Downtown Republican Club

Republicans are known as the party of entrepreneurship and free enterprise. It is the idea of running government more efficiently, run more like a business, that brings many into the Republican fold. While Republicans have done well in maintaining a pro-business agenda, the party has done an extremely poor job in reaching out to voters in urban areas and downtown hubs. We must do better.

Downtown Norfolk is a hub for up and coming young professionals who have recently entered the workforce to begin working toward successful careers, and many are voters that Republicans must engage. Many large businesses are based in downtown areas and Republicans have a unique opportunity to reach out and captivate the minds of those interested in a positive business environment.

Admiral Jack Kavanaugh leads a quarterly business luncheon directed at growing the Republican Party within the business community of Downtown Norfolk. The club has been tremendously successful in pushing pro-business ideas, bringing new voters into the Republican fold, and raising money to fund our campaigns.

This quarter the speaker was John Reinhart, CEO of the Port of Virginia. Since the beginning of civilization ports have served as a hub of economic activity. The Chesapeake Bay provides the world’s top natural port for the shipping industry, servicing the entire world in various exports and imports. The economic benefits of a thriving port in Hampton Roads are huge — jobs, tax revenue, and a culture of economic prosperity that all feed into a better Commonwealth. Goods are even serviced through an inland port based in Front Royal, Virginia.

Reinhart outlined many improvements that will ensure the Port of Virginia will remain on top, such as automated cranes, safety sensors, and radiation detectors, all part of the recipe for success. The future of the port is to for channels to become deeper, safer, and wider to outpace competition in South Carolina. According to Reinhart, the poor business conditions in California are opening possibilities for Virginia due to the Panama Canal waterway.

The presentation by Reinhart was extremely educational and inspiring. Anyone involved in civics or business should absolutely look more closely into the inner workings of the Port of Virginia.

The lunch was attended by many prominent business leaders and politicos. Delegate Glenn Davis and Senator Bill DeSteph of Virginia’s General Assembly attended as well as General Bert Mizusawa who is maintaining his political connections throughout Virginia.

Republicans should take note of the success of the Downtown Republican Club and try to start a club of their own in urban cities across the Commonwealth.

John Reinhart

John Reinhard

Gen. Bert Mizusawa and Del. Glenn Davis

Wayne Coleman (left)

Roger Davis

Isle of Wight Supervisor Dick Grice (left)

John Reinhart, Ross Viera, Sandy Canada, Gen. Bert Mizusawa


Cover photo: Gen. Bert Mizusawa, Lee Pillsbury, Lee Talley, Del. Glenn Davis, Dave Eggelston

The author is a member of the Downtown Republican Club.