I gave Craig DeLuz for Assembly $250. I gave Craig Money for his City Council Campaign, School Board Campaign and for the Support the Platform Central Committee campaign in the past.
I have been a friend of Craig DeLuz for 8 years.
I endorsed Craig early.
I believe in Craig DeLuz’ values, his story and what he has to offer.
I did not meet Andy Pugno until June of last year for the first time.
So why did I stand up for Andy Pugno at the CRA endorsing convention last night?
Is Andy more Conservative? No. Andy and Craig espouse the same stances on issues.
Does Andy have a superior record of service to the GOP? No. Both Andy and Craig can cite a laundry list of accomplishments and activism inside the GOP.
Did Andy have big Special Interest Money? Only one donation from a PAC.
While I sat at the CRA Convention I heard a recitation from the three Candidates that attended – Craig, Suzanne Jones and Andy Pugno.
Craig – who is a fantastic public speaker delivered a presentation about who he is and what he has done.
Suzanne – who is fairly new to being a candidate brought cue cards with her and implored us with the message of “What about me”?
Andy – who is not a fantastic public speaker started with some self-depricating humor (referencing veiled references by the previous two to him) and proceeded to spend a minute explaining why he was not going to take his whole five minutes.
So it was not even a question of who the best speaker was or the “Package” as it were.
Andy Pugno is a middle-aged white guy. He is a lawyer that has gone to battle for Conservative Causes for years – while DeLuz was in the trenches on the ground…
All across the board – similar.
Public speaking ability.
Andy Pugno has out-raised everyone in the entire state. He has 10-12 times the cash that Craig DeLuz has.
This was not an easy decision – Craig has wanted this for at least 4 years that I know of. Craig is a dear friend – but he could not get the critical mass.
In the end, it became a matter of the CRA and the CRA supporting a proven Conservative with the critical mass to win.
If Andy Pugno, as conservative as he is, could get the “liberal establishment” to come kicking and screaming on to his endorsement list… it means he is a force to be reckoned with.
They tried to recruit someone else and Andy Pugno made them yield – Steve Miklos, Susan Peters, Sheriff McGuinness, none answered the bell.
And in a rare combination, the Establishment and the CRA almost endorsed the same candidate – and this time the establishment came to the right to meet us.
Andy Pugno is the only candidate I have ever seen pull that off.