If Republican Steve Moss wins this special election, there is a decent chance that he will be replacing Democrat John Spratt in South Carolina’s fifth district.
The same day that Arlen Specter switched parties, Moss won. South Carolina GOP Chair Katon Dawson summarized the monumental nature of the victory at the local level in a letter to the members of the Republican National Committee:
Steve Moss, a Republican, won a State House seat against a Democrat local government official whose father-in-law had held the seat for more than 30 years. In fact, no Republican has held this seat in over 100 years. Steve won this election in rural South Carolina with an unabashed conservative and positive message, a commitment to constituent service and placing a high priority on government ethics.
Jen points to more victories:
Well, Moss won that race this week. But that isn’t all. Republicans have won a batch of other special elections for state legislative seats since November, including Tom Kovach, in the special election for the 6th District of the Delaware House (which includes part of Vice President Joe Biden’s hometown); Barry Knight, who won the special election in the 81st House District in Virginia (which is DNC Chairman and Governor Tim Kaine’s home state); and Joan Huffman, in a Texas state senate race.
We have heard that Republicans in New Hampshire and throughout New England are at death’s door. Not in New Hampshire state races. Marilinda Garcia regained her seat (which she lost in a controversial recount) this week in the New Hampshire House to represent the 4th District. The previous week, Jeb Bradley, former two-term U.S. congressman, won in the 3rd Senate District in a hotly contested election. Both Garcia and Bradley won with a message of limited government and reduced taxes.
Now, not all of these have been as dramatic as the South Carolina seat, but Republicans are putting points on the board with interesting candidates.
They have been doing it by, like Moss, running on ethics (wouldn't that be neat?), actually addressing the needs of people ("constituent services"), and small government. Jen also points out that they don't always look like the white haired, white guys of GOP fame.
But it doesn't stop there. Democratic governors are upside down in conservative bastions like New Jersey, Michigan, and Massachussets. After 8 years, every Democratic candidate for governor in Virginia is losing to Bob McDonnell.
We aren't winning in DC. Losing Arlen Specter was bad for the party. And, we are losing special elections for Congress. But that is because of what is in Washington, not our party. Back in the real world, Republicans can beat Democrats. And we are. And we will.