Elections matter. Here at RedState, we pride ourselves on covering, not just the grand political narratives of the day, but the smaller yet no less crucial battles that take place at the state and local level. One of the great-untold stories (at least by the mainstream media) of the 2010 midterms was the tremendous sweep of state legislatures by the GOP, driven by the Tea Party movement and the unprecedented level of grassroots conservative activism that came with it. It is difficult to fully articulate just how great of an effect this re-alignment promises to have on the political future of our nation: beyond post-Census redistricting, the hundreds of Republican, mainly conservative state legislators who were swept into office will steer the political conversations of their respective bodies in a direction that is pro-liberty, pro-limited government, pro-life, pro-free market, and anti-statist for years, possibly decades to come, while providing a deep bench from which to draw conservatives candidates for governorships and seats in the US Congress. Perhaps most importantly, citizens who grow accustomed to being represented at the state level by pro-liberty, limited government legislators and see the success of conservative policy in action will grow less tolerant of statist politicians at the national level. These fights matter.
One such battle is approaching its finale in the Commonwealth of Virginia. A key pick-up for Barack Obama in 2008, Virginia served as a harbinger of the coming Tea Party maelstrom when in 2009 it elected Gov. Bob McDonnell. Now in 2011, Virginia serves as test of the staying power of the newfound zeal of grassroots conservatism. In a little over two weeks, all forty members of the Virginia State Senate, which the Democrats hold by a slim margin of 22 seats out of 40, will be up for election. A net gain of at least three seats in the Senate promises to hand control of both houses of the General Assembly to a Republican caucus that is markedly more conservative than any in recent history. The promise of removing the last major roadblock to Gov. McDonnell enacting some of the strongest pieces of his conservative agenda has the Democrats sweating bullets.
“The stakes have never been higher,” said Sen. Janet Howell, D-Fairfax County, who would lose her chairmanship of the Privileges and Elections Committee should the Republicans win their first majority since 2007…"Virginia would be viewed nationally as a laughingstock…Some of the things they want to do would be detrimental to business growth and expansion in Virginia. Our public schools would suffer, as would our human services.”
Generally speaking, when Democrats threaten that an incoming conservative agenda will make its proponents a national laughingstock, what they really mean is that said agenda threatens to make the Democrats a national laughingstock, and an irrelevant one at that. If the liberals are this worried about a potential Republican majority, I would say that makes this cause one worth falling in line behind.
With close to two weeks left before Election Day on November 8, this is crunch time for the GOP. A last-minute fundraising and volunteer surge for our candidates could mean the difference between welcoming in a new conservative majority to work with Gov. McDonnell and the Virginia House in demonstrating to the nation the fruitful results of a conservative, liberty-based agenda, or the continued stymieing of that agenda by a narrow majority of incumbent Democrats grown too accustomed to power.
It’s time to step up to the plate, RedState. Take a five-minute break from arguing over the difference between a national sales tax and a VAT and help finish the statehouse sweep we began in 2010. If you live in or close by one of these contested districts, start making phone calls or knocking on doors. If you live out-of-state or cannot take the time off for physical volunteering, throw some money the candidates’ way to help pay for a TV spot or some pizza for the hungry volunteers out pounding the pavement. Whatever you can give: a few bucks, a half-hour some evening making phone calls; it all matters. You can all make a difference.
You can find a list of all 40 Senate candidates here at the Republican Party of Virginia’s website, with links to each of their campaign websites. I’ve highlighted below the Republican candidates in five key Senate races, along with links to their campaign websites. If you’re still not sure whom to support, you can always donate to the RPV, or to Gov. McDonnell’s Opportunity Virginia PAC.
Thank you in advance for your time and support.
Sen. Bill Stanley – 20th District
From his website:
As the son of a naval aviator my family traveled throughout the United States wherever duty called. In 1983 my family purchased a house in Franklin County. My father chose to move here not only for the beauty of the land but most of all the values and character of its people. I graduated from Hampden Sydney College and the D.C. School of Law, and began my law practice in Northern Virginia with former Attorney General Candidate Gil Davis…Donate
My political foundation was cemented by the conservative values of my father a Ronald Reagan Republican who preached the benefits of working hard, personal responsibility, spending less than you earn, and standing by your principals no matter what the cost. I became the Franklin County Republican Party Chairman in 2008 and doubled the size of the unit and helped to elect Republicans to county offices such as supervisor and sheriff.
David Nutter – 21st District
From his website:
Our State’s number one priority must be getting our economy back on track. This means creating a business friendly environment through low taxes, support for Virginia’s right-to-work laws, and pro-growth climate. I will push to cut the corporate income tax to spur job growth and put people back to work. In my career as an economic development specialist, I have seen why some communities are prospering and others are not. High taxes on small businesses are not the answer. It’s time to bring jobs to Southwest Virginia.Donate
Bryce Reeves – 17th District
From his website:
In this time of economic uncertainty, families and businesses across Virginia cannot afford any tax increases. A tax increase now would only further delay job creation and future prosperity. I stand with the Governor of Virginia in defending Virginia families from overreaching government intrusion in our family budgets. The federal government unfortunately is not bound to have a balanced budget like our families, businesses, and state are. I will always limit the public money I'm responsible for spending to the projects and roles that government was intended to be involved in, and those that the private sector cannot successfully accomplish through competitive means.Donate
Mickey Chohany – 1st District
From his website:
As your representative in the State Senate, I will bring my business acumen and common sense conservative approach to Richmond and stand up for your values and defend the Constitution and all Virginians when representing the 1st District.Donate
As the owner of numerous small businesses for over 25 years I have learned how to be fiscally responsible and accountable for others’ livelihood. It is an immense obligation that has real consequences. It’s a humbling and very gratifying experience to be a small business owner and it comes with great responsibility. Many elected officials are disconnected from the trials and tribulations that face business owners.
Thomas Harmon – 2nd District
From his website:
Tom served more than 28 years with the Corporation for National and Community Service (formerly the ACTION Agency - the domestic Peace Corps) in Alabama, Washington D.C. and Virginia. As the CNCS Virginia State Director for 10 years, Tom's leadership guided annual budgets of over $9.2 million, supporting programs with more than 13,000 volunteers across the state before his retirement 2009.Donate
In addition to his state-wide experience, he has national organizational experience. Prior to returning to Virginia, he served his agency as the Deputy Director to VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America). Under both Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, he was selected to serve on the panels to select Presidential Volunteer Awards, now referred to as "Presidential Points of Light".
Tom understands, after growing up & living in the heart of the 2nd District, that people share his conservative values of strong families and fiscal responsibility. He served and was honorably discharged from the U.S. Air Force.
Full Disclosure: I am neither employed by, nor have I received any financial compensation from, any candidate, candidate’s committee, or party organization. I’m just a guy in Virginia with a keyboard.