Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Christopher Stout To Challenge Sam Granato For The Democratic Nomination For Bob Bennett's Senate Seat, Will Provide "Stout" Opposition

Utah Democrats now have two highly-qualified Democrats to choose from to either replace Bob Bennett or compete against Bennett's Republican replacement, which would most likely be Cherilyn Eagar or Mike Lee at this point. First-time candidate Christopher Stout has officially filed to seek the Democratic nomination for Bennett's seat, joining established Democrat Sam Granato in the race. Although numerous candidates have been campaigning, the official filing period didn't begin until Friday March 12th. The list of officially-filed candidates is available HERE. Stout's campaign website is fully operational:


The Deseret News revealed that Stout actually first announced his intent back on January 23rd, 2010. Stout also posted the following assessment of his chances on JMBell's blog:

I suppose I would have a better chance if I ran as a Republican? The problem is that Democrats themselves don’t believe they can win. Republicans would vote for a good solid Democrat that shares some of their views. I don’t believe that all Republicans in Utah are of the Carl Wimmer, Chris Buttars, and Mike Noel variety. The core or base of either party here in Utah makes up probably 20% on the Democrat side and 30% on the Republican side. These are the hard core liberals and conservatives. Everything else is up for grabs.

It also depends on who the ultimate candidates are. If Mike Lee wins the nomination at the Republican Convention – which I think is a strong possibility, the moderate Republicans and Independents will be looking for a strong fiscal responsible candidate to vote for. In that case, the odds favor the more rational candidate. If Bob Bennett wins the nomination, then the job is harder, but not out of reach. Bennett has become a flip-flopper and with money and support and believe I can steal votes from him.

Four videos of Stout's speech at the Weber/Davis Democrats Breakfast on March 13th are accessible HERE.

While Stout does not identify himself as a "blue-dog" Democrat, an examination of his website reveals that he identifies with many blue-dog positions, just like Rep. Jim Matheson. Two of his key issues include reducing the national debt and freeing America from its energy dependence on foreign oil. Specific core issues identified include Effective Government, Energy Independence, National Security and Veteran Care, Recovery, Growth, Prosperity, and Reducing the Debt. But his primary reason for running is because he believes many candidates already in the race are taking positions that preclude compromise, in turn precluding the state and the nation from bringing resolutions to our problems. He considers himself the candidate that will listen, formulate solutions, and act in the best interest of all the people of Utah. He believes best candidate for this job must listen to the people and work towards resolution, which results in a better, stronger and more efficient government. But Stout is not without liabilities; he told KCPW that, like Bob Bennett, he would have voted for TARP.

As for Sam Granato, the Provo Daily Herald reports that Christopher Stout says Granato has done little to explain his platform in the intervening months and that he doesn’t have what it takes to beat a Republican if he gets the nomination. The former is true; Granato took an inordinate amount of time to organize a coherent Internet presence. A subsequent report from KSL Channel 5 records reaction from the Granato camp. Granato's campaign manager, Rob Miller, said Granato will be updating his website with his positions next week. He also said Granato has been stating his positions on campaign stops throughout the state and that there's no question Granato is in the race to win.

Stout was born in Salt Lake City and has lived in Utah for the better part of his 44 years, married, raised two daughters, and carved out a successful career as an accountant and working with my family on several business ventures. He is a veteran, having served an Active Guard Reserve (AGR) position as a U.S. Army Reserve Recruiter in Ogden. He obtained an Associate Degree in Business from Salt Lake Community College in 1997, and finished his accounting degree at the University of Utah in 1999.

Prognosis: It's too bad Stout waited so long to get into the race. Nonetheless, Stout has shown himself to be a more active candidate than Granato. In addition, Stout is actively reaching out beyond Democratic ranks. Consequently, he is a better candidate than Sam Granato, although it might require a primary contest for him to dispose of Granato.


Johnny G said...

"Nonetheless, Stout has shown himself to be a more active candidate than Granato."

Active at what? I have met Sam over and over again. I have met Stout once and I can't say that I was impressed at all. He sure likes to listen to himself, but Granato sat down and listened to my concerns.

I went to Stout's twitter and facebook page and then compared his messaging to Granato. Frankly, Granato is outdoing Stout on every level. I then googled the two candidates and again Granato wins hands down.

Stout rally hasn't shown much, and I wonder if how he thinks he could win a general election when nobody knows who he is.

Good luck to Mr. Stout, but my guess is he won't make it through convention.

Deseret Dawg said...

Johnny G - Glad that you have found Sam Granato to be actively engaged. But apparently, not all Democrats share that point of view.

Mr. Granato has had an active Facebook and Twitter presence for quite a while, but it took him longer to gin up a conventional campaign website. Many people tend to still consider Facebook as more of a social network than a source for hard-core information, although that opinion may reflect some personal bias. The abuses at MySpace have probably prejudiced some people against all social networks, even though Facebook is clearly more reputable than MySpace.

But it's good to see some competition on the Democratic side. The fierce fight on the Republican side has tended to cover up the Democratic message. Both sides deserve a thorough airing.

Michelle said...

I'm pretty sure that Mike Lee is a strong fiscal conservative. He has gained so much momentum, and people are so ticked off at the Democrats right now--I don't think any democrat has a chance to beat him.

Just the same, I think it's healthy for Granato to have some good competition. This article is right about one thing. If Bennett wins the republican nomination I will be MUCH more likely to vote for a democrat (who is not Granato).

Jon said...

I do agree with one statement in this article at least:

"If Mike Lee wins the nomination at the Republican Convention - which I think is a strong possibility..."

Mike Lee for Senate in 2010. Utah NEEDS Mike Lee. Check him out if you have not. I did, and have no doubts of his ability, knowledge, dedication, and desire to do the right thing.

Tim said...

"Mike Lee at this point" That says it all. MikeLee2010.com

Xi said...

Glad to see several Mike Lee supporters! Constitutionally-minded, fiscally responsible... Mike Lee is THE candidate to replace Bennett.

Jeremy said...

Another vote here for Mike Lee. Utah needs a Senator who understands the Constitution and actually believes that it means something. Sen. Bennett and others such as Stout who would vote for TARP do NOT understand that the Constitution places limits on the Federal government. Mike gets it.

Christopher Stout said...

Jeremy, I get it too. Where Mike Lee and I diverge is his insistence that the Supreme Court has diverged from the founders original intent of the Commerce Clause back in the 1940's.

From the beginning, however, there was disagreement about what the powers of Congress needed with respect to Commerce. Strict constructionists like Mike Lee tend to overlook this. To state the the founding fathers never intended for Congress to have broad powers is misleading.

In 1824, in Gibbons v. Ogden, the Supreme Court defined "commerce" and gave Congress broad powers. In 1895, in U.S. v E.C. Knight Co., the Court restricted this view until the 1930's when it settled back to the broad powers view we have today.

For the record: Had TARP not passed we would be in a deep depression right now. My position is that we should have had better financial controls to prevent the transactions that caused the meltdown from happening in the first place. Members of the Banking Committee, of which Bennett sits, are responsible for not providing oversight, but when your top campaign contributions come from banks, what do you expect?

I'm not happy with the fact that we needed TARP, but I'm also not happy that the Senate has let the financial system blow up in our face. We need to get that fixed, and I intend to that.

Matty said...

Chris seems to me to be more focused and in touch with the issues than Granato. When they came to the County Caucus meeting I attended, this was quite obvious.

Anthony said...

I helped out with the Granato camp last summer for a few months. And even after hanging around and offering my help in anyway, I still have NO CLUE as to why Granato is running. I have no idea what-so-ever as to how Sam feels about social security, the economy, health care, etc. Stout has pointed out this flaw in Granato's campaign several times, and you know what? He's right. We need a democrat who actually believes in something and has the ability to articulate it.

James Montoya said...

Stout wants to cut social security benefits. Stout has not earned one major endorsement. Stout refused to send his FEC report to the press and the only press Stout has received was by attacking his opponent.

Granato doesn't want to cut social security. Granato has worked to build the party by supporting events and by holding fundraisers that help other entities. Granato has been endorsed by almost every elected official I support. Granato actually has a personality and experience in public service. Granato is receiving bi-partisan support.

Granato will win at convention.

Dave said...

Actually, I have talked with Mr. Stout at length, and he's quite direct that his intention is not to cut social security benefits. He's mentioned several times that the system needs to be reworked, and that changes need to be made, but so has almost everyone else running for office.

I also don't see anything he's said to the press as being a personal attack against Sam Granato. He's pointed out the fact that Sam hasn't come forward to the public with any discernable position on many key issues. I would have to completely agree. Sam's a very nice guy, but after listening to radio interviews and watching him at a couple of events on online, very few of his answers made me feel like I understood what he wanted and believed in. That's not an attack against Sam, it's just an opinion that if Sam wants to get his message out there, perhaps he could be more direct.

I think both candidates are good people and have the best of intentions for the DNC and Utah as a whole. But, because of his clarity and direction on the issues at hand, I do think Stout is the better choice.