VA07 Convention Takeaways
The moment we have all been waiting for, it’s time for the takeaways of the Seventh District Republican Convention!
Can we kill conventions already? Because they are killing us.
First of all, to say it was hot on Saturday would be like saying Nick Freitas likes the Second Amendment just a little bit. NO, IT WAS SURFACE-OF-THE-SUN HOT. Like Satan’s buttcrack hot. People were literally passing out in line to vote on Saturday. Some had driven over an hour to come to Doswell.
WHY DO WE TORTURE OURSELVES, VIRGINIA REPUBLICANS?
Let’s just stop with the nonsense and just go to primaries already, mmmkay?
Former Attorney General Jerry Kilgore can throw a shindig and a half!
I believe that I and my colleague Mike would be terribly remiss if we didn’t express our gratitude to former Attorney General of Virginia Jerry Kilgore and his lovely wife Marty who were kind enough to invite us to their tailgate on Saturday.
Y’all, this man does NOT play around. There were no less than 8 types of cheeses. There was excellent conversation, great food, and great company. Mike and I would have melted and starved if it wasn’t for Jerry and Marty.
Jerry and Marty, we love you and thank you for your commitment to our Commonwealth, and for the mimosas and almond cookies with enough icing on them to kill a horse. And especially for that Tom Leonard’s pimento cheese that I ate wayyyyyyyy too much of.
TARA CARROLL ELECTED TO STATE CENTRAL
Tara Carroll, Chesterfield County Republican Chair, was elected to the Republican Party of Virginia State Central Committee. You may remember that Carroll was Unit Chair when State Senator and “George Wallace in a skirt” Amanda Chase was removed from her unit committee. In a time where you had a Republican Sheriff and Republican State Senator fighting against each other, Carroll stood by the Republican sheriff and stood up for Republican principles.
On top of that, she is a positively delightful happy warrior who fights to bring new people to the Republican Party. She isn’t your typical SCC member. She shows up with a wide variety of Republicans to elect her, and she will be a unifier on State Central. Y’all, better look out for this one. She is what my mother would call “a force to be reckoned with.”
Knaggs, Roberge, and Greenwald … meh….
Tina Ramirez, the future of the Republican Party
When Dave Brat lost in 2018, no one had even heard of Tina Ramirez. She went from total unknown to absolute deal-breaker in the convention in a matter of 18 months. With her smile, her sharp focus on foreign policy, a crisp understanding of domestic policy, an actual small business owner, and her adorable daughter, she became what many see as a bright light in the Republican Party of Virginia.
She came within ten votes of showing up Delegate John McGuire and then going on to the final ballot.
The Republican Party of Virginia at times can be a dark place. Tina, if you’re reading, you are a light in a dark place. A Hispanic single mom who talks about running her own business literally was the shot in the arm the GOP needed.
Just so everyone knows, Tina Ramirez lives in Senator Amanda Chase’s district. Tina needs to consider running for that. Hell, consider running for anything. Tina, just stay in the conversation. Because so many of us Republicans find you to be a breath of fresh air.
Author’s Note: If I could, I would like to break from this and just thank the amazing staff of the Ramirez campaign. Cindy Horne, Sarah Ball, Nathaniel Hirt, Addison Merryman, Peter Foster — all of you, PLEASE hold your heads high. Everyone talked about how efficient the Ramirez operation was run. You may have been outspent, but for every dollar that you didn’t have, you matched it with sweat equity (literally). You, much like your candidate, are the future of our party.
And to my brother Jimmy Keady, you give me hope every day that there are still good people left in Republican politics. Jimmy is one of my favorite people in politics and he always does right by his candidate, and I’m proud to call him a friend.
Delegate McGuire, time to do some soul searching
Delegate McGuire, you gotta find out what you want to be in the Republican Party. Because you spent the last two months slinging more mud than anyone I have EVER seen. I don’t know if your polling said something or you were desperate to get into Congress, but please, sit down. Calm down. Think about what you want to accomplish in public life. You are a Navy SEAL (which you reminded every delegate to the convention 1000000000 times) and a leader in our party. You are a better man than just a mudslinger. I believe there is a future for you, Delegate McGuire, but you have to run your next campaign better than this last one.
Delegate Nick Freitas, it’s time to take your shot
Delegate Freitas, you outlasted the entire convention. That last ballot, it was you against the world, and you showed them all. You, your wonderful wife Tina, your amazing kids, your FANTASTIC mother (which, sidebar, Nick Freitas’ mom is an amazing lady. Nick’s mom was at that convention all day with a smile on her face ready to talk to any delegate. We know where Nick gets that happy warrior mentality, it’s from his mamma.), your staff, and your ARMY of volunteers won this fair and square. The attacks hurled at Bob Good cannot be hurled at you, because you won this thing, the right way.
Nick, if you are reading this, make sure you make this about kitchen table issues when you run in the general. Nick, I realize that you want to talk about Hayek and Keynes and libertarianism and all that jazz. God love you for that, we’ve prayed for a congressman who understands economics for a long time. But, the way to win the district is to talk to the voters that Dave Brat left behind. I would start knocking doors in Henrico, TODAY, talking about putting SROs in classrooms, talk about getting help to small businesses, and helping our nation get out of these god-awful endless wars.
You have to do what Dave Brat did not do, which is to be accessible to the constituents and be a candidate that WOMEN can support. My advice: have your amazing mom and your awesome wife start the “Women for Freitas” coalition. Show the suburban women of Henrico and Chesterfield that you’re a parent who wants the best for their kids, show them that you want safe schools and safe streets, show them that the madness that is occurring with these violent protests in downtown Richmond where businesses and homes are being vandalized and burned to the ground is not the type of city or country we want to live in.
One last thing, be yourself. In all this, be yourself. Don’t let consultants define you, don’t let Abigail Spanberger define you. Define yourself.
I have sat through many of a Nick Freitas speech and started to tear up just a little, mainly because few politicians love their country enough to talk about it the way Nick does. Nick, do me a favor? Please end every ad with the, “Cowardice is contagious, but so is courage, and if you charge those ramparts you would be amazed as to who will go with you,” line because it makes me choke up a little when you say it, because I know you mean it. It’s not just a line in your speeches, that line comes from your heart because you watched your brothers in arms die defending the greatness of America. It’s the fact of knowing that your battle is not fought with guns but with rhetoric. You’re a master at rhetoric; use that weapon, and use it well.
It is my hope that you will always be that courageous, happy warrior that I know you are, Delegate Nick Freitas. I still say the race is a toss-up; let’s see where this campaign goes. Congratulations Delegate Freitas. Now it’s time for the real work.