Hampton Roads Republicans Gather for Tusk & Trunk at the Cavalier
Thursday night the Crystal Ballroom at the newly renovated Cavalier Hotel at Virginia Beach’s Oceanfront was full of loyal Republican donors gathered for the quarterly meeting of the Tusk & Trunk Club.
Tusk & Trunk is a dynamic group of Republicans who put their money where their mouth is, stepping to the plate to give generously to the conservative movement. It is important to understand that this group is one that serves as the fuel that powers the Republican Party in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and some surrounding areas.
The program consisted of club president John Padgett serving as emcee and introducing area members of the Virginia General Assembly who gave updates on the 2018 session in Richmond. Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and Ret. Major General Bert Mizusawa made the rounds as they greeted those in attendance.
The clear message from the speakers was that the Republicans of the General Assembly have served as the last safeguard against liberal actions of repealing right to work laws, raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and a boat load of new job killing taxes including the Netflix tax. Members of the General Assembly also spoke of the massive turnout that existed on the Democratic side in the last election and brought up the point that while our side had more votes than ever, we were not even close to the Democratic turnout. The recent Medicaid situation was also on everyone’s minds.
Delegate Jason Miyares highlighted the effort of Republicans to protect the free market. He spoke of the extremism demonstrated by some of the new Democratic members in initially wanting to protest the daily invocation held in the House Chamber.
Senator Bill DeSteph voiced his opposition to Medicaid expansion and urged a stop to that liberal legislation. Senator Frank Wagner went deeply into his experience of the budget and explained the gas tax situation for Hampton Roads. He added that proper funding of roads and his work in ensuring the people’s concerns were heard in Medicaid reform were very important to him.
Senator John Cosgrove touched on his specialty of aviation and technology. His bill improving Uber and Lyft rider safety was passed into law, his bill on regulating drone activity near helicopter landing pads of hospitals was successful, and he also mentioned he opposed the Medicaid package vote.
Delegate Chris Stolle highlighted the opportunity to work on coastal flooding, bringing added resources for grants to both Old Dominion University and William & Mary, and he finished his remarks as any good doctor would by covering the various talking points of healthcare in Virginia.
Delegate Jay Leftwich spoke of his bill to improve 911 communications, as well as his concerns for turning out more Republican voters next election.
Delegate Glenn Davis and his wife Chelle were in Washington, D.C., where she received an award for her work with Operation Homefront that provides support to military families so they were not able to attend.
United States Congressman Scott Taylor (VA-02) wrapped up the end of the evening by highlighting the success of the GOP tax cuts. In his remarks Congressman Taylor elaborated on the process of Southside Hampton Roads constructing a Veteran’s Care Outpatient Center and his work in championing that cause. Recently the Congressman held the first ever summit of the Mayors of the towns of Accomack and Northampton Counties where they discussed economic opportunities for the Shore.
Working off the comments of the state legislators, Congressman Taylor discussed in depth the opportunities that are available through the Wallops Island facility for all of Hampton Roads. He also covered the campaign side as he spoke of the upcoming November elections and stressed the need for the GOP to catch up with Democrats on campaign and voter outreach technology.
The night was one of friends, fellowship, and strategy among the Republican faithful. With significant electoral challenges ahead, the GOP is preparing to revamp and come back ready to battle in the months ahead.