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Living Lorge: The Forgotten Candidate (Unedited)
Posted Sep 11, 2004 - 23:20:43

Robert Gerald LorgeThe following is an article that was intended for Volume 2, Issue 1 of The Flip Side, but due to a one week postponement from September 8th to September 15th, it would have come out the day after the Senate Primary on the 14th... which is part of the article's point. Unfortunately, I do not have a copy of the edited version of this article, so there may be a few grammatical errors. Again, I apologize.

Some candidates will run because they have years of experience in public office, spending a lifetime as a politician. Others candidates are merely people with too much money, who throw their personal fortunes into massive advertising campaigns...

...Robert Gerald Lorge of Bear Creek is neither of these.

Lorge is one of four Republicans running in the September 14th Senate primary, the winner of which will face incumbent Democratic Senator Russ Feingold in the November 2nd general election. His opponents, Russ Darrow, Tim Michels, and Bob Welch, are running massively funded campaigns, and have faced each other in a televised debate. Lorge doesn't have either of those going for him.

What Lorge does have is gumption.

Lorge, who received his Juris Doctorate from Marquette University in 1985, has never held public office before. He has won a primary though. In 2002, despite not receiving a party endorsement, Lorge beat the two other GOP contenders for the nominee for Secretary of State. Of course, he still lost to Democratic incumbent Douglas La Follette, but that's hardly the point. What is the point, is that despite some recent polling showing Lorge's base as small as two percent, the man keeps running.

A lawyer and farmer, he represents a viewpoint missed by two higher polling candidates, Darrow and Michels, in the sense that he has a solid understanding of Law and Wisconsin's agricultural base. While Darrow and Michels have questionable ties to the Republican party (both have donated significant amounts of money to high profile Wisconsin Democrats in the last few years), Lorge's loyalty to the party is beyond doubt. In fact, why the race for the Republican Senate nomination isn't a two man race between Lorge and Welch is almost mind blowing. The reason is the same as ever though: Money.

Lorge entered the race months after his opponents, and has not raised nearly as much money. In fact, the only reason he was excluded from the televised debates was because he had not raised the 500,000 dollar minimum. But where Darrow and Michels seem intent on trying to buy the nomination (by purchasing plenty of television ads, but rarely appearing publicly and talking with people), Lorge stands by his principles, directly connecting to people one on one.

While this reporter frequently disagrees with the policies that Lorge proposes, you have to give the guy respect for not going down without a fight. And who knows, maybe between now and September 14th, Darrow's and Michels' negative advertising will backfire, and Lorge will have a fighting chance in the primary. Polling numbers between the top three are currently so close, that even one of the candidates numbers folding to Lorge could put him in the race in minutes.

Whatever happens though, Lorge is far from done in Wisconsin politics... No matter how much the rest of his party wants him to be.
- Traegorn

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