaign, and (if you want) a free MITT ’12 sticker from me. If I’m not able to make it I’m certain that either Luke or Aaron, or both, will be there.
2 - A vote for Matheson is a vote for Pelosi. The UT-2 district is only one of many seats currently held by Dems that we can and will take back this November to oust Pelost as Speaker of the House.
3 - I’m a Philpot Phan!