It looks like Republicans and Conservatives will be able to choose from two flavors of Tea when picking a challenger for Louise Slaughter.
Judging from his website, I’m going to assume that Tim Dean is going to provide the more robust, highly caffeinated brew in the 25th primary. He wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and the second most important issue on his list is gun control. Spoiler alert: he’s against it. And there’s this:
Tim is an avid student of the United States Constitution and vows not only to govern constitutionally, but never to circumvent the law in the performance of his duties as a United States Congressman. According to Tim: “The constitution has been working just fine since its inception and there is absolutely no reason to think it’s an outdated or old document, for without the Constitution, our great country would not have been able to exist as the most free country on earth”.
Then we have Mark Assini, who announced this evening. In kinder, gentler times for the Republican Party, Mark would be considered a fairly strong potion. In 2004, he ran against Randy Kuhl in the 29th Congressional District, which at that time reached into the suburbs of Rochester. Mark lost the Republican primary, but remained on the Conservative line and receive a few percent of the vote. Looking in the wayback machine, we see that Mark’s issues at that time were lowering taxes, reforming Medicaid, and dealing with foreign trade by expanding a trade zone in Western New York, and by enforcing WTO treaties. That was a mere 10 years ago, long before the Tea Party had even begun to make the long, circuitous trip from Glenn Beck’s id to the ears of a tiny minority of Rochester area residents.
Unfortunately for Mr. Assini, who is now the Gates Town Supervisor, talking about taxes is weak Tea. If he’s going to win the hearts and minds, not to mention the guts, of the average Republican primary voter, he’s going to have to fall in line on the repeal of Obamacare, pound the table on Roe v Wade, demand that birth control be stripped from insurance plans, and take on all the other political baggage that weighs down every Republican hoping to hold office in a district that voted for Barack Obama. If Assini isn’t out picketing at Planned Parenthood by the week end, I fear for his chances in the primary.
Mark Assini is clearly the better candidate, especially if his years actually governing in Gates have moderated his views. The best thing that can happen to the Republicans at this point is for Tim Dean to fail to get the requisite number of signatures to place his name on the ballot. Absent that, and assuming that Dean mounts a real campaign, I’m afraid that Mr. Assini is going to emerge from his primary challenge as a completely unelectable right-wing Republican of the Paladino variety.
Perhaps Assini will surprise us all, but at this point, the only thing standing between Louise Slaughter and her inevitable re-election is a possible deterioration of her health.