Andrew Mackie’s article about Ray Cerda proves what I have adamantly believed for several years now: the Catawba County Republican Party has massive problems.
They have, in my opinion, held on to their incumbents, specifically David Huffman, for so long that they have suffocated the very life out of their own party. When David Huffman and Patrick McHenry ran against each other on the Republican ticket for U.S. House of Representatives in 2004, their race was the beginning of the end for the Catawba County Republican Party because the party did not know how to handle a primary.
Neither candidate ran a particularly above-reproach campaign, but it was how David Huffman and the Catawba County Republican Party handled the aftermath that began their demise. Granted, Patrick McHenry has not been a gracious winner, but David Huffman is still a sore and bitter loser. A majority, if not all, candidates who lose in a primary typically congratulate the winner and throw their support his or her way for the sake of the party, but David Huffman has never to this day swallowed his pride for the greater cause, yet the Catawba County Republican Party still supports him.
I do not understand why because I have never understood why David Huffman thought he was entitled to a congressional seat and why he was offended when other candidates dared to challenge him. Public service is a privilege, and a strong republic should be able to withstand competition.
Fast forward to 2006 when David Huffman and Mike Ledford ran against each other on the Republican ticket for sheriff of Catawba County.
Again, neither candidate ran a particularly above-reproach campaign, it is politics after all, but what did David Huffman and the Catawba County Republican Party do? David Huffman cried to the party about Mike Ledford bringing certain public budgetary irregularities to light, and the Catawba County Republican Party censured Mike Ledford. Well, I suppose I should not say the party, because it was only five members within the party who thought the voting public was unable to make a decision about for whom to vote without the party’s input.
Unlike David Huffman when he lost in 2004, Mike Ledford, who lost in 2006, displayed a lot of class. Mike Ledford attended Catawba County Republican Unity Day at Catawba Valley Community College despite the Catawba County Republican Party’s action toward him because Mike Ledford has always been a Republican.
I have always been a Republican, too; however, the Catawba County Republican Party does not define me, does not speak for me and definitely does not represent me.
Years ago, the Catawba County Republican Party truly was a big, magnificent elephant; now, it is an infected, rotting and dying shell. May it rest in peace!
K. Lee Jenks
Monday, September 24, 2007
Catawba Republicans can't get it together.
At least not according to Lee Jenks of Conover who wrote the Hickory Record: