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POLITICS: PennAve

Former Washington Redskin and congressional candidate Clint Didier courts Capitol Hill

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Politics,Sports,Betsy Woodruff,House of Representatives,Washington,2014 Elections,Campaigns,PennAve

It was an interesting day for Clint Didier. The former Washington Redskins tight end and current congressional candidate — he’s running for the Washington House seat that Doc Hastings will vacate upon retirement — has been in Washington, D.C., since Tuesday, meeting with groups, sitting down with prominent conservative politicians, and working to garner support for his congressional bid.

And now he’s got an interesting conversation-starter. A poll commissioned by his campaign and provided first to the Washington Examiner indicates that he has 70 percent name recognition in the district and is leading his nearest opponent for the Republican nomination by eight points. It also puts his favorable-to-unfavorable ratings at 3-to-1. The poll was done by Team Telcom of Lansing, Mich., and reached 400 very likely voters by telephone.

Thursday afternoon, Didier and his campaign advisers met with Sen. Mike Lee and the National Republican Congressional Committee. His consultant, Doug Simpson, said they also made a “courtesy call” to Team Boehner, the House speaker's political arm. Over the course of Didier's visit, he has met with FreedomWorks, Republican Reps. Justin Amash of Michigan and Tom Price of Georgia, Campaign for Liberty, as well as other right-leaning organizations. He also pitched his candidacy at Americans for Tax Reform's "Wednesday Meeting," he said.

Didier emphasized that he has tried to make his campaign as fiscally responsible as possible. That includes being judicious with fliers.

“Yesterday when they had the meeting, we handed out these fliers and they threw them in the garbage,” he said of the ATR meeting during an elevator ride in the Hart Senate office building. “I went in the garbage and took them out.”

Per his campaign advisers, his pitch to "Wednesday Meeting" attendees was frank. When asked about the Second Amendment, he simply grinned and said, “I love guns.”

“I'd say this: The Second Amendment is what guarantees our other nine,” he said in the lobby of the Republican National Committee building. “They can take our other amendments away, and we have our Second to defend ourselves.”

And, for the record, Didier would be disappointed if the Redskins — the team he played for in two Super Bowls — change their name.

“When you try to take the name away, you are slapping the Native Americans in the face because you don’t want to recognize them,” he said.

This story was published at 5:19 a.m. and has been updated.

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Betsy Woodruff

Political Writer
The Washington Examiner