I have heard it said that this generation of young adults is on a quest for authenticity. If that is true, conservatives in Oregon have some of the best candidates ever presented.
I was lucky enough to accidentally sit between congressional candidates at the 9/12 convention. Happily, neither of the candidates tried to “glad hand” me (whew). I took away interesting impressions of both of these candidates. I had a chance to meet several others, but the only two I can claim to have spoken with about issues were Scott Bruun and John Kuzmanich from District 1 in Portland. So, I will expound on both of them separately.
Look, the only benefit you get from reading a blog about someone who has met a candidate in person is getting the blogger’s impressions, so please excuse my liberal use of first person. In my jaded youth, I worked on the Dukakis/Ferraro campaign. I can remember thinking politicians reminded me of sales people: long on smiley, short on “real”. I’m pleased to note that that is NOT the case any longer. I’d like to believe that I can place responsibility with the tea party movement.
I had a chance to seriously discuss a couple of issues with John Kuzmanich. Whatever your impression of his positions on the issues, he is sincere in his beliefs and very able to intelligently converse about them. If I hadn’t looked at his nametag, I wouldn’t have known he was a candidate at all. He introduced his fiancée, who was equally pleasant to speak with.
I was also in one of the breakout sessions with Mr. Kuzmanich. He asked some great questions that made it apparent that he’s not just a serious candidate, but a thoughtful one.
In short, I have to admit that I was jealous of Portland at having this awesome candidate. John Kuzmanich is what all of us hope for when we look for conservative candidates: smart, honest and saavy.