By John-Henry Westen

OTTAWA, January 11, 2006 ( – Conservative star candidate John Baird running a tight race against a Liberal incumbent in Ottawa West Nepean riding is receiving a gruelling fight, not from his Liberal opponent, but from a youngÂindependent candidate who is ensuring that Baird’s stand in support of homosexual ‘marriage’ is known to the public.Â

John PachecoMeet John Pacheco, familiar to social conservatives in the area and abroad as the man who organized the 15,000-strong March for Marriage on Parliament Hill last summer – the event at which Conservative Leader Stephen Harper spoke. Pacheco is running against Baird as an independent with the sole purpose of pointing out that Baird is betraying conservatives with his strong anti-family views. readers will recall that Pacheco was refused by the Conservative Party the opportunity to contest the nomination to run as the Conservative candidate for the riding. Instead the Party anointed their star candidate – Baird – who was opposed by social conservatives for his support of homosexual ‘marriage’ and abortion.ÂAt the time, Conservative Party officials were warned against nixing Pacheco’s nomination candidacy but did not heed the advice.

Now Baird, who is trying to run on Conservative principles and put the nasty business of same-sex ‘marriage’ behind him, has the voters of the riding being constantly reminded of his unpopular position on the matter.Â

In a televised debate which is to air three times in these last two weeks before the election, the question of marriage was not raised by the moderators. However, Pacheco used his opening and closing remarks to drive home the point about Baird’s support for same-sex “marriage” and even creatively squeezed in comments on the issueÂwhile responding toÂother questionsÂduring the debate.Â

Pacheco Campaign signIn his opening statement in the television debate Pacheco said,“If you are a socially conservative voter, you need to send Mr. Baird and the Conservative Party, and indeed all parties, a message on marriage. And this is the message: I’m voting for John Pacheco because I believe in marriage and the Canadian family. Next time, nominate a candidate that reflects my Canadian family values.” In answer to a question he quipped, “Mr. Baird talks about Mom & Dad, but he won’t stand up for traditional marriage. Don’t you find that strange? Don’t you find that sad? I am standing up to ensure a child has a mother and a father.”

As if that weren’t nightmare enough for the Baird campaign, Pacheco is running radio ads on regular and Christian radio with his message. See and

On top of that, appearing all over the riding are campaign signs for the Pacheco campaign which read, in huge letters, “Preserve Traditional Marriage – Elect John Pacheco”.Â

Pacheco is getting media attention well beyond the means of an independent candidate. Write-ups in the local papers, radio and television interviews are coming fast and furious in which Pacheco explains that he sees a vote for him which admittedly may split the vote in the tight race thus allowing the Liberals to retain the riding, as a vote for the future of the Conservative Party.

The focussed pressure seems to be making a mark. CFRA radio host Michael Harris wasÂheard on radioÂthis morning complaining about Pacheco’s campaign.

See Pacheco’s campaign page: