Unfortunately, Congress will be called upon to consider military involvement in the Middle East for years to come. Congress would benefit from having veterans of those wars among its ranks.
For that reason and others, voters in Congressional District 4, which includes Lincoln, Auburn, Lake Tahoe and Yosemite National Park, ought to send Republican Art Moore to Washington, D.C.
Moore, 36, grew up in Auburn, was a valedictorian at Placer High School, graduated from West Point and served 14 years in the Army and National Guard, rising to the rank of major. He has spent 30 months overseas, including tours in Iraq and in the Sinai, and was awarded a Bronze Star. If Moore wins, he would be one of fewer than 20 Middle East war veterans in Congress.
He describes himself as a conservative but pledges to work with Democrats, and he would try to deliver federal aid back to his district, 70 percent of which is controlled by the federal government.
Moore said one reason he entered the race is that the incumbent, Rep. Tom McClintock, voted to shut down the government in 2013, a step that threatened security, while also damaging the economy in the tourist-dependent region surrounding Yosemite.
McClintock, 58, who resides in Elk Grove, has served in Congress since 2008, and was first elected to an Assembly seat in 1982 from Thousand Oaks, north of Los Angeles.
McClintock has become more rigidly conservative since going to Congress. He was one of only four members who voted in lock-step with the tea party group Freedom Works for three years running. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has endorsed him.
Moore is running a long-shot campaign in one of the most Republican districts in the nation. He has received noteworthy endorsements, including from former Gov. Pete Wilson and former Rep. George Radanovich, both of them Republicans. To win, Moore will need to appeal to Democrats, independents and moderates who are dissatisfied with McClintock’s partisanship.
Moore takes moderate stands on social issues, saying, for example, that decisions about abortion belong with women and their doctors, but he opposes government funding. He thinks gay people should have been allowed to serve in the military years ago. Unlike most members of Congress, he has an understanding of what will and won’t damage military readiness.