Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Austin Businessman Jack McDonald Not Running For Congress (This Time)

Over the last year I have written on this blog (here and here) and on Twitter about my friend, Jack McDonald, who was running for the United States House of Representatives. I was even on the “host committee” of a fundraiser. I was excited to see an experienced CEO, decision maker, entrepreneur and self-made success story making a bid to represent the people in Washington DC. Although I am not a Democrat (I am not a Republican any more either), I was thrilled to support Jack McDonald for Congress.

Shortly before the holidays Jack announced that he would not be filing the paperwork to make the run for public office at this time. Bummer.

This is a bummer not just for those who live in the district he would have represented, but also for all Americans. We need to do something different in Washington DC, as the same-old-same-old career politicians are not delivering the goods.

Texas’ Congressional District 10 is a ridiculously gerrymandered squiggle on the map that stretches from Austin to Houston. It is a Republican leaning district with (I have heard) an electorate of 55% R and 45% D voters. For Jack to have won this race would have meant that the moderates from both sides of the aisle would have needed to overwhelmingly voted for his democratic candidacy.

The race would have cost millions of dollars (of both fund-raised and personal money), and he would have most likely lost the race regardless of the cash he spent. A smart business man does not waste millions of dollars. The incumbent congressman, Mike McCaul, has a well funded campaign, good name recognition, and is a Republican (in a “red” district). With the current tide across the country being one of dis-enchantment with the far-left agenda of the White House and Congress, even a moderate democrat could never have seen the love from the moderates.

Jack’s press release announcing his decision to not make the run stated:

“This was a difficult decision for me and one I did not make lightly. I approached the decision in the same way I have approached my business decisions over the years-in an informed, realistic and fiscally-responsible way.”

I think it is a shame that both political parties have allowed the fringes to take control of their agendas. It seems that neither the Republicans nor the Democrats have a home for those of us who are firmly planted in the middle of the hard issues that face our country. The really bad news is that MOST people I talk to are in the middle (to varying degrees). They are Americans first, Republicans and Democrats second. It is NOT this way it is in the seat of our government. Partisan and divisive stances rule the roost. Last year Americans went to the polls to vote for change, but we only got a change in which party is running the show... otherwise it is “business as usual” in Washington DC.

Candidates like Jack McDonald who have led their lives and built successful careers in the private sector are whom we need to be electing to national level offices. Experience outside of public service is a good thing, in my opinion! But the system is set up, and the districts are designed, to favor more of the same. Jack is a guy who has made a difference in the real world and was trying to bring that experience to government. He made the smart decision to keep his powder dry and live to fight another day.

Have A Great Day.


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