Jim Gilmore’s entry grows GOP 2016 field to 17

(Snippets from Gilmore’s website will be found here.)

By Adam B. Lerner

Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore officially became the GOP field’s 17th candidate Wednesday.

Gilmore filed his paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission, launching his longest of all long-shot presidential bids under the name “Gilmore for America LLC.”

But the question remains whether he will be allowed to join the Fox News candidate forum at 5 p.m. on Aug. 6 in Cleveland.

The network said Tuesday that it was lowering the bar for the forum to include “all declared candidates whose names are consistently being offered to respondents in major national polls, as recognized by Fox News” — removing the previous threshold of 1 percent in the five latest national polls.

The rule change gives a boost to candidates like former tech executive Carly Fiorina, former New York Gov. George Pataki and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham — all of whom, like Gilmore, do not register as the first choice of more than 1 percent of Republican primary voters in credible national polls.

Gilmore’s name, however, has been listed in only one of the past five national polls released as of Wednesday evening. It is not yet clear whether his appearance in the single poll, conducted by Monmouth University from July 9 to 12, and any polls released between Wednesday and next week, will qualify Gilmore for the 5 p.m. forum.Gilmore left elected office in 2002 after serving four years as governor of Virginia, one year as chairman of the Republican National Committee and three years as Virginia’s attorney general. He ran for the 2008 Republican nomination but ended his campaign before the first early state contests.

John Kasich launches presidential run: ‘We’ll prove them wrong’

(Kasich’s campaign website and timeline of life’s events are here. Candidates for 9th Congressional District of IN are here with websites.)

The Ohio governor says he has a long history of winning elections he wasn’t supposed to.

By Alex Isenstadt

COLUMBUS, OHIO — John Kasich formally launched his long-shot presidential campaign here Tuesday, presenting himself as a unifying figure whose long political resume distinguished him from the many others seeking the Republican Party’s nomination.

“I have the skills, the experience and the testing which shapes you and prepares you for the most important job in the world,” Kasich said during an appearance at Ohio State University, his alma mater, where he was cheered on by a crowd of around 2,000.

Kasich, a two-term Ohio governor who waged a short-lived presidential bid in 2000, became the last entrant in the Republican Party’s largest field in decades. He will face steep challenges. With his late announcement, Kasich will be competing against a group of better known and better funded rivals who have spent months on the campaign trail. National polls show the governor near the bottom of the pack.

During a sometimes rambling 43-minute speech, the famously unvarnished Kasich — without the help of a teleprompter — outlined the campaign he intends to run. He presented himself as an above-the-fray figure who was more interested in governing than playing politics, as an experienced policy-maker, and as a blue-collar politician who had grown accustomed to beating the odds and proving doubters wrong.

“Some are going to ask, ‘Why are you doing this,’” Kasich said, pointing out that many in the media had already proclaimed him to be an underdog. “All my life, people have told me, ‘You can’t do this.’”

As he has done throughout his political career, Kasich took on the role of outsider. He outlined his blue-collar upbringing as the son of a mailman and as a student at Ohio State University, a background he pointed out, that was starkly different from many other politicians. When he first ran for Congress in 1982, he noted, he faced an opponent who’d graduated from Harvard University.

But Kasich, who described his improbable rise from the state legislature to the governorship, pointed out that he had a long history of winning elections he wasn’t supposed to. “Together,” he said, “we’ll prove them wrong.”

The governor laid out a hopeful vision for the country, spurning many of the conservative themes that his opponents embraced in their announcement speeches. He said the country needed to do a better job caring for the poor, minorities, and the mentally ill. “The sun is going to rise to the zenith in America again,” he said. “I promise you it’s going to happen.”

He promised to do away with the divisiveness that had overtaken the country’s politics, even saying at one point that, “This isn’t a political campaign.”

To some extent, the themes are similar to the ones former Ambassador Jon Huntsman embraced during his unsuccessful bid for the party’s nomination in 2012. In that race, Huntsman was guided by some of the same strategists who are now working for the Ohio governor.

At various points, Kasich — a temperamental figure who can come across as gruff and tough — seemed to go out of his way to acknowledge his imperfections. “I’m just a flawed man trying to be God’s messenger. I don’t understand it, he’s been very good to me.”

Following his speech, Kasich prepared to depart for New Hampshire, the famously independent-minded state where he hopes his blunt and pugnacious style will play well and where he’s expected to spend much of his time. Kasich will hold a town hall event in Nashua on Tuesday evening and remain in the state through Thursday.



Associated Press
By Kathleen Ronayne

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A trio of newspapers in the early presidential nominating states is pushing back against the plan by Fox News to allow only 10 Republican candidates on stage in its Aug. 6 debate, the first of the 2016 campaign.

The New Hampshire Union Leader plans to host a candidate forum Aug. 3 at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, in partnership with The Post and Courier of Charleston, South Carolina, and The Gazette of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The event will be live on C-SPAN as well as TV stations in Iowa and South Carolina and a New Hampshire radio station.

All 15 candidates now in the Republican pack have been invited to participate and about half have committed so far.

The Union Leader initially threatened to host a forum on the same day as the Fox debate after more than 50 prominent New Hampshire Republicans wrote to Fox protesting the network’s debate format.

Fox plans to limit its debate to 10 candidates based on their national polling averages. Most contenders at risk of not making the debate stage have committed to the newspaper event, including South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former New York Gov. George Pataki and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who has yet to declare his candidacy. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former technology executive Carly Fiorina, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie also are coming, according to the Union Leader. No details were released about the format.

The publishers of the three newspapers said it’s important for early-state voters to have a look at each candidate on a level playing field.

“There are a lot more than 10 viable candidates,” they said in a statement. “The early primary process gives all candidates a chance to be heard. If networks and national polls are to decide this now, the early state process is in jeopardy, and only big money and big names will compete.”

The Republican National Committee has authorized nine debates, from August through March. It is up to the organizations holding the debates to decide the entry criteria and format. Party rules say any candidate who participates in an unapproved debate will not be eligible for the approved ones. Allison Moore, speaking for the committee, said participation in the New Hampshire newspaper forum will not exclude candidates from the authorized debates.

The campaigns of other candidates – among them former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul – did not immediately say whether those candidates would join the New Hampshire forum.

The first presidential caucuses are in Iowa. The first primaries are in New Hampshire and South Carolina respectively.

Jack Jordan launches campaign for District 17 of Indiana House

(District 17 includes all of Fulton County with the exception of Liberty and Union Townships and all of Marshall County. Candidate listing is here.– Admin.)

Jack Jordan launches campaign

The Rochester Sentinel
The Sentinel report

Republican Jack Jordan has launched his campaign for the District 17 Indiana House of Representative seat now held by Tim Harman, R-Bremen, who will not run for re-election.

Jordan describes his political philosophy as constitutional conservative, “built on a firm foundation of a solid Christian Worldview.”

When asked why he is running for the Indiana House seat representing Marshall and north Fulton counties, Jordan said, “Unfortunately, over time, even with its good intentions, an expanding government limits an individual’s freedom to pursue their dreams. I want to work with other conservatives to limit the government’s detrimental impact on our daily lives.”

Jordan is the seventh generation of his family to call Marshall County home. His wife, Hope, is a health care professional serving veterans’ needs. Jordan has two children. His daughter recently graduated from college and is beginning her teaching career. His son is studying engineering at Purdue University.

Jordan’s primary job is construction and rehabbing houses. In his non-construction work hours, he helps local businesses and serves several nonprofit organizations. He also served on the Bremen School Board for eight years and was president for most of that time.

As an adult, Jordan has been involved with missions. Most recently his travels have taken him to Romania and India where he has spent time working with orphans, pastors and church planting activities.

Changing Debate Rules to Include Independents

(*See related resources after letter. – Admin.)

The New York Times
By Christopher Shays | Letter

To the Editor:

Americans are frustrated with their polarized political system and believe that their government just isn’t working, and they are right. A majority of voters are seeking solutions outside the two major parties, and there are now more independents than either registered Democrats or Republicans. But currently, independent candidates have no chance to influence the positions of the two party nominees, let alone be elected president, when they are not allowed to fully participate in the political process.

Why? A group of which I’m a part — comprising four dozen academics, business executives, and current and former military and political leaders — believes that the answer lies in the rules governing the 2016 presidential debates. These rules, which exclude independent and third-party candidates, are set by the Commission on Presidential Debates. The commission portrays itself as nonpartisan, but it is dominated by stalwart Democrats and Republicans who are determined to limit competition. Our group advocates a small change in the debate rules that would give a third candidate (just one) a real chance to be on the stage.

In an Upshot essay criticizing our effort (“No, a Debate Stage Isn’t a Magical Springboard for Minor Parties,” nytimes.com, June 4), Brendan Nyhan says changing debate rules “is unlikely to make a third-party or independent candidacy viable.”

Mr. Nyhan uses Ross Perot to illustrate his first point. Mr. Perot, a business executive, was admitted to the 1992 debates but did not win a single Electoral College vote. Actually, Mr. Perot’s experience supports our position. Shortly before the debates, he was favored by just 8 percent of likely voters. But in the election itself, after the debate had legitimized him as a candidate, Mr. Perot received 19 percent of the vote. Mr. Perot didn’t win, but his ideas about fiscal restraint clearly influenced the policies of President Bill Clinton and the Republican-controlled Congress, resulting in four years of federal balanced budgets.

Today’s environment calls out for an independent candidate far more than 1992 did. Mr. Perot achieved his one-fifth vote at a time when 37 percent of the electorate called themselves independents. Today, the figure is 43 percent and climbing.

Under the current debate rules, an independent can’t get enough exposure to have a reasonable chance of getting elected. But under rules that would actually allow a third candidate to compete, it stands to reason that many Americans would cast their ballots for the kind of candidate whom they prefer, a candidate the partisan Commission on Presidential Debates is trying mightily to keep off the stage.


St. Michaels, Md.

(The writer, a Republican member of Congress from 1987 to 2009, is part of the Change the Rule campaign.)

Related resources:

Presidential Debate News
Change the Rule
Group Seeks to Break ‘Two-Party Stranglehold’ on Presidential Debates
Commission on Presidential Debates
New Group Calls for Changes In Presidential Debate Rules