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.