Forklift design engineer Bruce West (Forkliftaction.com News #485)
lost his congressional race in Texas, but a son of the late forklift dealer William C Portman was elected to a six-year term representing Ohio in the US Senate. The elections occurred on 2 November.
As the Libertarian party candidate, West received 4,975 votes or 2.5% of those cast in the eighth congressional district of Texas. Seven-term incumbent Kevin Brady, a Republican, won with 79.5%. The district extends from the Louisiana border in east Texas to the suburbs north of Houston.
"I knew going into it (that) I would not win," West notes in post-election comments. "However, I did give people the opportunity to vote for another choice. Instead of voting for the lesser of two evils, (almost) 5,000 voters decided to vote on principle. They voted for smaller government which focused on solving problems by implementing commonsense solutions instead of rhetoric."
West believes he did the right thing in running for office, but also he feels "a little foolish for spending a year of my life" to receive acceptance from "a small minority of voters."
West is unlikely to run again. "Yesterday, I was a candidate for the United States Congress; today, I am a design engineer, father and husband," he says. "I like being daddy better than being a politician. We all have priorities in life."
West works at Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America Inc in Houston, Texas, generally on design issues, customised products and continuous product improvement engineering.
Meanwhile, in the state of Ohio, Republican Rob Portman received 2,125,555 votes, or 57.3% of the total, in winning the seat that Senator George Voinovich is vacating.
Portman was a member of the US Congress from 1993-2005 and then held appointed cabinet-level federal positions as US trade representative and director of the office of management and budget.
He grew up in a forklift environment and often gave credit to his father for sound advice on many topics. William Portman established Portman Equipment Co in 1960 representing Clark and later Caterpillar and expanded with operations in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia. The family sold the business to Pon North America materials handling group in 2003. William Portman, 88, died on 31 August of natural causes (Forkliftaction.com News #478)