(This is a commentary from September 2011 about a great candidate for the US Senate whom I met at the RedState conference in Charleston. It is re-posted here for you enjoyment.)
One of the biggest political surprises of 2011 was the announcement by Democrat US senator Jim Webb of Virginia that he is not going to seek re-election after one term in Washington.
Webb was a Reagan administration Navy Secretary who switched parties and was seen as a rising star among Democrats.
In 2006, he took the Virginia seat from Republican incumbent George Allen in the election with the famous “macaca” incident.
Allen is planning in to seek to re-take his seat in November 2012 but will not succeed if savvy Tea Party activist Jamie Radtke has anything to do with it. Because it certainly looks like Radtke not only can defeat Allen in the Republican primary in June 2012, but can very likely be the next US senator from Virginia, a so-called ‘purple state’ which has been trending Republican in recent elections.
Former Virginia governor Tim Kaine is the most likely choice to be the Democrat nominee for the seat.
Radtke and her allies consider Allen to be far too liberal and her candidacy is another step in the anti-establishment wave that is sweeping the conservative Republican right.
Other challengers from the right in 2012 include Richard Mourdock, Indiana state treasurer who will confront incumbent Republican US senator Richard Lugar in the primary; and Don Stenberg, the Nebraska state treasurer who feels confident that he can win the US Senate seat from Democrat Ben Nelson.
Radtke’s conservative credentials are stellar. Her campaign push card states unequivocally: ‘It’s time to steer America away from tyranny and back toward liberty, toward the limited government vision of the founding fathers, and the rule of law under the Constitution.’
Her resume is impressive. Here are just a few highlights both in and out of government: Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation – Co-founder and Chairwoman; Sovereign Consulting – Founder and Consultant; American Management Systems – Business Analyst; Virginia Department of Planning and Budget – James B. Cook Scholar; US Senate Foreign Relations Committee – Staff Assistant.
Radtke has a bachelor of science degree in government from Liberty University and a master of public policy degree from the College of William and Mary, both Virginia institutions.
Her platform includes the following: Opposes any increase in the federal debt ceiling; favors major entitlement reform; supports the 2nd Amendment; supports the traditional family; opposes illegal immigration; and favors a flat tax or fair tax to streamline collection and help the economy.
She contrasts herself sharply with George Allen in an impeccable 20-page handout:
*Radtke opposes raising the debt ceiling while Allen voted to raise it four times during his Senate career.
*Radtke says that ‘cutting spending $100 billion is “not nearly enough. A minimum threshold should be a half trillion.”’ Allen praised the $100 billion figure as a “good start”.
*Radtke wants to cap spending as a percentage of GDP. Allen voted to add $3.1 trillion in debt during his time in Washington.
*Radtke opposes the following which Allen supported: Earmarks (including the “Bridge to Nowhere” and the Iowa Indoor Tropical Rainforest); the No Child Left Behind legislation; Medicare Part D; and farm subsidies. She is pro-life and opposes embryonic stem cell research. She opposes the United Nations’ Agenda 21 which is manifested in American “national heritage areas” that give government and environmentalists control over increasing areas of land. She opposes adding ‘sexual orientation’ to hate crimes legislation.
Here are some of the public comments and endorsements about Radtke:
The Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch said ‘Although not an office-holder, (Radtke) is more impressive than (Minnesota congresswoman Michele) Bachmann – and, for that matter, others mentioned as possible GOP challengers in the (Senate) primary…. Much of the credit for the otherwise positive image of the Tea Party’s manifestation in Virginia goes to Jamie Radtke, who possesses not only political smarts but a sense of humor…’
Neil King, writing in The Wall Street Journal said, ‘The Federation of Virginia Tea Party Patriots helped push legislation through the Virginia Statehouse earlier this year to blunt the impact of the new federal health-care law. It is now allying itself with like-minded lawmakers to champion an ambitious roster of bills. Virginia’s statewide tea-party alliance is perhaps the most advanced of any in the country, both in organization and in its own interactions with the GOP.’
The handout also includes 7 pages of Virginia Tea Party endorsements which represent a powerful grass-roots force that should send shudders up George Allen’s spine. And Tim Kaine’s too.
Erick Erickson of RedState.com said, “I have met George Allen a number of times, like him tremendously, but I have personally decided to support Jamie Radtke for the Senate. Once someone has been beaten (a reference to Allen’s 2006 defeat), I tend to think we need not run them again for the same seat. Republicans have a habit of doing that and, at this time, I think we need some fresh faces.”
National conservative ‘godfather’ Richard Viguerie said, “… Jamie Radtke, the Virginia Tea Party leader, pro-life, constitutional, small government conservative running for the Virginia Republican nomination for US Senate… someone who is a major grassroots leader now and will be a national leader in our movement for many years to come. You’ll be impressed. I guarantee it.”
Be sure to watch election night coverage closely in November 2012. You may very well be seeing Jamie Radtke in full celebration mode.
Please visit my blog at www.nikitas3.com for more conservative insights.