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Monday, February 22, 2010

Firebaugh Wants To Run Against Boucher

Monday, February 22, 2010 By DEBBIE HALL - Martinsville Bulletin Staff Writer

A Stuart business owner hopes to challenge 9th District U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher in November. Dale Firebaugh, who along with his wife, Melanie Firebaugh, co-owns the Honduras Coffee Company, is collecting signatures to get his name on the ballot.
“There’s too much secrecy, too much spending and steering away from the Constitution,” Firebaugh said of his reasons for running against Boucher, D-Abingdon.
He also does not “like the anti-life climate that has been installed” by President Barack Obama, Firebaugh said. Although he is a Republican, Firebaugh, 61, said he would run as an Independent. “The Republican Party has not really been a party of conservatives. I would love to be part of the Republican Party if I could help it move in that (conservative) direction,” he said. He did not rule out switching parties if he wins the election. “If I actually win as an independent and could help the Republican Party” move toward becoming more conservative, Firebaugh said he would consider switching from an independent to a Republican. The Republican Party, he said, “had an opportunity in 1994 (when Republicans won control of both the House and Senate), but they didn’t take advantage of it. They tried to please the Democrats at every opportunity,” Firebaugh said. “I call that a missed opportunity. They weren’t acting like the conservatives we thought they would be,” he said. The one good thing to come from the Obama administration “is it’s awakened everybody,” Firebaugh said. Obama “went so far to the left that it riled the right so bad that they are trying to put a stop” to the administration’s agenda. Firebaugh said he hopes to get 1,500 signatures on a petition to get his name on the November ballot. He said only 1,000 signatures are required, but the State Board of Elections Web site recommends collecting additional signatures in case any are disqualified. “I think one reason people will want to sign my petition is the reason we have the government we have. (It) is because we continue to vote the same people in over and over,” Firebaugh said. Boucher, Firebaugh said, has spent 28 years in office.
Firebaugh said research he conducted online shows that Boucher voted with Democrats 97.3 percent of the time. Boucher also “gets a 100 percent rating from” abortion groups and family planning organizations, Firebaugh said. Likewise, Boucher “gets a zero from people who are pro-choice,” Firebaugh said. “This country needs to change. We need to get back to the constitution, shrinking government, lower taxes or install a fair tax,” Firebaugh said. He also would support doing away with the income tax, combating terrorism, providing a strong military, “protecting our borders and protecting life,” he said. “We don’t want government telling us what our rights are. We just want them to protect us,” Firebaugh said. “Smaller government gives people more freedom,” he said. “That’s how our country was founded.” A Michigan native, Firebaugh has owned property in Patrick County since 1997, he said. He and his wife moved there in January 2002. The couple started roasting coffee and later opened a shop on Main Street in Stuart. It serves both the retail and wholesale sectors, Firebaugh said. He and his wife have three children and six grandchildren.

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