After the news broke about an FBI investigation into Chris Donovan’s fundraising for his congressional bid, a journalist friend of mine joked, “That noise you hear is the popping of Champagne bottles in Goshen.” He was referring to what he sees as the increased chances for state Sen. Andrew Roraback to retake the 5th congressional district for Republicans, assuming he wins the primary. In a recent interview with The Hanging Shad, Roraback focused on what he says is the increased importance of the GOP primary.
“Now more than ever, it’s important that Republicans nominate someone who can win the general election,” Roraback said. “I got into the race—the last candidate to do so—because I believe I can offer ideas and issues more in line with the values of the people in the fifth district.” Roraback faces businesswoman Lisa Wilson-Foley, businessman Mark Greenberg and Afghanistan war veteran Justin Bernier in the August 14th primary. The three are all considered substantially more conservative than Roraback, viewed as a moderate although his voting record in the state Senate is almost always with his fellow Republicans.
At the time of the arrest of Donovan’s campaign finance chairman, he said, “…There are only two things he [Donovan] can say. One, I was aware of this activity, which would be an extremely unsettling admission. Or two, I wasn’t aware of this activity, which is equally unsettling to the extent it speaks to the manner in which he’s conducting his campaign.” As we have seen, Donovan chose the latter, finally speaking out last Sunday and then rallying his supporters this week.
Months ago when Roraback got into the race he told me, “I’m running [for Congress] because I don’t want Chris Donovan as my congressman. I’ve been in the [state] legislature for 18 years; I know Chris Donovan and I believe his policies are wrong and dangerous.”
Expect a contentious campaign as we go through the summer.