Johnson gets a second challenger for GOP nod at last minute

Johnson gets a second challenger for GOP nod at last minute

SPRINGFIELD — A third Republican entered the 13th Congressional District primary election roster at literally the last minute.

Frank Metzger, a 70-year-old retired ironworker from Glen Carbon, filed his petitions of candidacy at 5 p.m. Tuesday at the State Board of Elections office in Springfield. He was the last person to file for the March 20 election.

"Yeah, I took my wife's car. My truck only gets 10 to 12 miles a gallon. Her car gets about 20 on the highway," Metzger said. "But I almost did not allow enough time. It was in the repair shop and I got it out in time to make a good flying run up there. But I didn't allow for all the doggone traffic. How frustrating that would have been."

In fact, Metzger said, he originally had intended to file his candidacy petitions last Friday. He got all the way to the elections board office before noticing he had forgotten to bring his official statement of candidacy. So he had to drive back on Tuesday, and he made it just before the deadline.

"I behaved myself enough that I did not arouse undue attention from the local constabulary. If I had been stopped by the highway patrol, I would have asked for a blue light escort to the election headquarters," he joked. "I would have told them, 'Look, I'm really running close on time.'"

Metzger, who joins six-term U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson of Urbana and Moro veterinarian Michael Firsching as the 13th District Republican candidates, said he has never run for political office before. The new 13th District arcs from Champaign-Urbana on the northeast to a portion of Madison County on the south. It includes all or parts of 14 central Illinois counties. Two Democrats also are running in the district in the March 20 primary, Matt Goetten of Carrollton and David Gill of Bloomington.

Metzger boasted that he is "the only Republican ironworker who is a tea party Republican."

A Vietnam veteran, Metzger said he has never met Johnson, but "I'm not terribly impressed with his voting record.

"I find there's not much in his record in terms of actually stimulating the economy with jobs, as in getting that (Keystone XL) pipeline going. There's no reason he can't be raising hell about that. There's no reason he can't be raising hell about our southern border. Obama wants to cut our federal participation in border protection down to 300 from 2,400. That's ridiculous. We have al-Qaida in our country now. This is no reason to be cutting down our border patrol agents. It's time to get the job done and support the governors down there."

Johnson has, in fact, voiced support for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta, Canada, to Houston.

"What's important is that we take a stand as patriots," Metzger said. "I don't give a damn about the next election. I care about the next generation. We've got a lot of people just collecting paychecks. I'm going there to represent our Constitution and the Christian heritage of this great nation.

"We just have gotten away from the Christian heritage of our forefathers."

Metzger said he lived in Urbana about 25 years ago while working on the Clinton nuclear power plant. He has seven living children and 17 grandchildren. He owns a three-employee tree-trimming company called Trees Trees & More Trees.

"I'm a committed workaholic," he said. "I work from Can't See to Can't See.

"I'm wearing a Carhart now that's embroidered on the back with, 'Hard hats and boots in DC: Needed.' That's what we need.

"I'm just appalled at the lack of nerve of some many of our elected representatives. They can't seem to stand up for what's right. They've got to be politically correct. I will never be accused of political correctness."

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alabaster jones 71 wrote on December 29, 2011 at 6:12 pm
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Hmmm, sounds like Mr. Metzger has got a whole lot of talking points but not a whole lot of logic or reasoning.  That's just how they like 'em in Washington, of course, but it will be of no matter to Mr. Metzger when Tim Johnson wins the primary with a massive plurality of the vote over Mr. Metzger and Mr. Firsching.  Maybe, just maybe if those two run really good campaigns they can hold Johnson under 70% of the primary vote.  Shoot for the stars, gentlemen.

read the DI wrote on December 29, 2011 at 7:12 pm

If, as Metzger asserts, we have al-Qaida in our country now, there's no reason to beef up the border patrols. All that would do is keep them in.