Anyone involved in Virginia Beach politics has heard speeches of the now-retired Del. Bob Purkey. Anyone very involved has heard them hundreds of times. The supremely involved can recite them verbatim.
One thing Del. Bob Purkey always said goes like this:
“Diversity is the future of this country and the future of this party”
He meant it. In endorsing Bill DeSteph two years ago, Del. Purkey said “diversity is the future of America, Virginia, and the 82nd House of Delegates District.”
Diversity is one of our nation’s greatest strengths, he’d say. He’d say if our party or any party ignored this, they’d do so at their own peril. When the Latino population in Virginia has grown by over 200% in the past 10 years, it is clear that Purkey was correct.
Purkey’s speeches echoed when Jason Miyares announced his candidacy to run for the 82nd District, which Purkey represented for decades.
The Miyares family fled Communist Cuba in 1965. I’ve known Miyares for years as a very active volunteer in the party, from serving as Legislative District Chair in Del. Leo Wardrup’s 83rd to countless other duties helping the Party, including RPVB Vice Chairman and founding member of HRYR.
He also served on Bob McDonnell’s Latino Advisory Commission, is extremely close with Michel Zajur, CEO & Founder of the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and has worn his Cuban heritage on his sleeve as long as anyone has known him.
I think it would be fittingly poetic that Bob Purkey’s call for more diversity in the Republican Party would be answered by electing Miyares, who would be the only Hispanic in the Republican caucus, so he can represent the same district Bob Purkey’s did.