Leader Blues

Monday, May 22, 2006

EDITORIAL >> Formicola in GOP primary

Republicans have slim hopes of electing a congressman in the Second District this year, but they can produce a serious dialogue about the good of the country. In a season that does not promise much for the party, that can be a small triumph.

But that will depend upon Republicans electing Tom Formicola in the primary. Formicola, a health care executive at Sherwood, has a single Republican opponent, Andy Mayberry of East End in southern Pulaski County. Mayberry has been running for office for six years and he announced for the seat of U. S. Rep. Vic Snyder in 2005, which gave him a leg up on Formicola, who entered the race only two months ago.

Mayberry is a one-issue candidate ó itís abortion, of course ó but his real hope is that his name will associate him in peopleís memories with the popular Andy Griffith Show, which depicts lovable characters in the nostalgic town of Mayberry. But voters in the end will take substance over fluff.

Formicola offers the former.

He can speak thoughtfully about the real issues, the nationís health crisis, its deteriorating fiscal condition, war and national security. Mayberry can talk about abortion.

The candidate will face one of the most thoughtful and principled officeholders of our era, Vic Snyder, and the Republicans should nominate someone who can at least engage him on that high plane.
Our hunch is that Tom Formicola can do that and Andy Mayberry cannot.