Conservative Congressional Challenger Andy Caldwell Sets Sights on National Stage

Full Disclosure, Andy Caldwell is a good friend.  For about eleven years I have been on his radio show every Tuesday between 4:30 and 5:00.

One reason people do not vote is that the do not believe the candidates are telling the truth about their positions on the issues.  A reason folks leave the Republican Party is that some of the candidates give up on supporting Constitutional government, self-respect and self-responsibility.  Some GOP candidates like to pretend that religion belongs in the pews on Sunday, not as a guide to policy in the legislature.

Andy Caldwell has years of discussion on issues of the day and the past.  After listening to him you learn three things.

One:  Andy Caldwell is knowledgeable about the issues

Two:  He is willing to speak directly about the issues

Three:  he does not pander, he does not tell you want you want to hear, he gives his views without holding back

Isn’t this the type of member of Congress the people of the Central Coast deserve?

Conservative Congressional Challenger Andy Caldwell Sets Sights on National Stage

The COLAB founder, who is looking to unseat Rep. Salud Carbajal in the 24th District, says he wants to steer America in the ‘right’ direction

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By Joshua Molina, Noozhawk, 2/22/20   

Political leaders come and go, but Andy Caldwell, it seems, is here to stay.

Caldwell, the founder of the Coalition of Labor, Agriculture and Business, has been the weekly conservative voice of the people for decades, offering his three minutes of insight during public comment, and regularly on a variety of items.

“Sometimes, every once in awhile, it is rewarding,” Caldwell said. “Most times, I would have to say, it is frustrating. I believe what I am speaking is common sense, and what we are up against in the state is this is a one-party system that doesn’t want to be confused with the facts.”

Now, Caldwell is looking to exponentially grow his influence beyond Santa Barbara County. He is looking to unseat Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Santa Barbara for the 24th District seat in Congress. The district encompasses Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, and part of Ventura County. After years of being the agitator, Caldwell is making a serious run at the seat.

Caldwell said he has never been a party insider and has been to only one statewide Republican convention in his life.

But now is the time. 

“I have never been directly involved in politics, and I have never had the ambition to do so, but America has shifted so far to the left,” Caldwell told Noozhawk. “People recruited me, and I stepped up.”

Caldwell has a classic, traditional Republican Party platform. He’s for smaller government and believes politicians should get out of the way and let business owners and entrepreneurs drive the economy. Energy sources such as wind and solar should be considered supplemental energy, not alternative energy, he said, because they are not reliable around the clock.

“I don’t believe that more government control of our lives is the answer to any of our problems,” Caldwell said. “The Democratic Party has been hijacked.” 

He supports President Trump.

“I am voting for him,” Caldwell said. “A lot of the problems out there are part of partisan hackery and a threat to the establishment in both parties.”

Caldwell said he grew up poor in Lompoc. His father, a survivor of the Bataan Death March, died at age 47 when Caldwell was 9 years old. For the first half of his life, Caldwell was a registered Democrat, but he switched his party registration to Republican. 

“I believed in the American Dream,” Caldwell said. “I believe that was one of the goals of the Democratic Party, to become upwardly mobile.”

The party now, he says, only pays “lip service” to helping working-class people, but is actually more focused on maintaining the status quo. 

“I was a Democrat half my life, but as Ronald Reagan said, ‘I didn’t leave the party, the party left me,'” Caldwell said. “America needs more statesmen who will focus on policy solutions instead of partisan political talking points.”

He graduated from Lompoc High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in 1980 from UC San Diego. In step with his conservative values, Caldwell is a reputed family man. He has seven adult children and has been married to his wife, Linda, for 32 years. He practices Christianity and said he seeks to live out his faith every day. He said the demographic decline is suicide for the country. 

“This move toward not getting married or not having kids, that is the greatest existential threat to America,” Caldwell said. 

It’s a shame, he said, that there aren’t enough jobs for children to work in the communities in which they grew up. 

“Two of the main reasons people want to leave this state is because they can’t afford to raise a family here or their kids can’t raise a family here,” Caldwell said. “There’s no reason why we can’t have more affordable housing right here for our own families.”

Caldwell said he knows he’s walking uphill. The district’s voter registration is roughly 42 percent Democratic, 27 percent Republican and 24 percent no party preference.

Caldwell has raised about $518,000 to Carbajal’s $1.2 milion.

“It’s gonna be a tough battle,” Caldwell said. “He’s got over $1 million in the bank, but I have tremendous grassroots support that money can’t buy.”

The Republican said he wants to be a voice for conservatives and moderates. His COLAB group is nonpartisan and has never endorsed candidates. 

“I can promote policies in a nonpartisan way,” Caldwell said. 

He said Democrats have done little on the issues of affordable health care, better-paying jobs, affordable housing, homelessness, illegal immigration, the national debt, and funding for infrastructure and schools. 

“Democrats have been in total control of this state for decades,” Caldwell said. “All of the issues facing America have already engulfed our state, meaning the present-day Democratic Party has no solutions. Why would we give this same party control of the rest of our country?

Caldwell’s notable endorsements include the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, all three deputy sheriffs associations in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties, and the Santa Barbara County Farm Bureau.

No matter the results of the March 3 primary election, Caldwell and Carbajal will square off again in the November election.

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.

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