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Schaffer surprised by showing
Norwalk Reflector, November 6th, 1996

Willard - Despite the little known status of his party, Natural Law Party candidate David Schaffer made a surprisingly sturdy showing in the huge 5th Congressional District race.

Going up against incumbent Representative Paul Gillmor, R-Old Fort, and Democratic challenger Annie Saunders of Norwalk, Schaffer said his chief goal was to gain some recognition for the party with which he allied himself.

A full-time factory worker and farmer, Schaffer didn't have much time for campaigning, but instead relied on candidates' forums, word-of-mouth and newspaper advertising and reporting about his efforts.

In Huron County alone, he garnered 1,412 votes, and earned just over 11,000 votes overall for a 5 percent finish.

"Wow, that's fantastic," he said when told his Huron County votes totaled more than 6 percent. He had an uphill battle, and he appreciated the help and support he received across the district.

"I was given no special congressional privileges for my campaign, unlike Congress, who gives itself several weeks off to campaign and free, special mailings, all at taxpayers' expense," Schaffer said.

"Incumbent candidates receive 90 percent of all PAC monies," he added. "My incumbent received almost a quarter million dollars from PACS, easily outspending his challengers by several times. ... It's a stacked deck in favor of the incumbents in a system that needs much reform."

He said he'll now work to "build up the party" so that it becomes stronger on both the local and national levels. And, he said, the campaign was enjoyable and fun.

"I enjoyed campaigning and meeting the district's constituents," Schaffer added. "I got a lot of positive reactions - hardly anyone was negative to me at all."

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