Endorsement: Jason Kander for U.S. Senate
I am not a wealthy guy by any means. As the years go by, I am also less emotionally invested in politics. So I rarely donate my time or money to candidates anymore. And as a general rule, I don’t donate to incumbents unless I really, really like them. So 2016 was a particularly challenging cycle to find any enthusiasm to support candidates for office.
There is but one exception: Jason Kander, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Missouri.
He fits the typical profile of a candidate I endorse: a young (at 35, he’s just 3 months older than me), moderate Democrat running in a red state/district that has strong principles on key values, including government ethics (he supports ending Citizens United) and the environment. Similar candidates in the past include Scott Klebb in Nebraska and Tom Perriello in Virginia.
He and I disagree on the 2nd Amendment in general, but so do a lot of my endorsees, including Klebb and Perriello – it is just not a deal-breaking issue for me. At the same time, he supports background checks and closing the terrorist loophole, for which he is being attacked by Senator Blunt’s cronies. He responded with an amazing TV ad highlighting his skill with a rifle and his experience as an intelligence officer in the Army National Guard and as a veteran in Afghanistan.
Kander has plenty of recent experience as a state lawmaker and Missouri’s Secretary of State, in pushing his priorities and ensuring voting rights. His opponent, Senator Blunt, has been essentially a non-presence, a seat-warmer, a do-nothing, since taking the seat in 2010 after having his full of being House Majority Leader while dealing with Eric Cantor’s over-weening ambition as Majority Whip. You’d think a former Majority Leader would make more of his time as a Senator than he has, and Missouri deserves more than a career politician seeking a golden retirement.
So, while there are plenty of capable Democrats, and there may even be some that fit my usual endorsement profile, Kander is the only one who caught my attention as running a credible, tossup race with a useless incumbent in a seat the party may need to flip the Senate majority. Hence, he’s my only endorsement for 2016.