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Substandard Candidate Quality And The GOP-- Up And Down The Ballot, Coast To Coast & In Between

Hooper-- does he look gay or straight?

Perry Hooper, Jr.— son of Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Perry Hooper Sr.— was arrested and booked today for “first degree sex abuse in connection to an assault 2 weeks ago in downtown Montgomery. Jr. is 67 and served in the Alabama state legislature from 1983 through 2002. More recently he was the co-chair of the Trump for President campaign in Alabama. He is a member of the Alabama Republican State Executive Committee and was held on $15,000 bond. The statement from the state GOP didn’t indicate if Hooper was molesting a male or female: “The Alabama Republican Party strongly condemns all forms sexual abuse and sexual assault. We are committed to personal rights and public safety. We will be monitoring this situation closely it makes its way through the judicial process.”

Right around the same time that story broke in Alabama, Oklahoma Republicans had their own “uh oh” moment. Yesterday was the GOP primary runoff for an Oklahoma County (Springdale and Bush Hills) state House seat, being vacated by Democrat Collin Walke. There were 3 candidates in the June 28 primary, but no one won enough votes (50%) to proceed to the general and take on Ellyn Hefner, the Democrat:

  • Scott Esk- 662 (36.7%)

  • Gloria Banister- 649 (36.0%)

  • Valerie Walker- 494 (27.4%)

Esk, who is already widely considered a whack-job— which explains why he came in first in the GOP primary— was exposed for some nonsense he wrote about gays being stoned to death. He doesn’t seem to understand that Oklahoma County in some backward hellhole like Cimarron, Ellis, Beaver and Dewey, all counties where Trump won over 90% of the vote in 2020— as opposed to Oklahoma County, where Trump won just 49.2%. Banister creamed him yesterday-- 58% to 42%.

This is what was already known about the 55 year old Esk. He worked at the Department of Public Safety from 1999 to 2011 when he was fired for sending threatening messages to the pastor and an elder at the 84th Street Church of Christ, brought on because the pastor and elder supported Esk’s wife when she filed for divorce. (Esk wants to make it much harder for a woman to divorce her husband now.) Now he works as a delivery man for uShip.

What happened yesterday is that the old records from his failed 2014 run for another House seat came to light. In that race, Esk called homosexuality “worthy of death” and said stoning gay people would be “totally in the right.” He told the Moore Daily that he had “no plans to reinstitute that in Oklahoma law,” but he declined to comment on whether or not he would support a measure making homosexuality a crime punishable by death if it were presented in the legislature. In a Tweet written on June 17, 2022, Esk said that he “rejects being ‘proud’ or having ‘pride’ because of the kind of perversion that the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah were put to death directly by God for.”

USA Today reported yesterday that, in regard to his homophobia, Esk said "I've stood up for what is right in the past, and I intend to in the future and I am right now. That's got me in trouble. The media are not my friends, as far as I'm concerned." He calls himself a Christian constitutionalist and says “he’s passionate about protecting Oklahomans from an ‘out-of-control’ federal government through state nullification. He argues the state can reject federal government mandates it finds to be unconstitutional. On his website, Esk says Oklahoma should nullify edicts from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Food and Drug Administration, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

A Facebook commenter asked him to clarify his position. "So, just to be clear, you think we should execute homosexuals (presumably by stoning)?" the person wrote.
Esk responded, "I think we would be totally in the right to do it."
He has railed against an Oklahoma City television station for reporting on the old comments in relation to his current bid for elected office.
"I had an opinion against homosexuality," Esk said in a July YouTube video he made in response to a KFOR story. "Well, does that make me a homophobe? Maybe some people think it does, but as far as I and many of the voters of House District 87 are concerned, it simply makes me a Christian."
In an old YouTube video, Esk referred to homosexuality as an "insidious addiction" and said he had moral misgivings about "those kinds of sins." When questioned about his controversial Facebook comments, Esk said he had no plans to pursue legislation to institute the death penalty for gay people.
Esk has complained that his old comments have become a point of discussion leading up to the Aug. 23 runoff election.
"If it were up to me, we would only be talking about issues between Gloria and me," he said in a video from July.
Esk said he opposes illegal immigration, health mandates and abortion in all instances. He said he supports the Second Amendment, Oklahoma sovereignty and family values.
He has called COVID vaccines "poison" despite the shots having been safely administered to hundreds of millions of people.

So… when Mitch McConnell acknowledged that Republicans are going have a hard time winning races because of “candidate quality,” he may have been referring to Herschel Walker, Dr. Oz, Blake Masters, Ted Budd, Adam Laxalt, Kelly Tshibaka, Ron Johnson, JD Vance and Don Bolduc— and had nuts like Marjorie Traitor Greene, Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz and Paul Gosar in mind— the real problem is the part itself… the leadership and the grassroots that spawns these kinds of candidates. The Republican vision for governance— stoning gays, ending divorce, investigating Dr. Fauci and Hunter Biden— has tremendous appeal to their own crackpot base. But not to anyone else.

A new Pew Research Center poll released yesterday, indicates that the Democrats are gaining in the midterms. “Among all registered voters, 44% say they would vote for or lean toward the Democratic candidate in their House district, and 42% would vote for or lean toward the Republican candidate. One-in-ten registered voters say they are not sure, while 4% favor a candidate other than a Republican or a Democrat.

The FiveThirtyEight generic average for the cycle, shows the Democrats with a narrower margin, but that’s because they use pretend polls by GOP firms like Rasmussen and Trafalgar as part of their average. For example, this month a legitimate unbiased polling firm, YouGov, had a survey in the field at the same time Trafalgar— which makes up numbers to favor Republicans— did. YouGov showed the Democrats leading 45-39% while the phony Trafalgar poll showed the Republicans ahead 47-42%.

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