Today is the last day in a contest that was supposed to be an easy win for both parties. The Republicans had moved their freshman Congressman up from the Fresno area into Modesto, and the Democrats brought in a former astronaut from Houston. But Chad Condit, the only candidate from the district, born and raised in Ceres, is running an independent campaign powered by feet on the ground and a true hometown grassroots spirit.
His campaign has been running on pennies compared to the dollars spent by both partisan candidates. To counter that, Condit has been walking door-to-door for the past three months. In the days running up to the primary election the Condit campaign has meet voters in every single community in the 10th Congressional district.
In the few days before the polls close, Chad Condit is not only walking through the community, he is making several television appearances and giving interviews as he reminds voters that he is nonpartisan and that Independents answer only to the voters who elect them.
Several supporters have independently covered the district in homemade signs, putting them on freeway overpasses and shopping centers. Could they be taking a play out of the old Ron Paul playbook? Other friends and supporters have been hosting last minute events, including backyard barbeques, concerts, and even covering an RV with Condit signs to draw in more community members.
The Condit campaign has turned out an extraordinary group of supporters who have shown their dedication to the candidate and to their district. While their campaign is running strongly on grassroots, the other partisan candidates are largely nowhere to be found. Denham’s visibility is limited to hundreds of manufactured signs placed throughout the district. Jose Hernandez has popped up a few times, always donning his space suit, reminding voters that he is an out-of-this world candidate.
Condit’s supporters will be the wild card on June 5 that could cause an upset and put an Independent candidate on the general election ballot in November. Time will tell whether he has enough of a grassroots campaign to pull off an historical upset, but one thing is certain: he's put in the effort.