Dear Governor Gilmore (from a Different Perspective)

Earlier this week there was an article at another blog about how former Governor Gilmore needs to step aside and not run for the United States Senate. Here are my thoughts on the subject.

From the get-go, the 2018 U.S. Senate seat is going to be nearly impossible for a Republican to win. Democrat Tim Kaine is popular, and he’s a nice guy to be around. He’s never lost an election (in Virginia), and I even like some of the things he does or wants to do, like requiring an Authorized Use of Military Force against ISIS.

It appears obvious that this is going to be a year that can define the direction of the Republican Party of Virginia for the future.

Currently, there are three candidates who have announced they will run for the GOP nomination. E.W. Jackson, who is one of the more right-wing candidates, lost when he ran for Lieutenant Governor in 2013 against current Democratic Governor-elect Ralph Northam.

Corey Stewart is the tax hiking, identity-politics loving, political knucklehead who embraces the Alt-Right and has vowed to run a brutal and ruthless campaign. Both of them would be a disaster. Both would divide the Republican Party seven ways to Sunday and make us all look like jackasses in the process.

Then there’s Nick Freitas, but more on him later. (I’m not counting the marathon runner dude because he doesn’t return my emails.)

There may be a fourth option, one that, in my opinion, would not work out well for Virginia Republicans. Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore has stated multiple times in multiple publications that he is interested in running for U.S. Senate. In 2008 he was the Republican nominee against Democrat Mark Warner, a contest Warner handily won.

Governor Gilmore is a very nice person. His wife is amazingly nice. I have met them once or twice and I cannot really say anything bad about them personally (which, for those of you who know me, it’s beyond easy for me to be critical of a Republican).

With all due respect to the former Governor, I’m not alone in thinking his time has come and gone. We are not going to unite the party and have a fighting chance at beating Tim Kaine by nominating someone who hasn’t been elected to public office since I was in grade school. Since then, Governor Gilmore has lost a statewide election and, for some unknown reason, he ran for President.

However, there is a chance for next year, a rare chance, at uniting the party around a likable candidate. Delegate Nick Freitas represents that rare twinkle of hope that could unite this party and save it from political doom. With an infectiously kind spirit and the heart of a Green Beret, it’s hard not to like him.  He’s not exactly my kind of candidate but for some reason I continue to like the idea of a Freitas candidacy.

Though he’s no Barbara Comstock or Bob Goodlatte, Freitas has a political pizzazz with the economic mind of an Austrian economics professor. He represents the next generation of leadership, denounces the Alt-Right on a regular basis, and is not a step backward into the past.

Freitas doesn’t just believe in free markets because that’s what Republicans are supposed to believe, he treats Bastiat’s The Law like it’s the Bible. His personality is infectious. He has a nice wife, and they work well together.

I know what you’re saying. Why can a guy like me, Chief Republican Establishment Scribe that I describe myself, like Nick Freitas?

Because you don’t have to have a title when you’re around Nick Freitas, you just have to love economic freedom. That’s what makes us Republicans. Every Republican believes in free markets (or they are supposed to, at least). Gone are the identity politics with Delegate Freitas. He just wants to cut my taxes, make my military the strongest fighting force in the world, and wants the government to leave me alone. What’s not to like in that scenario?

Sure, he’s young. Sure, he doesn’t have a lot of political experience. Sure, he’s got annoying fanboys who blow up my Facebook timeline every hour. But his feet are grounded, he knows what he believes, and he’s exactly what the Republican Party could use right now.

Governor Gilmore has served Virginia and our country well, and we thank him for his service. It’s time to let the young Republican from Culpepper run.

As an aside, to my Facebook friends who know of my former criticism of Delegate Freitas, yes, it’s true. My crow tastes lovely.

  • Bishop E W Jackson

    Matt, you don’t know me and you don’t know anything about what kind of campaign I plan to run so your statements about me are based on ignorance and lack of homework. I know it’s your “opinion,” but even opinion should be informed. When you praise Tim Kaine and dismiss a Marine Corps vet, Harvard Law grad, evangelical Pastor with the label “right wing” you have obviously guzzled the Kool Aid. Maybe you are “drifting left” and your perspective is biased and skewed as a result.
    My LG race was 5 years ago. I learned a lot, and have grown since then. Have you learned or grown over the last 5 years? I certainly hope so. So I suggest you talk to me before you issue sweeping dismissals. You are right that defeating Tim Kaine is an uphill climb, but I am the only candidate in the race who can do it, and I will. When it happens, you want to be the smartest guy in the room with your BD colleagues and readers, not the guy who never saw it coming.

    • Rick Shaftan

      You should get out and get behind Corey.

  • Rick Shaftan

    Stewart’s county taxes are below inflation and is one of the best taxpayer records in the entire state. There’s a reason he’s won five elections in a blue county Clinton won by 21 despite (or maybe because of) his conservative record. There’s a reason he whipped #EunuchEd by better than 2-1 in PWC despite losing Northern Virginia. None of his opponents have ever run and won a competitive election. None.

  • Chris B

    You can’t even give me a link after ripping off my post? Dirty pool, sir … dirty pool

  • Lawrence Wood

    Which of these candidates can even come close to generating the approximately 800K general election votes a Republican candidate will need to collect out of the Northern Virginia tier to have any shot at actually winning a statewide election based on post 2016 vote trend lines?

    Once you cut out the candidate fairy dust, what a great guy “isms” and the rest of the totally non relevant bs WHO could generate the necessary vote count to have any shot? Del. Freitas? He may have everything you like except any shot at actually winning the race!

    There is only one guy currently that has even the remotest shot based on previous election history and voter base placement support. But don’t let me stand in the way of simple four function arithmetic logic and observable political reality. Enjoy your delusions and the continuing collapse of the state party.

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