I met Bob Wheatley for coffee this morning at the Lakeside café in Town Center. I had been anxious to meet Bob since he decided to challenge Liz Bobo for the House of Delegates seat in 12B.
There is a connection between Bob and Liz’s primary challenger too. When John Bailey first announced his candidacy a year ago he ran as a Republican and had Bob’s backing. When John decided to switch sides back in March, Bob and a few of his other Republican supporters were none too pleased.
Now Bob has decided to take matters into his own hands. He openly acknowledges that he faces pretty daunting odds in the heavily Dem district but is hoping to tap into some of the anti Liz fervor that had gravitated to John because he was the only port in a storm.
The port in a storm metaphor is appropriate in this case. Bob is an avid sailor who has spent a lot of time out on the bay and witnessed first hand the continued degradation of this critical estuary. He believes that the state government isn’t doing enough to protect these waters and professes this to be one of his legislative priorities. I found him to be much more enlightened about the waste problems of the states poultry industry than some other HoCo Repubs. It struck me that this is exactly the sort of issue that our state delegates should be focusing on as opposed to meddling in the affairs of a homeowners association.
Ironically, John Bailey could end up giving Bob’s campaign a big boost by bloodying Liz in the Dem primary. On the other hand it doesn’t help when a reporter completely ignores the Republican candidates when writing a story about the race in 12B.
What about Bob?
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