If the GOP Wants to Survive in Virginia, Here’s What They Need To Do

I may be a transplant, but I care deeply for its future. Here are my recommendations for Republican survival here.

 

When I moved to Virginia from California in June 2012, I was optimistic about my adopted home’s political future.

 

I thought to myself, I finally have a reason to get excited about politics in a state. My home state was trending far-left and even my home district in Orange County, CA- one of the last vestiges of Reagan conservatism- has been lost, as of last night. Although CA-45, where I cast my first vote in 2009, was barely held on by Congresswoman Mimi Walters (R-CA), Southern Orange County is set to finally undergo a blue transformation. Gah.

 

Virginia naturally seemed like a great place to plant my political roots at the time. Now, I’m uncertain.

 

At the time of my relocation to the People’s Republic of Fairfax County, we had a Republican governor, Bob McDonnell, at the helms of the state in Richmond. Until he signed that $3 trillion transportation bill into law, he was doing a decent job at governing and advancing conservative policies. In 2012-2013, Republicans maintained control of the House of Delegates and had major gains in the State Senate.

 

Fast forward to 2018, and Republicans now only control four of 11 Congressional Districts — having lost Virginia’s 10th, Virginia’s 7th, and Virginia’s 2nd last night. Democrats control the governor’s mansion and top state positions. Republicans only hold control of both state legislative chambers by slim margins— 50-49 (House of Delegates) and 21-19 (State Senate). 2019 is slated to be a bad year for Republicans statewide.

Democrat Shift Was Predicted and Expected

 

How did Virginia get here? I may be a transplant, but I’ve done my best to engrain myself in state politics and learn the ropes. Obviously, the D.C. suburbs of Fairfax and Loudoun have increasingly trended Democrat given the influx of government employees who vote that way. The same seems to be happening in military-heavy Tidewater-Hampton Roads.

 

​The candidates fielded to challenge Democrats haven’t necessarily terrible, barring few exceptions, but they didn’t campaign effectively. Many of them were poor campaigners with a lack thereof strong message. Some of them weren’t prepared to face the Democrat political machine in 2013, 2014, and 2017.

 

Former Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli could have won in 2013 – having only lost to now-former Governor Terry McAuliffe by 2-3% — but didn’t have the backing of the state party much and hired a terrible campaign consultant who muzzled him.

 

Ed Gillespie nearly beat Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) in 2014, contra to polling. He only lost by a 0.8% margin. However, he got crushed by now Governor Ralph Northam 53.9 to 45%, despite a Northam-affiliated group releasing a sleazy immigration ad against Gillespie. Gillespie also wasn’t campaigning as hard as we thought, and 2017 was a referendum on President Trump is a state that voted for Hillary Clinton and her running mate, Senator Tim Kaine, by an overwhelming amount.

 

Don’t even get me started on the 2018 U.S. Senate race. Had Nick Freitas been the nominee, he may not have beat Senator Kaine, but would have lost by a lower margin and his candidacy would have helped Dave Brat and Scott Taylor keep their seats in VA-07 and VA-02, respectively. I hope to god crazy Corey Stewart never runs here again. I will actively work to prevent that from happening if that’s the case.

Where Do Virginia Republicans Go From Here?

Some Republican activists and strategists in Virginia won’t like me for saying this but here I go:

  • Never ever run candidates like Corey Stewart again. He caused us to lose seats and voter enthusiasm. We’ll need more like Denver Riggleman, Nick Freitas, Rob Wittman, etc., to run statewide and nationally going forward to even be competitive.
  • Moderate Republicans and conservative-libertarian Republicans need to do a better job of working together. United we stand, divided we fall. Both a moderate and a conservative Republican congressman lost.
  • Get newer, younger leadership at Republican Party of Virginia. STAT. Since 2013, the party has lost statewide. There is evidence supporting a need for a shakeup.
  • Stop being stingy with money and hire more damn good branding, digital, grassroots, campaign people. This is a big complaint I heard from people who were vested in the races this election cycle. There are plenty of us ready to help you or refer people to your campaigns.
  • New candidate? Take a Leadership Institute training. It’s the best program possible for campaigns and future politicians. I’ll refer you to my old workplace if you inquire to me.
  • You’re going to need more creative disruption to be viable. Update your technology, techniques, and be innovative for polling, voter data, and more.
  • Build up better coalitions with natural allies here in Virginia: anglers, hunters, gun owners, school-choicers, business owners, and others. Heck, try to get crossover votes.​
  • Get on offense and run on ideas against extremist far Left candidates.
  • Be prepared to fight redistricting and other factors that could tilt elections against us.

Virginia Republicans: You need to get serious if you want to prevent our state’s forecasted morphing into California or New Jersey. We are at risk of losing the State Senate and State House next year given the trends playing out…

 

If we continue to lose, you will see a massive exodus of native and transplanted Virginians (like myself). I hear and see Florida is safe for now, so I may finally get lured into the Sunshine State after all.

 

It’s on us to reverse course. Will fellow Virginia Republicans be for the task?

After Charlottesville, Conservatives Must Reject Fake Southerner Corey Stewart




Politicians usually sound the most off-key when they are trying to pretend to be something they are not. Remember Donald Trump trying to talk abortion policy with Chris Matthews? Or the classic of the genre – “severely conservative” Mitt Romney.

Well in the wake of the horrific violence at Charlottesville, Virginia Republican’s self-appointed monument defender Corey Stewart is making the same blunder – but his is enabling KKK members and ruining the hopes of having a conservative replace Hillary’s VP Tim Kaine in the U.S. Senate in the process.

You see here is the thing about Corey, he doesn’t know what real Southerners who have respect for Confederate monuments actually believe, because he isn’t one of them.



Corey is from Minnesota and went to Georgetown University. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but these places aren’t exactly a bastion of the Confederacy.

But I’m not certain that he is a disingenuous defender of these monuments just because he’s a Yankee, I’m sure because I saw this video from just last year where Corey says so himself.

Here is Corey speaking at an event to rename a school that was previously named after Mills Godwin, a two-time governor of Virginia because he opposed the desegregation of schools in the state and never apologized. At this event Corey said that renaming this school was “a long, long time in coming” because “we live in perhaps the most progressive, futuristic county in the United States of America.”

This speech cheered renaming a school because it was named after someone who opposed equal rights for blacks and changing the name to honor a community leader, George Hampton, was just 14 months ago!

Over the course of the last few months his lack of understanding of the issue has been on full display, resulting in him defending a monument that was literally erected to support white supremacy after the Civil War was over – the LIberty Monument in New Orleans, as I have covered before.

He then went on CNN last week where he praised the “normal people” who were protesting with the white supremacists.

His Twitter feed reads like a racist Foghorn Leghorn.

All of this comes one year after bragging about how “progressive” it was to start renaming things that had been named after racists.

This guy is a fraud who has been one of the leading voices encouraging the white supremacists and in doing so he’s preying on people who have legitimate concerns about liberal mission creep.

As I said on Fox last week, there is no place for these white supremacists or their enablers. They are undermining our fight against the social justice left, not helping it.

In a race as high profile as the one against Tim Kaine, the Republicans need another option besides this clown. If he is the nominee it will only be more evidence of the party’s fall.

Corey Stewart Promises ‘Ruthless’ Campaign In Virginia

Corey Stewart made the official announcement for his Senate campaign on Thursday.

Stewart, the at-large chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, announces his challenge to Sen. Time Kaine (D) just one month after losing the GOP gubernatorial primary. During that race, Stewart shocked the state’s political establishment by forcing current-GOP nominee Ed Gillespie to a photo finish. He is channeling his campaign’s surprising performance into a shot at the US Senate. He is the first official Republican to enter the fray.

To understand how Stewart will run this race, we need to look no further than his last race.

Underfunded and understaffed, Corey Stewart had to rely on bombastic rhetoric for media exposure. This strategy should sound very familiar to you. The insurgent Republican took cues right out of Donald Trump’s campaign playbook. Having served as the Virginia chairman of Trump’s campaign, Stewart has gone on to emulate the president’s style in many ways.

Most political pundits expected Ed Gillespie, a former RNC chairman and counselor to George W. Bush, to win the GOP gubernatorial primary with ease. Gillespie came with a strong establishment network and an impressive fundraising apparatus. However, taking note of what happened during the 2016 election, Stewart intentionally ran a provocative campaign to get people’s attention.

He vehemently supported the preservation of Confederate monuments and the Confederate flag. He spoke in strong terms about illegal immigrants pouring into the state. Instead of “Lyin’ Ted” or “Crooked Hillary,” Stewart dubbed his GOP opponent “Establishment Ed.” To think of the Republican from Prince William County as a mini-Trump may be an understatement – Stewart proved to be too much even for the Trump campaign. He was fired from his position as Virginia chairman after protesting in front of the Republican National Committee. He later blamed “establishment pukes” at the RNC for being let go.

While still ultimately losing, the craziness paid off huge dividends. In a race where he was expected to lose by wide margins, Stewart ended Election Day 1.2 points behind Gillespie. The constant media attention resulted in a strong showing in Virginia’s rural counties – the same areas where the president performed well.

One month later, Stewart is already gearing up for another campaign. And this go around, he promises to be even tougher.

“There are things that I held back on with Gillespie because he was another Republican,” Stewart said in an interview following his announcement. “But there are no holds barred here. This could be for control of the United States Senate.”

The provocative Republican made it clear he is no fan of Kaine.

“I’m going to run, as I always do, a very vicious, ruthless campaign against Tim Kaine, and I’m going to be able to knock him off,” he stated. “This blind hatred that he has for President Trump has made him neglect the issues that most Virginians care about, namely bringing back jobs, reforming health care. All Tim Kaine talks about is Russia” (the Virginia senator has gone farther than most other Democrats by dropping the treason line when speaking of Donald Trump Jr.).

I have no doubt Stewart will do well in the GOP Senate primary. He now carries strong name recognition and an already-hot campaign operation. The type of conservative red meat he has to offer works wonders for Republican primary voters.

However, such a strategy does not always translate smoothly into a general election, especially in Virginia. A swing state that appears to be trending blue, Old Dominion hasn’t voted for a Republican in a statewide election since 2009. Obama won the state twice, as did Hillary last year. President Trump’s approval rating currently sits at a meek 36 percent. Could a mini-Trump really take home the gold here?

A huge factor also is Tim Kaine himself. He is an incumbent senator and former governor. His placement as Hillary Clinton’s running mate last year gave him a national fundraising network he will continue to enjoy. Ousting him would be no easy task.

The odds are certainly stacked against Corey Stewart. But if the 2016 presidential election taught us one thing: anything is possible. All we know for sure is that Tim Kaine will be given a goofy nickname sometime very soon.

 

 

 

Corey Stewart, Republican Candidate for Virginia Governor, Defends a Truly Racist Monument

Candidates beclowning themselves to get attention is nothing new. Neither is the overreaction of the left toward purging inconvenient history. The two combined yesterday, however, into a farce of crap that should disqualify Corey Stewart, a Republican candidate for Governor of Virginia, from ever holding office again.

While I oppose the historic revisionism and ignorance of the left when it comes to purging Robert E. Lee from history, Stewart has gone a step further and defended the indefensible. Stewart compared workers removing a monument in New Orleans to ISIS. What monument was it they were removing? The Liberty Monument. That monument should have been destroyed eons ago. The Liberty Monument was erected following the Battle of Liberty Place along Canal Street in New Orleans.

The Democratic Party of Louisiana in 1874 had a paramilitary unit that harassed blacks and pro-Union whites. When a biracial government got elected after the Civil War, the Louisiana Democratic Party launched its paramilitary unit into the heart of New Orleans to seize control. They eventually lost, but once Reconstruction ended, they poured back into government, drove out any and all blacks, and made sure whites who were sympathetic to the black community disappeared.

Those Democrats set up the Liberty Monument to remind people of an attempted violent overthrow of a democratically elected bi-racial government.

I think it is as ridiculous for New Orleans to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee as it is for LSU to refuse a statute of its first Chancellor, William T. Sherman. Lee was a model soldier and statesman who worked tirelessly for reunification after a noble surrender. He should be held up as the epitome of a gracious loser who set about uniting people.

But there can be no room to defend the Liberty Monument, which has continued to exist largely because of government inertia. It celebrated an illiberal moment in American history. That Corey Stewart would compare those who brought down the monument to ISIS cheapens what ISIS does and gets the history exactly backwards. But then Corey Stewart is in Virginia trying to get attention for his gubernatorial race. Sticking his nose in another state’s business to defend post-Civl War Democratic Party paramilitary units suggests he’s an idiot.

But for candidates like Stewart, any attention is good attention and there will always be a fringe willing to defend the indefensible if it gets their name in the paper.

Repugnant Rhetoric Has No Place in Virginia Republican Politics

This is a new low for Republican politics in Virginia.

Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart (R-VA) apparently is referring to his Republican rival Ed Gillespie on Reddit as “cuckservative” now. He recently held an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) chat on Reddit filled with some rather questionable language. Below is a screenshot from his Reddit account:

https://twitter.com/RickCanton/status/845087682883719173

This isn’t Stewart’s first dabbling into name calling. He has repeatedly resorted to calling Gillespie “Establishment Ed,” accusing him of being pro-abortion, and anti-gun. Stewart himself has several inconsistencies about his record–particularly taxes. But I digress…

Stewart has attempted to run like Trump here in Virginia but has failed to garner much traction. Most notably, he was working for President Trump’s campaign in Virginia but was fired last October for organizing a protest at the RNC.

“Former Virginia State Chairman Corey Stewart is no longer affiliated with the Donald J. Trump for President campaign,” said Trump’s deputy campaign manager, David Bossie, last fall. “He is being replaced, effective immediately. Corey made this decision when he staged a stunt in front of the RNC without the knowledge or the approval of the Trump campaign.”

Most Virginians saw Stewart’s involvement in Trump’s campaign as a stepping stone for his own gubernatorial bid-which has been tumultuous from the start. He previously ran an unsuccessful bid for Lieutenant Governor in 2013 and has caused the ire of many conservatives here in Virginia since then.

Travis Fain of The Daily Press–a major publication here in Virginia–cited our Editor-in-Chief Erick Erickson in a piece detailing the ridiculous nature of Stewart’s penchant for using the term “cuckservative”:

This is a combination of “cuckhold,” a derisive term for a man whose wife cheats on him, and “conservative.” Think of it as the newer and more oddly sexually tinged version of RINO – “Republican in Name Only.” Or, as conservative commentator Erick Erickson has put it in the past, “a slur against Christian voters coined by white supremacists.”

Many prominent conservatives in Stewart’s county have called for him to resign, while Republican Party of Virginia leaders have condemned his remarks.

Republican Party of Virginia John Witbeck condemned Stewart’s remarks and issued the following statement:

“The term “cuckservative” is racist and its use is not acceptable in political discourse under any circumstance. I condemn the use of the term unequivocally and without exception.  No Republican should ever use this type of language in a campaign. ”

Prince William County School Board Member Willie Deutsch called for Stewart to resign from his post on the county Board of Supervisors and echoed it in The Bull Elephant:

The Prince William County Young Republicans echoed Deutsch’s call for Stewart to resign.

Name-calling is unacceptable, no matter your political affiliation. (Let’s run on principles and ideas in a positive manner, please?) If Stewart continues to resort to this, he will lose the primary and deservedly so. These repeated attacks are uncalled for and unbecoming of a Republican candidate for statewide office.

With the recent withdrawal of distiller Denver Riggleman from the gubernatorial race, I’ll be assuredly casting my vote for Ed Gillespie in our June 13th primary. I hope other Virginians join me in doing so. Tarnishing conservatism with repugnant rhetoric has no place in our party or our movement here in the Commonwealth of Virginia.