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Why do we hold primaries?

I had an interesting exchange over my endorsement for Chip Neiman. Shari Gose, a reader, took issues with my choice and the manner in which I called out Tyler Lindholm. She opined that my support was somehow paid for, implying nefarious motives.

Those familiar with Evidence-Based Wyoming know that I am its creator and sole author. No one pays me. I offer my opinion based on data analysis of the legislator’s voting records and my experience with the candidates.

What I found most interesting was that to her, and many others from the post comments, was somehow the Republican primary is not the time to choose the best Republican. Instead, they want to use it to choose whomever the voter thinks will be the best next legislator.

The Republican Primary is held to select the best Republican for the job. The general election is where we decide the best person for the job, regardless of the party.

There are many races (like HD-1’s) with no Democrat or other challenger. That is not the Republican Party’s fault, but rather the Democrats’ (or other parties) failure to offer candidates for election. It does not invalidate the reason we hold Republican primaries.

For my endorsement of Chip Neiman I focused on his work in the Republican Party and called out Tyler Lindholm’s betrayal of the party. Rep. Lindholm’s mixed record as a legislator doing some good things (Food Freedom, Blockchain), and some bad, working against Republican Party supported initiatives. I specifically left out his tendency to vote with liberal Democrats. I thought that distracted from the message of the endorsement.

In truth, I’ve always thought Tyler Lindholm would be better suited as running as a Libertarian rather than a Republican. It is a more natural home for his beliefs based on his voting record. It would also make the general election more meaningful and be the source of debate about the differences between Libertarians and Republicans.

In the end, we need to elect the best Republican in the Republican primary.

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