Prepping for Campaigns

February 01, 2011

Although the 2010 elections are hardly passed and the new Congress has barely met, the 2012 elections are already heating up--not only the presidential contest but even congressional races. In several cases, failed candidates from this last round are making moves to run again, with many of them seeking to increase their visibility through religious endeavors. Here are a few examples:

Ed Martin, who narrowly failed in his effort to unseat Democratic U.S. Representative Russ Carnahan in Missouri, announced yesterday that he is running next year for the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Claire McCaskill. Since his failed run last November, Martin has been working on increasing his statewide name recognition by offering one-minute commentaries (called "The Ed Martin Minute") on the Bott Radio Network, a Christian radio network with numerous stations. Last year, Martin drew criticism for offering religious attacks on his Democratic opponent.

Jesse Kelly, who narrowly failed in his effort to unseat Democratic U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona, has already been running to challenge her again next year. He has now had to take a less public role campaigning in the aftermath of the shooting of Giffords in Tucson last month. One way he has been working to keep his name in the public's eye is by starring in a commercial for the evangelical ministry Vision360.

Sharron Angle, who narrowly failed in her effort to unseat Democratic U.S. Senator Harry Reid in Nevada, has hinted at making another political run (even suggesting she might run for president). Keeping herself in the headlines, she attended a movie premiere in Iowa hosted by the Iowa Christian Alliance Education Fund. The Christian film, The Genesis Code, deals with issues of faith and religion--and even stars former Republican presidential hopeful Fred Thompson. During her senatorial run last year, Angle both came under attack from some Republicans for her religious ties and used religion to attack her Democratic opponent.

Each of these stories are interesting because they involved politicians using religious organizations to prep for future political runs. It seems the era of confessional politics is still alive.

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