Congressional candidate Chad Condit (Independent -10th District) was walking precincts in Oakdale during the past week and spreading the word that most of what is wrong with Washington is caused by partisan gridlock and the best way to end partisanship is to elect independent candidates who are not bound to either the Republicans or the Democrats.
Condit is not claiming a party affiliation for the June 5 primary election.
The district in which he is campaigning stretches from Tracy south to Turlock and Patterson east to Waterford and includes the cities of Oakdale, Riverbank and Escalon, Manteca and Ripon. He had already been stomping in Waterford while his wife Helen spoke on his behalf in Patterson and Condit planned to head for Riverbank after completing his rounds in Oakdale.
Campaigning to Condit is a family affair. He was accompanied Thursday by his wife and a son (one of three) who was recording his father’s work on a video camera.
“They’re fed up with Washington and open to the idea of an independent,” Condit said of local citizens. “They will vote on real people and real issues.”
The Central Valley has returned both Democrats and Republicans to Washington before but it often seems that the successful candidates lose interest in their area and turn to voting for their party rather than their region.
The valley already is at a disadvantage compared to the Bay Area or Los Angeles due to sheer number of votes and needs leverage, Condit said.
Agriculture, of course, is an important issue in this area.
“We must unite as a region to support the agriculture industry,” his campaign brochure reads. “The best job program for the Central Valley is a strong commitment to agriculture.”
Condit has strong, simply expressed views on foreign policy. While Iran must be prevented from acquiring nuclear weapons, he believes the United States should have pulled its troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq long ago. The U.S. has problems of its own on its northern and southern borders.
“It’s time to stop policing the world,” he said. “We can’t afford it. It doesn’t work. Let’s bring our troops home.”
In education, he vouches for local control and the central government staying out of educational matters as much as possible.
A longtime resident of the Central Valley, Condit came to Ceres when he was two months old and has lived in that city ever since. He attended Ceres High School, Modesto Junior College and Stanislaus State University in Turlock before enlisting for four years in the Navy where he received his bachelor’s degree in human resources. Upon his discharge, he began his political career as a legislative aide in the California State Assembly. He has since been Assistant to the Governor in 1991 and Senior Legislative Analyst for the Assembly since 2011.
Chad is the son of Gary Condit, who served as a Congressman for several terms but was forced out of politics after becoming involved with a Washington intern who was later found murdered. A Salvadoran immigrant was convicted of that crime. No charges were brought against the elder Condit. But he admitted having an affair with the young woman and lost a reelection bid.
“I am proud of my name,” said Chad Condit, acknowledging he is sometimes asked whether the Condit name is an asset or hindrance to his own political ambitions. “Whether you like my father or not, most people say he was a very good Congressman.
“I’m Chad Condit and running as an independent because I think the time is right. I will win or lose on my own merits.”