Meet Dave: Indie congressional candidate

We keep hearing about the rising clout of the independent voter. The independent candidate, on the other hand, gets little love. And an independent trying to take on a 30-year political dynasty? Well, more power to you.

Meet Dave Lynch, guitar-repair wizard, small-business man, and congressional hopeful running as an independent against Doris Matsui for the 5th District of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Lynch has owned Guitar Workshop on J Street for about 12 years. He’s been Sacramento since 1976, and spent years working in local music shops, including a stint a Lew’s Music on K Street.

He’s a two-time Sammies award winner (for best jazz musician), an avid cyclist, and in 1969 won his high-school science fair with a model “city of the future” that ran on solar and geothermal power and featured high-rise buildings connected by public transit. His political heroes are JFK, Thomas Jefferson and Frank Zappa.

Matsui has held the seat since 2005 after her husband, Bob Matsui, passed away. Bob held the seat for 26 before that. Doris won with 68 percent of the vote in the 2005 special election, and a whopping 71 percent in her 2006 re-election bid.

That’s pretty much the definition of a safe seat. So Bites figures you’d have to be pretty ambitious to try and beat those odds.

Sure enough, when Bites caught up with the 52-year-old Lynch on his cell phone during the Fourth of July weekend, Lynch was 70 miles into a 110-mile bike ride, preparing for the even longer Death Ride, high in the Sierras on July 12.

“I decided to run against Matsui for a lot of different reasons,” Lynch said during a much-needed pit stop. He wants to improve the Regional Transit system and secure the levies. He says his vision for Sacramento is “the most desirable place to live in the United States … energy-efficient, fun, colorful, clean and affordable.”

Lynch is a lifelong Democrat, but he switched to independent after the Dems’ less-than-inspiring performance in matters regarding the war, the Constitution and general sanity.

Which is why he’s hoping to use his campaign as a platform to support Rep. Dennis Kucinich and his 35 articles of impeachment against still-President Bush.

“If we can get Congress to say yes, to at least vote for articles of impeachment, it would show some backbone.”

It’s a cause he tried to talk to Matsui about before he decided to run for Congress.

“Doris has been silent on impeachment. Over the past two years, I’ve tried to get just 10 minutes to talk to her about this issue. I’ve walked into her office 12 times. I’ve called, I’ve e-mailed,” Lynch explained.

“I think I could bring a lot to that office, starting with the idea of having that door open,” he added.

It would be hard enough for anybody to take Matsui’s seat away. But Lynch has to follow different rules than candidates from the major parties. Heck, he can’t even follow the same rules as the minor parties.

Doris Matsui only has to come up with 60 signatures and a $1,652 filing fee to be on the ballot. Same with the Republican candidate, Green Party, Libertarian Party, you name it.

But since he’s not the official nominee of any registered party, Lynch says he has to come up with 8,474 signatures to get on the ballot. (About 3,000 of the signatures will get him off the hook for paying the filing fee.) And he’s only got until July 25 to do it. By the Fourth of July weekend, he had just 700 signatures.

“This is make-or-break time for me. I’ve got to get these signatures or I’m not going to get on the ballot.”

Bites isn’t endorsing anybody here. But the more the merrier, right? If you want to help Dave get on the ballot, stop by the Guitar Workshop at 3248 J Street. You can also check out the campaign Web site at