Jim Carley, founder of Save Our American Republic (SOAR) is challenging House freshman Kim Pearson (R-Pleasant Hill), the stand-alone hard liner who calls herself a tea partier first and a Republican second, in Altoona-based House District 30.
It's clearly not a moderate challenge, as both candidates serve slightly different flavors of tea. The SOAR site seems more worried about Socialism, rather than Pearson's first session focus on fetuses.
“Our rights and our liberties are vanishing at an alarming rate,” Carley said. “What has always been wrong is now somehow right, and what has always been right is now somehow wrong. We must right our compass and advance in the appropriate direction.”I'm having trouble grasping the rationale for a hard-right challenge to the hard-rightest House member (well, Tom Shaw gives Pearson a run for her money).
My gut check is that Carley, despite his self-description as an "activist" and "organizer," is a self-starter. A Some Dude. (Of course, Pearson was also a Some Dude - the term isn't gender specific - and she won.) The Carley announcement doesn't take on or even mention the incumbent. It seems more like "I want to run, this is where I live."
The upshot might be an opportunity for a moderate to jump in and split the difference. Or Pearson, who's won few friends among her leadership to put it mildly, might just decide she's had enough and quit after one term, as fellow Crazy Caucus member Glen Massie has hinted he might.
Joe Riding, moderate-ish Altoona city council member, is already in on the Democratic side. The district as revised is actually a little more Republican than the old turf, where Pearson upset conservaDem Geri Huser last year with under 50 percent of the vote in a three way race.