BearingDrift.com has been given exclusive notification that incumbent Nelson County Commonwealth’s Attorney Daniel Rutherford will run for chairman of the Republican Fifth Congressional District Committee.
Rutherford, 36, is in his second term serving as a drug and crime-fighting  prosecutor and has prosecuted drug racketeering  trials in his small county. He is also in the Army Judge Advocate General as a Reserve Officer with the rank of Major.
After earning his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Virginia at age 19, Rutherford then graduated from Regent University School of Law at 23. He is a Christian conservative, active in his church, involved in multiple community organizations, married with four children, and his wife homeschools all four children.
We interviewed Mr. Rutherford Wednesday evening. He has some initial thoughts about his candidacy.
Q: My first question: why party leadership? You have a successful career as a Commonwealth’s Attorney, JAG officer, you have a family, and unlike most people in politics, a life … so why party leadership?
If I could stay in my bubble of Nelson County life, I would. But, I believe we need the option to have a leader who has been in the trenches of running for office and who has been successful in a purple county! I believe those in leadership should have a proven record as a successful leader in our party. We cannot expect our party to grow and be successful without an effective leader, this is true from the RPV all the way to a local unit.
Leaders set the standard. A true leader ensures the we have the best candidates put forward; a fair and just process is selected to pick the best candidate; and that no one entrusted with overseeing the process “leans on the scales” for one candidate or the other. More importantly, we need a leader who can understand the local unit issues from Danville City all the way north to Fauquier County, and Franklin east to Brunswick.
Q: What would you change about the Fifth District Republican Committee leadership?
As a prosecutor, an officer in the Army Reserves, and a Republican, there is nothing more despicable than having an individual use their power, or entrusted position to bend rules for a particular person. We need a fair and just process in selecting our candidate for the 5th District. We need those showing up and voting to have faith in our committee. That begins and ends with our committee leadership.
Additionally, I want the Republican Committee to spend a lot less time playing internal politics and focus on growing the party and winning elections. In 2016 in a special election, I was elected as Commonwealth’s Attorney for Nelson County in a field where the Democrat was the interim CA, and there was a Republican-leaning independent, all occurring in a very purple county. After three successful years in, I ran unopposed. This is what successful leadership looks like.
To another point, Republicans believe that to earn something, you must work for it. However, for most of my life I have observed within a lot of Republican leadership that there is a mindset that if we just exist, our party will grow and win, without any hard work put forward. If we want to succeed, our leadership will need to work to grow our party ranks.
Q: Has the process of the Fifth District GOP Convention been fair?
It certainly can use some room to become more fair and impartial. For starters, the tentative location is just over the line from the 5th District, and the tentative date selected is one of the earliest times to have a convention, leaving the least amount of time for people to get involved. Lastly, I am not the biggest fan of conventions. In my ten years in the reserves, there were a few times when I was activated for temporary duty and could not participate in the convention. I know I am not the only one impacted by this. We have thousands of Active Duty, Reservists, and National Guard members within the 5th District who have been disenfranchised by each and every time a convention is called.
Q: I just asked some hard questions so here’s an easy one. What’s a fun hobby that you have?
Well, as a father of four children, right now my hobbies are whatever my children’s hobbies are! But if I do have some down time, favorite hobby is gardening, and if I am extremely fortunate on down-time, skiing.
Q: Back to the tough stuff. I talk a lot on Bearing Drift about “Political Welfare Queens.” These are “consultants” who are more like professional political activists who will support you as long as you pay them. What are your thoughts on that, specifically, the multiple “Political Welfare Queens” who operate like that in the 5th District GOP?
Professional political activists getting paid to be silent or feign support are a lot like members of a corrupt criminal enterprise; it’s nothing less than racketeering activity.
Q: You are a Christian conservative, prosecutor, JAG officer, and homeschool parent. How are you able to unite the Republicans within the 5th District?
Again, leaders set the standard. I do not expect you to gage my beliefs by what I say; you should know them by how I live my life and lead.
When I ran for office for Commonwealth’s Attorney, I never mentioned my opponents’ names. I ran on my core principles and what I believe I could do for the county as Commonwealth’s Attorney. It’s important to mention that I kept my promises to the citizens of Nelson County on how I would run my office and I delivered on vigorously prosecuting drug traffickers/dealers. Also, I do not lead through division. I want to see us grow the party, win elections, and see our Republican principles thrive, not retreat.
Q: Here’s a Denver Riggleman question. What’s your favorite drink or cocktail made out of Silverback’s whiskey?
A not-very-well-known drink is made by taking one-part honey rye whiskey and one-part unsweet tea (I know some frown upon possessing unsweet tea), mix together with some ice, and you get what I call … Afton Ice Tea. That honey rye whiskey will make that tea as sweet as South Carolina Tea … but with a whiskey kick.
Links of important cases:
RICO jury trial success
RICO group success
Cartel Member convicted
Felony Murder Conviction for unsolved Murder
Chairman Adams. Call your office.
CA Rutherford is either crazy or just downright perfect for this job. We have too many professional political operatives and not enough real people, with real lives and real jobs in the political sphere in Virginia. Rutherford is scary good. Y’all, I am a jaded political individual. As much as I love politics, I grow weary of bad candidates who run for party office. They are either connected to bad people or they are bad people.
When I began the initial interview with Rutherford, I asked if he was scared. I say that because the people he will run against will attempt character assassination (I speak from experience with that crowd). He told me that he prosecutes drug lords so he isn’t afraid of the people who run the Fifth District GOP Committee.
I haven’t been this excited about a candidate for party office, since …….. it’s been a long time. Lets just put it that way. It’s been an extremely long time. Melvin Adams, be put on notice. Your days as Fifth District Republican Chairman may be numbered.