U.S. Congress, Fourth District (Republican)
No Republican will beat incumbent David Price in November. But two candidates, both with compelling personal stories, are giving it a go anyway.
They are Sue Googe, a Cary real estate entrepreneur who immigrated to the United States from China in her twenties, and Teiji Kimball, a Durham minister who is of mixed African-American and Japanese heritage.
Googe and Kimball have similar platforms in some respects, and, wisely, they both refrain from emphasizing contentious social issues that would alienate liberal and moderate voters in the Fourth District. They are most closely aligned on the issues of religious freedom and education, both stating that they believe in educational choice and reject Common Core.
Googe is a Ron Paul-style libertarian who focuses on criminal justice reform and marijuana legalization, states' rights to make decisions on abortion and gay marriage, and a simplified tax system. Kimball is an army veteran who believes in strengthening the military's capabilities and backs legal immigration and a path to citizenship.
Per her libertarian leanings, Googe says she believes in small government and, in the questionnaire she returned to the INDY, writes that the United States does not need to be "a self-funded world policeman." She thinks securing American borders is the best way to defend from terrorist attacks, and she supports normalizing relations with Cuba and Iran. She wants to replace the Affordable Care Act with a single-payer system (which isn't exactly orthodox libertarianism) and plans to support Donald Trump (who leans more toward authoritarianism than Ayn Rand), though she says she "would not be a rubberstamp for him in Congress."
Googe undermines her own anti-violence message by posing in a campaign photo with an assault rifle in one hand and a handgun in the other. But, overlooking this error in judgment, we have to endorse her over Kimball simply because she seems to have a better handle on the issues facing the country. We know more about what Googe believes in than what Kimball does—his campaign website addresses only national security, education, and immigration—and we empathize with her antiwar leanings and desire to cooperate with foreign powers over Kimball's decidedly hawkish approach. Calling for criminal justice reform doesn't hurt either.
So we're fine letting Googe be the Republicans' sacrificial lamb this year.