Monday, July 17, 2006


VOLuntarilyConservative Endorsement: Vance Cheek, Jr. for 1st District Congressional Seat

Vance Cheek, Jr.

Written by Rob Huddleston:

As I have mentioned on this site numerous times, I consider there to be no higher honor than serving the people of Tennessee's 1st District in the United States House of Representatives. It is the place of my birth, much of my education, and where my heart will always be.

Several fine men - a few of them friends - are striving to represent this great region through its honorable seat in Congress. For these reasons, making an endorsement in this race has been especially difficult.

However, it is an unpleasant exercise that must be done so that the wrong sort of person doesn't win the seat of Quillen and Jenkins. I am not talking about a Democrat taking the seat, as that possibility seems unfathomable. No, I write of a more pressing problem - the Republican in Name Only. It is apparent that there are two well-funded candidates in this race - Richard Venable and Richard Roberts - that fit that description. Both have decent shots at capturing the seat (Venable more than Roberts at this point), and as conservatives, we cannot allow for that to happen.

For that reason, VOLuntarilyConservative is endorsing Vance Cheek, Jr. as the Republican nominee for the 1st District's seat in the United States Congress. Vance has served the people of East Tennessee in several respects, including being the former mayor of Johnson City, Chairman of the Tennessee Claims Commission, local attorney, and adjunct professor at East Tennessee State University.

Vance has shown what kind of congressman he would be by taking time out of his busy campaign schedule to answer the VOLuntarilyConservative questionnaire that was sent to all candidates. Another conservative candidate, Representative David Davis, also returned the questionnaire, but all other candidates failed to respond in a timely fashion, which makes their claims of being able to provide constituent services at the same levels as Jimmy Quillen or Bill Jenkins ring hollow. (You can read Vance's answers here and David's here.)

One thing I want to be clear - David Davis is a fine man, a proven conservative, and has been endorsed by many wonderful people. In trying to make this decision, it has been down to two candidates for several weeks - Vance Cheek and David Davis. I have gone back and forth on the decision, and the others who assist me in making the endorsements on this site weighed in early and then left the decision up to me. What really sealed the deal for me - what showed me that Vance was the man who deserved this endorsement - were Vance's efforts to make himself available for questions and concerns that I had, as compared to reports from others that David Davis was not showing up for debates.

In looking at Vance Cheek's record (having balanced budgets and never voted for an increase in property taxes) and positions on the issues (being vehemently pro-life, supporting reforms that would boost our defenses against illegal immigration, and against eminent domain abuse by the different levels of government), it is in the best interests of the people of the 1st District to vote for Vance Cheek.

The two "RINO Richard's" in the race - Richard Venable and Richard Roberts - are attempting to buy the seat once held by Jimmy Quillen, B. Carroll Reece, and Bill Jenkins. It didn't take much time for Roberts to bust the "Millionaire's Amendment," meaning that he has given so much of his money to his campaign that other candidates are not as restricted in their fundraising. (To make a small donation to Vance's campaign so that he can combat these attempts to buy the 1st District, click here.)

Conservatives need to show these wealthy gentlemen that their votes are not for sale to non-conservative politicians. To do this, conservatives need to unite behind a proven fellow conservative to stand up for East Tennesseans in Washington, D.C.

We urge the citizens of the 1st District to vote for Vance Cheek, Jr. through early voting and on August 3rd.

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