The central problem for both candidates in the race, Republicans state Sen. Neil Riser and newcomer Vance McAllister, is to distinguish themselves from each other as their announced conservative ideologies create little policy distance between the pair. As the frontrunner from the start, various opponents prior to the runoff tried two related strategies to contrast themselves with Riser.
One was predicated on the existence of large distaste for elected officials in general, or in practical terms trying to paint Riser as some part of political establishment. The problem was that Riser didn’t fit this profile well, having only been in office a grand total of six years and prior to that and continuing being a successful businessman. Thus only McAllister, an equally successful businessman who was unlike the other major candidates who all had elected office experience, could get any traction out of this strategy.