Shinholser: Let’s Unite Behind Chris Peace As Our Rep in HD-97

By John Shinholser

After much reflection on the race occurring in Virginia House District 97, I have decided to share some heartfelt thoughts on recent occurrences.

I deeply love my community, Commonwealth, and country. It was my love for and belief in the American Dream that led me to serve our nation in foreign lands to defend our freedom while serving in the United States Marine Corps.

I have continued to remain engaged in my own ways once I returned home from active duty to continue the fight for liberty and a better future. Most importantly, I swore an oath that I continue to allow to guide my life. This oath pledges to uphold the honor code that promises to not “lie, cheat, steal, nor tolerate those who do.”

This is what brings me to the necessity of this letter. I have observed things occurring that are very damaging that many of my fellow service members and I defended against. I now see, in my own backyard, that Delegate Chris Peace, a faithful and strong leader, is being lied about, and I read in our local newspaper that the election process appears to have been manipulated.

In addition to this, we have learned over the last couple of days that Del. Peace’s opponent refused to make a commitment with RPV to pledge not to slate off Peace voters in Hanover County at tonight’s mass meeting. These actions are in defiance of 100 percent of the values that I have committed my life to.

Del. Peace has been a strong, effective representative for our region. He is a passionate conservative who has fought to preserve our 2nd Amendment rights, has stood boldly to defend the unborn, has never voted for a major tax increase, and has the most conservative lifetime voting record of any elected official serving our region in the General Assembly.

In addition to this, I count him as a Christian brother and trusted friend. The attacks on his character remain both appalling and unfathomable.

Because his opponent used an unfair advantage to vote for a convention instead of a primary, instead of 60,000 people having the opportunity to vote for their candidate, the process will be narrowed to 1,000. Only after the method of nomination had been announced did the opponent announce his candidacy for the very same office.

By choosing a convention, not only does it take people’s voices out of the process but it also alienates and disenfranchises our local community heroes including my friends in the military. You see, there is no way to vote absentee or to curbside vote at a convention.

By choosing a convention, all voters who participate must have pre-filed a form by early April, be scrutinized in mass meetings occurring this week to determine which applicants can even vote, and then attend a drawn-out meeting in May to cast their votes.

For many of our faithful voters who are veterans, disabled, and elderly, this complicated process has restricted any hopes they had of participating in the process. Anyone who is a firefighter or law enforcement officer who must work the day of the convention to protect and serve our communities cannot vote either. It gives the appearance of attempting to rig a core democratic process and is against the very core of what many of us fought and bled to protect in America.

Reflecting back to our code of honor – that we will not “lie, cheat, steal, nor tolerate those who do” – I implore residents of the 97th District to join me in assuring that Chris Peace is reelected.

I am proud to wholeheartedly endorse Chris Peace. Let’s stand together on May 4th and make a clear statement that we will remain patriotic, conservative Virginians, uniting to ensure that Chris Peace continues to represent our future in the General Assembly.