Friday, October 23, 2009

Tim Bridgewater Officially Enters The Republican Race To Replace Incumbent Utah Senator Bob Bennett

After flirting with the idea for months, Tim Bridgewater finally dove into the deep end on October 22nd, 2009 and formally declared his candidacy for the United States Senate. He joins three other declared Republicans, Mark Shurtleff, Cherilyn Eagar, and James Williams in seeking to replace incumbent Utah Republican U.S. Senator Bob Bennett (Sam Granato is the sole Democrat in the race). Media stories published by the Salt Lake Tribune, the Deseret News, the Provo Daily Herald, and KSL Channel 5.

Bridgewater, a millionaire entrepreneur with considerable grass-roots political experience, made the announcement from a mobile home subdivision in West Jordan to symbolize his own roots. His primary reason for challenging Bennett is because he thinks 18 years in the Senate is long enough, and Bennett's worldview may have become distorted with the passage of time. Bridgewater also explained that "Washington, D.C., is a train wreck. They seem to have lost all sense of reason, growing government programs with reckless abandon, spending this country into oblivion and strapping future generations with crippling debt.". You can read Bridgewater's press release HERE, and a transcript of his speech HERE. His official campaign website (he also has a Facebook page HERE):

Tim Bridgewater bills himself as a conservative who is a strong proponent of entrepreneurial capitalism. A considerable amount of his speech was devoted to health care. Since he considers our health care to still be the best in the world, and claims it works well for 80 percent of Americans, he prescribes reform rather than revolution a la Obamacare®. He proposes four specific reforms:

-- Number 1. Allow competition across state lines for insurance providers, so that the most competitive programs can win in the marketplace.
-- Number 2. Curtail frivolous lawsuits by capping non-economic damages and requiring accusers in frivolous lawsuits to pay all legal costs.
-- Number 3. Utilize technology to streamline the delivery and coordination of medical services in order to cut costs.
-- Number 4. Use tax incentives to bolster health savings accounts and thus reward healthy lifestyles and responsible decision making for all citizens.

Of course, it's worth noting that millionaires rarely have to worry about getting adequate health care, so his assumption that our current system works well for 80 percent of Americans may be optimistic. But his ideas about technology, health savings accounts, and, in particular, TORT REFORM, are steps in the right direction.

Despite being such a late entrant into the race, Bridgewater believes he can compete. From traveling the state, he believes he's the type of candidate people can get behind and support. He appears to be midway on the Republican spectrum between Bob Bennett and Cherilyn Eagar. He is prepared to spend $100,000 or more, and intends to self-finance at least half of that.

Bridgewater previously ran for the U.S. House in 2002. He won 57 percent of delegate votes at the state GOP convention, but lost a close GOP primary to John Swallow, who in turn lost the general election to Rep. Jim Matheson. He lost another primary race to Swallow in 2004. You can read Bridgewater's responses to a 2004 political questionnaire HERE. Earlier in 2009, he launched a campaign to become state Republican Party chairman, but it quickly foundered, primarily because he started thinking about a Senate campaign. Yet it took him several months to formally commit to a Senate campaign.

Can Utah afford to replace Bob Bennett with someone so indecisive?


Anonymous said...

I really don't want Bennett, or Shurtleff. I have been disappointed that it took Bridgewater 5 months to announce AGAIN he was running.

Bridgewater backed McCain, even when Romney was running. He is very nice to talk to, but I am not sure he is who we are looking for.

He ran for Congress twice, made it out of convention and lost in the primary.

He ran for Utah State GOP Chair, against Dave Hansen, and pulled out just before the election.

He seems to show up between fishing trips.

He is smart, but I am not sure about the commitment.

I don't think he was county gop party chair very long, (a few months) so I don't know what he has done to track what he will do.

Deseret Dawg said...

I agree that Bridgewater has potential, but he simply waited too long to join too strong of a field of candidates.

He also lacks the charisma that would otherwise attract the publicity opportunities which could compensate for his late start.

I still think that there'll be a primary fight, and that it will be between Bob Bennett and either Mark Shurtleff or Cherilyn Eagar. Shurtleff has the charisma and the organization, but some of his methods leave me uneasy. He comes across as too much of a hustler at times.

Anonymous said...

McCain’s regional director during primary against Mitt Romney. No history of activism or taking stands on anything other than what he says, and “McCain says it all. Bridgewater is a two-time loser in Republican primary for the 2nd congressional district. Then he refused to get behind the winner, John Swallow, and consequently Swallow lost by only about 1200 votes. The support of Bridgewater, and his people, could have made the difference and then we would not have had Democrat Jim Matheson all these years. Elected Utah County Chair -- three weeks later resigned, leaving the party without leadership and the co-chair had little experience and was pregnant. Was running for State Chair, dropped out. Many do not like him as a result. Bridgewater seems to have a problem with commitment. It’s not always about him. He does have a tendency to “talk” and not “do.”

nacilbupera said...

Add to the above Bridgewater concerns he violated FEC laws. We think he would be wise to leave now.

Anonymous said...

The house of Hogan scarpe
is known for its casual-chic sneakers for him and also her. Once you always looking the finest shoes in town, you will definitely look for Hogan scarpe donna
along with try it out. You ought to opt for hogan donna
and give it a try. But Hogan scarpe uomo
that I’m into delusion this summer season.