By Ralph Z. Hallow
Republicans looking to ease the friction among party stalwarts, tea party activists and Ron Paul supporters headed into this year's election say they may have found a model of unity in Art Robinson, a scientist who is the GOP candidate for a congressional seat representing an Oregon district.
Mr. Robinson, a former CalTech chemist and home-schooling curriculum author who became a prominent skeptic of taxpayer-funded research based on his own experiences, has hit the kinds of notes that ring well with the limited-government tea party and with libertarian Paul forces.
"Art's grass-roots campaign challenges the Washington, D.C., cabal of insider politics and is gaining momentum for a very good reason," saidAllen Alley, chairman of the Oregon Republican Party. "There's a moral and political rudder, a core set of beliefs, that come through. The more you listen, the more his good sense comes through."
But even more, Republicans hope Mr. Robinson can be a template for the broader national party. Many activists fret that Republicans cannot win the presidential election in November if they put up a candidate in a fractured party against a Democratic Party unified behind President Obama.