The Republican from Tiburon, who has not been elected to any major political office, emphatically said "Yes, I'm going to win" last week when asked about his morale heading into a showdown for California's 2nd District Congressional seat.
"I need the silent majority to howl," Roberts said.
"I hold the base (of Republicans) and get most of the independents, who I hope are more conservative than liberal," he said. "If I get 3-5 percent of the Reagan Democrats on top of that, I win. That's all I would need to get 51 percent. But I need them to howl."
Huffman, a Democrat from San Rafael, has represented Marin and southern Sonoma County as a state Assemblyman for the past six years and has his eye on the seat vacated by the retiring Lynn Woolsey, a Democrat from Petaluma who is completing 20 years in Congress.
Roberts, a 41-year Marin resident and the founder/president of an investment company, has said his priorities in Congress would be to curtail excess government spending, cut taxes and eliminate unnecessary regulations that restrict the ability to start new businesses. He described himself as a hard-line fiscal conservative staunchly against "top-down Obama programs that are all about spending, spending, spending."
"My competition ... he's more of the same, and the same isn't working for California," Roberts said of Huffman. "Government is not the all-solution. That's the difference between us. I hope the voters pay attention to the issues and forget the empty rhetoric and happy talk coming from the other side. I'm putting my message out in a nonpartisan way and we'll let the voters decide which direction they want to go — the same or a change. I'm the guy for the job."
Huffman said the campaign has exposed some profound differences between his viewpoints and those of Roberts. Most pointedly, he said, those include social issues such as abortion and women's reproductive rights ("I think they should be funded, he does not").
He said his plan in Washington, D.C., would be to cut the military budget, protect Medicare and Social Security, build on affordable heath care, tackle the national debt and address global warming. Huffman, an environmental lawyer by trade, said he and Roberts are "diametrically opposed" on energy policy.
"I want to eliminate subsidies for big oil, and he wants to eliminate incentives for clean energy efforts," Huffman said. "That's one of the profound differences we have. It's a very clear-cut choice for the voters."
And it's been a clean race as well. There really hasn't been any mudslinging.
"I've led a charmed political life," Huffman said with a laugh. "I've always been able to lead positive campaigns my whole career, and I like it that way. Dan and I have had a civil and respectful campaign, airing our differences without any problems."
Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 6.
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