Friday, January 27, 2012

Burton Campaigning For Gingrich While Ignoring 5th District Voters McGoff Claims

Fifth district Republican congressional candidate Dr. John McGoff is slamming U.S. Rep. Dan Burton for spending time campaigning for Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign in the Florida primary while ignorning the voters in his congressional district. Burton, who is facing stiff opposition in this year's Republican primary as he has in the past two elections, has been skipping candidate forums being held in the district. McGoff's press release reads:

On Thursday night during the GOP presidential candidates’ debate, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich mentioned during one of his responses that Congressman Dan Burton was in Jacksonville campaigning for him. 
"When I heard that, I wish I could say that I was surprised that Congressman Burton was too busy campaigning for someone else, while ignoring the voters in his own district by not participating in candidate forums here at home," said Dr. John McGoff a candidate for the 5th Congressional District seat. "The fact that he was in Florida in January, where golf courses are plentiful, was not lost on me either."
In the last two weeks, there have been two candidate forums: one in Howard County and one in Pike Township in Marion County. Congressman Burton was invited to both but declined to participate. At these events the candidates answered questions from the audience regarding national issues affecting voters in the 5th District.
"Congressman Burton takes the 5th District voters for granted and has for years," McGoff said. "He's been in Washington since 1982, and until I ran against him in the 2008 primary, he never had a challenger.  Since he didn't have to campaign for re-election he stayed in Washington. Most people will tell you Congressman Burton makes only obligatory visits to the District."
At last week’s Howard County GOP Century Club Forum, Howard County GOP Chairman Craig Dunn said, "The 2012 Congressional election will not be about politics as usual. The Howard County Republican Party and the Republican voters of the 5th Congressional District are deeply disappointed by the Congressman's failure to participate."
As of today, there are four more candidate forums scheduled throughout the District and the Congressman has indicated he will not be participating in any of these events.
Burton seems to be counting on a crowded field of candidates to allow him to sneak back in again this year as happened two years ago when he narrowly won in a four-way race. You have to think Burton's luck is about to run out. Avoiding public appearances in his district leads one to conclude that he really doesn't care whether he wins re-election, which begs the question of why he decided to run again if he doesn't want to campaign. In addition to McGoff, Burton faces opposition from former U.S. Attorney Susan Brooks, former U.S. Rep. David McIntosh and attorney Jack Lugar (no relation to Sen. Lugar).

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