Griffith is the Best Choice to Beat Boucher

As Ninth District Republicans prepare to gather on May 22nd to choose the Republican candidate to take on Rick Boucher this November, now is the time to start focusing on what should be the most important factor in choosing our nominee: winning.

14-term incumbents do not just roll over and give away their seats, even in the most difficult electoral environments. Boucher has survived wave elections before and over the years he has built up an undeniable reserve of goodwill among constituents who many times do not agree with his votes. Furthermore, Boucher has a $2 million head-start in fundraising, the majority of which has come from Washington, D.C.-based political action committees. Prying Boucher from his seat in Washington after 28 years is going to be a monumental task. Therefore Republicans should select a nominee that not only reflects their values, but also one who has the experience and resources necessary to wage an effective campaign against Boucher.

As proved by the NRCC’s decision today to name him one of their “Young Guns,” the only candidate in the 9th District who fits that bill is Delegate Morgan Griffith.

I had the great opportunity last week to organize a debate for the six candidates for the Republican nomination in the Ninth District. Over the course of the debate, I felt that all of the candidates presented themselves well and I was largely impressed with their grasp of the issues facing our area. When it comes to the issues and their commitment to conservative Republican principles, there is very little daylight between these six candidates. The differences that do exist between them, then, are primarily on the issue of experience.

After being disappointed in 2008 when nobody chose to challenge Rick Boucher, I am pleased to see so many first-time candidates engaging in the political process an gaining experience by running for Congress. In fact, I hope that some of these folks will be encouraged by this experience to run for other offices at the state or local level in future elections. Indeed, if this were an open-seat race, the calculus in choosing a nominee could well have been quite different and could have presented a great opportunity for a political novice to win.

However, with Rick Boucher clutching tightly to the seat he has held through five Presidential administrations, Ninth District Republicans need someone who has fought tough fights before and come out victorious. Elections can turn quickly and there will always be developments that surprise the candidates. How they respond to those surprises and challenges is what makes the difference between winning and losing.

Morgan Griffith has run for election and won nine times. He can face those challenges that come with a campaign of this size. Morgan Griffith can raise the money necessary to stand on a level playing field with Boucher. Morgan Griffith has stared down the Democrats in the House of Delegates and turned back many a bad bill that has come from Virginia’s Democratic State Senate. He can stand toe to toe with Boucher in a campaign and stare down the Democrats in Congress with equal aplomb.

I know that Ninth District Republicans desperately want to defeat Rick Boucher and elect a representative who will actually represent them in Washington. This year, they will have the best chance to do so that they have had in a long, long time. Morgan Griffith is the only candidate who can finish the job and ensure that Southwest Virginia is not left behind when those results come pouring in on November 9th. Let’s make sure we don’t miss this opportunity.

Cross-posted to Bloggers for Morgan Griffith

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