My Character Reference For Rico Oller, Candidate To Succeed John Doolittle in Congress
1-11-2008 7:15 am
In concert with John Doolittle's announcement that he retiring from the U.S. House of Representatives, conservative activist, businessman, and former California state legislator Rico Oller threw his hat into the ring for the GOP nomination for the 4th District. Of course, this is an all-GOP seat now that Doolittle is out of the election picture. Sorry Charlie (Brown), the presumptive Democrat candidate, but you are now running what we call in the business, a "dead district drill" - this seat is no longer competitive.
There will be a host of other candidates leaping into the race, in addition to Eric Egland, Mike Holmes and now Oller. Possibly conservative Assemblyman Ted Gaines will get into it (he's had one foot into the race for months now) and there is talk that State Senator Sam Aanestad or retired legislator Tim Leslie might even run. Then there is former U.S. Representative Doug Ose, who as a former leader of the Republican Main Street Partnership, would be the moderate in the race.
But I want to take a few minutes to talk about Rico Oller. This, of course, is not an endorsement of his candidacy, since as an elected California Republican Party officer, I am precluded from endorsing candidates in contested Republican primaries. Consider this a "character reference" if you will.
I have known Rico Oller for nearly twenty years. We both cut our teeth involved in the California Republican Assembly back in the early and mid-90's. As a matter of fact, as a longtime CRA Senate District Director, I remember having Rico on my campaign team when I ran for CRA President back in the day (a position I won, and in which I served from 1995-1997).
Rico is all aces. He is a man of strong faith, and has a true understanding if His role in our lives. What better a place for anyone to start? He is a man who believes in his family and is a loving father. He is a man of strong philosophical belief and ideological grounding. Rico is a Republican because he is conservative. An important distinction. He not only understands the importance of a limited role for government, and the importance of liberty and freedom for Americans -- he is passionate about it.
It is always convenient to have someone running for a public office who has already held one. Because it takes the guess work out of figuring out whether they will go through that "change" that some experience when they get to where they are going. During his time in the State Assembly and the State Senate, Rico had a reputation for doing the right thing. As we all know, there are plenty of times when legislators are "tested" -- and Rico consistently stood for the very conservative values that are at his core, and on which he campaigned for office. Rico also has the temperament you want in a legislator -- take no prisoners, draw the line the sand, and stand tall.
Right now, we have some amazing problems in Washington, D.C. Not only are the liberal Democrats running the institution into the ground with Speaker Nancy Pelosi leading the charge, but the minority Republicans are going through an important time -- trying to figure out if they are prepared to acknowledge that we lost our way on spending (and in doing so, lost the majority) and whether we can truly return to being a party that stands for limited government.
We need to elect someone in CD 4 who will be an integral part of a growing conservative base within the House Republican Conference -- one that wants to end a culture of support for egregious earmarks, one that is willing to put aside parochial interests in support of restoring our Party back to its rightful place as one of fiscal discipline.
Good luck to Rico, and to all of the GOPers who get into the race. This is an important time in history, and we need someone who will carry the torch for the conservative cause from California's 4th District.
Obviously I will be spending quite a bit of time covering this GOP primary for the FlashReport, so readers can take into account that while I will work hard to be objective, I do have an existing friendship with at least one candidate in this race.
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