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Conservative Happy Warrior Challenges Warmist Ed Markey for House Seat


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American Thinker:

First things first: if that headline has your blood flowing, read no farther and go to Jeffin2012 to chip in whatever you can to Jeff's campaign. Jeff reads American Thinker faithfully, and he jumped at the chance to talk with AT. A pile of $20 donations can make a difference in this race, and it's one that deserves national attention.

Jeff Semon is the real deal. Semon (accent on the second syllable, like "Simone") is an unabashed free-market Ronald Reagan conservative, a 6'3" guy with a Marine haircut who looks you in the eye and quotes Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek with a sunny smile. Zero RINO-squishitis detectable. He's from Lexington, Massachusetts ("the birthplace of American liberty," Jeff likes to say), a business consultant working full-time to support his family -- including his two-week old daughter. He comments that he "did not grow up with a silver spoon in [his] mouth": public high school and UMass Business School, not prep school and Harvard Law. He used to write a blog called Krugmaniswrong, dismantling the columns of Paul Krugman. And miracle of miracles, he's running for the U.S. Congress to represent one of the bluest zip codes in the country -- my precinct in Cambridge. As Jeff says mischievously, he's "looking forward to being Elizabeth Warren's next congressman."
After an hour and a half at my kitchen table, I have no doubts about Jeff's conservative bona fides. The question is whether he can pull off an upset against Congressman Ed Markey, who has represented Massachusetts since 1976, the year Jeff was born. Markey's congressional district is considered by insiders to be a safe seat. Any incumbent who spends 36 years in Congress has shaken a lot of hands and done a lot of favors for his constituents.

In the 2010 special election that put Scott Brown in the Kennedy -- er, the People's -- seat, Markey's district went 53.8% for Martha Coakley, 46.2% for Scott Brown. To make matters worse, Massachusetts lost a congressman in the last census, and Markey managed to make his safe seat a little safer. When Barney Frank announced that he would not be running for re-election, he groused about Markey's role in redesigning his district:

I think Ed had some influence with them, but it was spent mostly on his own district. There was stuff that Eddie got that, if I could have shared some with Eddie, [my district] would have been a better district.

Markey's 7th Congressional District has been renamed the 5th, and it includes five additional towns and half of Cambridge. The "stuff that Eddie got" was significantly more liberal, voting 60.4% Coakley, 39.6% Brown. The towns in the new 5th CD tallied 144,557 votes (55%) for Coakley, 118,495 (45%) for Brown.

This, then, is Jeff's mountain to climb: five percentage points plus one vote. Swinging 13,032 votes from blue to red.snip
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