Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Smith, angry at campaign tactics, suggests supporting Democrat

Smith, angry at campaign tactics, suggests supporting Democrat

Note-I know Bob personally and have always found him to be a respectful person. More than once I have told him that I appreciate his respectful treatment of me and how I see him as honorable. As the recently elected Chair of the 34th AD Democratic Committee, I am involved with our candidate, Desmond Farrelly. Desmond is an outstanding candidate and we were really looking forward to contesting this seat with Bob because he is someone we felt we could have an honest debate over the issues that are critical to the citizens of Barstow and the entire 34th AD. We need to do a lot more to protect our environment, create jobs through alternative energy, and improve our education, just to name a few.

Now Connie Conway has stooped to a new low in the level of sleaze politics that has hurt Republicans in the past and that has greatly diminished the quality of debate that voters desperately need in order to make an informed decision. It is sad that Connie has now set the tone of her style and what she is capable of doing.

With Bob Smith, I believe that he differs on many of the issues that stand opposite to what I am fighting for. But with Bob, you don't have to question his integrity.Had he become the Republican candidate we would never expect him as our opponent, to be capable of lowering himself or his ethics and engage in lies, deception, or other sleaze politics that we have seen demonstrated by Connie Conway in her campaign.

I called Desmond the morning after the election and found him totally outraged over the actions of Conway. He was still in disbelief at the scummy tactics that Conway would use against another Republicans. Desmond has been involved in supporting law enforcement and knows how devastating these lies can be to a past member of law enforcement like Bob.

Desmond and Bob have campaigned at some of the same events like the Rock The Vote event at the College of the Sequoias in Visalia. Desmond, like me, found Bob to be a very like able person and feels like he enjoys a friendly relationship with him even as an opponent.

Desmond and I both support a complaint being filed and would like to see this kind of sleaze politics eliminated from an honest and straight forward debate on the real issues.

Larry D. Halstead
Chair, 34th AD Democratic Committee

Smith, angry at campaign tactics, suggests supporting Democrat

June 4, 2008 - 6:07PM

BARSTOW — Two Barstow area candidates blame low voter turnout, in part, for the disappointing results of Tuesday's election.

Both Bob Smith, a Yermo resident, and Ben Echols, a Barstow attorney who lives in Apple Valley, lost their races Tuesday. Smith, running in the Republican primary for the 34th District Assembly seat, received only 34.2 percent of the vote compared to Tulare County Supervisor Connie Conway's 43.1 percent. Echols, vying for a judge seat on the Superior Court of California, came in second with 24.46 percent of the vote behind Bridgid McCann, with 51.51 percent of the vote.

Turnout was low across Barstow and the county for the election. Only 16.46 percent of San Bernardino County's registered voters cast a ballot in the election. Smith was disappointed that so few of the registered Republicans — only 19.58 percent in San Bernardino County — chose to vote.

"Its unfortunate," Smith said.

Smith was, however, very pleased with his campaign team and their efforts.

"I had a good team; we did everything possible to win the seat," he said.

In November's election Conway will face Democratic candidate Desmond Farrelly for Bill Maze's Assembly seat. Due to term limits Maze cannot run again. Smith said that his first inclination is to back Democratic candidate Desmond Farrelly in the November election, due to a last minute negative campaign ad that he feels Conway made against him.

"I'd rather have a Democrat in office that's honest than a liar," Smith said.

Smith was upset about a mailer that was sent out labeling him as a disgraced deputy. This ad was authorized and paid for by Conway for Assembly.

Conway said that the mailers were sent out in response to negative ads made by Smith's campaign. She would not elaborate on the content of the ads. She was, however, happy with the results of the election.

"I plan on working hard between now and the campaign," Conway said.

Smith said that any negative campaign material used against Conway used direct quotes and cited sources of where the negative information could be found.

Desmond Farrelly said he was disappointed in the result of the election. He had hoped for a Smith victory. He said he was looking forward to working with Smith to make sure that Barstow was well-represented.

Ben Echols was happy with the results of the election, although he believes that if more people in the High Desert would have voted the results of the election may have been different. Echols said that although he lost this election, he may consider running again in the future.

"I love my practice in Barstow, for now I am going to stay here," Echols said.

While he does not know McCann personally Echols said she is well-qualified and thinks she'll do a good job.

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