On Saturday, May 8, at the Utah Republican Party convention, Matt Throckmorton forced a primary run-off against four-term incumbent U.S. Congressman Chris Cannon.
Cannon, needing 60% of the delegates for automatic re-nomination, was stopped cold by an aggressive Throckmorton, who forced immigration into the forefront. And no matter how he tried, Cannon could not dodge the issue.
Throckmorton's victory also sent a warning to all other pro-illegal alien Congressional incumbents and to the beleaguered George W. Bush: continued disregard of immigration might buy you, to quote Terry Malloy from On the Waterfront, a "one-way ticket to Palookaville."
Although Salt Lake City's Deseret News described Throckmorton's victory as a "shocker," it is anything but to those who know both candidates. [GOP selects Huntsman, Karras | Cannon is forced into primary battle in the 3rd District By Bob Bernick Jr. and Jerry D. Spangler, Sunday, May 9, 2004]
Throckmorton has consistently argued to enforce U.S. immigration laws. Cannon, on the other hand, actively pursues amnesty for aliens and has co-sponsored numerous bills that would bring an entire new wave of aliens into the country.
In a post-victory interview, Throckmorton told me that he felt that voters simply did not trust Cannon.
Said Throckmorton, "People want to believe that their Congressman is telling the truth. But Cannon would look people in the eye and tell them he is against amnesty. His record indicates otherwise."
What makes Throckmorton's victory all the sweeter is that Cannon pulled out all the stops to defeat him. In addition to playing the race card at virtually every turn, Cannon outspent Throckmorton by a ratio of 18-1. Throckmorton's outlay was a mere $11,115.
Cannon complained loudly that " a lot of money has come into this race from out of state" to undo him.
Craig Nelsen of Project USA wonders if Cannon could possibly be referring to him since his organization spent a paltry $2,000 to place billboards in Utah's 3rd District that read: "Congressman Chris Cannon wants amnesty for illegal aliens."
Cannon's $204, 879 campaign exceeded more than 100 times the cost of the billboards.
Cannon is, however, no stranger to campaign donations from out of state.
Throckmorton, a former member of the state legislature, has long championed reduced immigration. Cannon, however, uses his position as a member of the House Judiciary Committee immigration subcommittee to thwart meaningful reform at every turn.
Furthermore, Cannon had the audacity to accept the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund "Excellence in Leadership" award in 2002. During his acceptance speech, Cannon made this galling comment:
"We love immigrants in Utah. And we don't oftentimes make the distinction between legal and illegal. In fact I think Utah was the first state in the country to legislate the ability to get a driver's license based on the matricula consular and of that I am proud."[Watch in RealAudio, courtesy of AmericanPatrol.com]
But now, years of pandering to the illegal alien lobby have caught up with Cannon.
Although Throckmorton, a true American with real American values, expects a tough race, he is optimistic.
Poised and eager to replace Cannon, Throckmorton said to me:
"We're really happy right now. Our polls showed that we could do it. And we did."
Joe Guzzardi [email him], an instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, has been writing a weekly newspaper column since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.