Conservative pundit Dick Morris was chatting with Sean Hannity on the Fox News host's radio program over the weekend, explaining how Republicans could gain a majority in the Senate during this November's races.
You may not have heard of this guy, but Sean Hannity has.
After ticking off 10 races he thinks are likely to go to the GOP, including Delaware and Nevada, Morris noted: "and then you have as backups a guy named Paul Akers, who's about to get into the race against Patty Murray in Washington state, who's got a good shot."
Wait, who?Of all the people for Morris to name-drop as the most likely to defeat Murray, Akers, who has since announced his intention to run, doesn't make a lot of sense.
Among the seven Republican candidates now running for the seat are a former Super Bowl champ, a state senator and a motivational speaker. Akers, on the other hand, is the inventor of a sticker for covering exposed screws and nails called a FastCap.
Akers has turned the adhesive covers into a 70-employee, Bellingham-based online business selling adhesive strips, glues and small tools for woodworking and construction. The site includes dozens of videos of Akers demonstrating the products on the site, infomercial-style. "Boom! It goes on just like that, and we're done," he declares when placing one of his FastCaps over the head of a screw.
You can even watch a video of FastCap employees stretching out together as part of their morning meeting, and be grateful your place of employment doesn't do group calisthenics.
Akers also hosts a Saturday morning call-in talk show on KGMI in Bellingham called "The American Innovator" where he advises people on selling their own inventions.
So how did a man selling stickers out of Bellingham end up in a Senate race against a three-term incumbent? "I'm watching what's going on in Washington and I said to myself, you know, this is not that hard," he says by phone from Bellingham.
Asked to explain, Akers says the government should act more like a business, specifically by not spending more than it takes in.
The long-time Republican donor says he got encouragement to run at a New York event hosted by the Republican National Committee where he met and befriended Rob Astorino, a former ESPN radio producer who was recently elected County Executive of Westchester County, just north of New York City. Astorino knew Morris and introduced him to Akers.
Akers says he had only one question for Morris: "Is it possible, Dick, for a total outsider with no political experience, to win a U.S. Senate seat?" he says, adding that the two have since talked by phone several times "and Dick, obviously, is intrigued by my record and what I've accomplished."
What Akers needs now if he's going to rise above the GOP fray is for conservatives in this state to be similarly intrigued--or at least know his name.