The Republican running for Iowa’s first district congressional seat is ridiculing former Iowa Congressman Jim Leach’s endorsement of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.
Leach, a Davenport native, is a Republican who represented Davenport for many years in congress, but lost his bid for reelection in 2006 in Iowa’s second congressional district. David Hartsuch, a Bettendorf doctor, is the Republican candidate in the first district this year. "Maybe it was time for (Leach) to leave office," Hartsuch says. "I think (Leach) has been a good legislator for many years, but unfortunately I think he’s got it all wrong and I think he did show his stripes by endorsing Obama over McCain."
Hartsuch defeated Maggie Tinsman, another "moderate" Republican to win his state senate seat in 2006 and Hartsuch considers Tinsman and Leach two of a kind. "They were not Republicans to begin with. They’re not Republicans now and I do believe that Jim Leach has shown his stripes," Hartsuch said during an appearance at The Des Moines Register’s Soap Box on the state fairgrounds.
Moments later, Hartsuch told reporters Leach’s announcement will yield little for Obama. "If anything, I think it’s going to wake a lot of Republicans up and they’re going to realize what kind of leadership we’ve had in our own party and maybe it’s time to get back to our original, core values of limited government and lower taxes," Hartsuch said.
Hartsuch is a long-shot candidate who has raised about $16,000 for his bid to unseat Congressman Bruce Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo. Hartsuch admits his campaign fund is lean. "Right now, I can’t buy literature," Hartsuch told reporters. Buying ad time on TV and radio is out of the question, but Hartsuch points to 2006 election results which showed the Republican candidate for secretary of state spent no money on her campaign, yet got 42 percent of the vote in the first congressional district.