Election 2014: U.S. Senate

4 long-shot candidates for GOP Senate primary making their voices heard

From staff reportsApril 22, 2014 

Jim Snyder

JILL KNIGHT — jhknight@newsobserver.com Buy Photo

Here are the four candidates who are considered long shots in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate.

Jim Snyder

In a race full of lesser-known candidates, Lexington attorney Jim Snyder is the political veteran. The 68-year-old filed for candidacy just four days before the deadline, without having previously announced his campaign, but he’s familiar with the process.

Snyder has run for statewide office three times since 2002, including for the U.S. Senate that year. Most recently, he ran in the Republican primary for lieutenant governor in 2008 but lost to Robert Pittenger after receiving 19 percent of the vote. In 2004, he was the party’s lieutenant governor nominee but lost to Bev Perdue in the general election.

He has held political office once before, when he finished out his late father’s term in the N.C. House of Representatives in 1971. Since then he has practiced law, working first in his father’s firm and then starting his own in 1980.

State Sen. Stan Bingham, a Davidson Republican and longtime friend, endorsed his campaign but acknowledged Snyder was fighting an uphill battle.

The Greensboro News & Record’s editorial page has also endorsed him, calling Snyder “the most worthy candidate among the GOP’s crowded U.S. Senate field.”

Snyder said a brief series of illnesses kept him from starting his campaign earlier, but he wanted to run because he was upset over certain key issues, including the economy.

“If I don’t get a vote, if I don’t raise a dime, I will have a bully pulpit, so that’s why I’m running,” he said.

Unlike other candidates, Snyder’s main focus is on the North American Free Trade Agreement, which he says “just about ruined our economy.”

He said he thinks the agreement has killed industry and caused a massive reduction in available jobs – especially in small towns like his.

Lance Barrett, the former chairman of the Davidson County Republican Party, said while everyone in Lexington knows Snyder, he’s never been close with the party or sought their help with campaigns.

“I think Jim pretty much does his own thing,” Barrett said. “He’s his own consultant.”

Staff writer Megan Casella

Ted Alexander

Ted Alexander’s life has been characterized by a dedication to public service, whether that be through the nonprofit realm or as mayor of Shelby.

He now hopes to bring that same mentality of service to the U.S. Senate.

“All my life, I’ve been taught to tithe, to give back to the community, to serve, to volunteer, and I felt this was an extension of those deeply held beliefs,” he said.

Alexander, 54, said his top goals, if elected, will include repealing the federal health care law and pushing for a balanced budget amendment.

He said seeing firsthand how federal government policies hurt local communities, encouraged his bid for the Senate.

“I think what we are seeing now is a government that is so involved in our lives that it hurts at several different levels,” he said.

Since 2005, Alexander has worked as the western regional director of Preservation North Carolina, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting the state’s historic buildings, sites and landmarks. Overlapping with this position, he served as mayor for two terms, ending his time in office with a self-imposed term limit in 2011.

Alexander said his most significant achievements as mayor were successfully encouraging economic development and job creation and reducing crime.

Dicky Amaya, a city council member who worked with Alexander during his first term as mayor, said that Alexander is easy to work with, honest and transparent.

“I think he will be remembered as somebody who brought people together,” Amaya said.

Staff writer Caitlin Owens

Edward Kryn

On the edge of the pack is Edward Kryn, a 63-year-old retired physician originally from Canada. Kryn says he’s an ideal Senate candidate: His retired status means there’s no daily job to distract him; his knowledge as a former physician will help him reshape the health care law; and his perspective as an immigrant helps him see America’s potential from an outside role.

Kryn’s from Western Ontario, an area northeast of Cleveland where he finished a partial undergraduate degree and complete medical degree in a joint six-year program. “It’s sort of like skipping a grade,” he said.

Kryn, his wife and three children left Canada for the United States 17 years ago. He said they left in part because their children were pursuing higher education options, but also because of “assaults on human dignity” in his work – largely in regard to abortion and what he calls the homosexual agenda.

Kryn spent six months in a group practice in Durham before opening his own family practice in Clayton, which he ran for 14 years before retiring last May. He said the experience running his own practice proves he can balance a budget and meet a payroll.

Kryn is reserved, not forthcoming with information and did not offer anyone as a reference. His last filing shows he hasn’t raised any money – he says he’s running a frugal campaign. He’s said previously that the primary should be an exchange of ideas rather than a clash of dollars.

“The individuals who have had previous experience in government have also had their objectivity taken away from them by the donations that fund their campaigns,” he said. “Consequently, we are not having an adequate representation of the middle class but an overemphasis on multinational companies’ interests.

Staff writer Megan Casella

Alex Bradshaw

Alex Bradshaw went to the state Board of Elections to file his candidacy papers just a few hours before deadline back in February.

Dressed in sweatshirt and sweat pants, he stuck around to explain to reporters that he was drawn to the race after realizing that none of the other candidates shared his views on intellectual property.

A few weeks later he sent an email to reporters under the subject line: “Who the heck is Alex Bradshaw???”

But the resident of Icard, a community in western North Carolina, declined in an interview to provide many details.

Bradshaw, 43, did not provide a resume, but said he is currently a freelance open source developer – or programmer – and formerly worked as a substitute teacher for Burke County Public Schools. He also declined to give the names of anyone he has done work for recently. When asked for an example of his work, he listed the steps he was taking to create a list of GOP county chairmen that he could import into his address book so he could email them all at once.

When asked to provide a reference, Bradshaw gave the name of a Branch Davidian who survived the 1993 siege in Waco, Texas.

Bradshaw said his experience as a developer has made him see a need for intellectual property reform.

“When you actually think about it, is there a connection between innovation and patents? Yeah. Is there a connection between innovation and jobs? Yeah. There is a connection between patents and jobs. Fixing the patent system would help increase jobs,” he said. “That’s one realm where I would stand out as a senator.”

Staff writer Caitlin Owens


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