I am a Republican who’s in an interracial and inter-political marriage. That’s a rare position to be in, especially in today’s political climate where there is such stark division and very active fault lines. People of different parties and races are constantly divided through social media, mainstream media, and the political demagogues of our time who are empowered by this division in this Country and in this Commonwealth.
In my household and in my life, I have to see other sides to many issues. I have to approach the day to day issues with a different perspective. As a white man married to a Black woman, and as the father to a Black son, I have no other choice and wouldn’t have it any other way – it enriches me and makes me a better thinker, a better husband, a better father – a better human.
As a member of a party that has struggled to attract diversity and expand the tent until recently, it has been a personal mission of mine to advocate for a bigger tent party – a more diverse party – especially one that carries the mantle of the party of Lincoln. The reason it is a personal mission of mine is because I want my family to feel fully welcome – and not only welcome, but reflected.
The media likes to paint the GOP as the party of old white men, and indeed some members of the GOP elite and party bosses would like to have it that way. But not this year. The GOP made Virginia history by selecting the most diverse ticket in Virginia history. And in Virginia – the land of the very complex (and at times hypocritical) Thomas Jefferson, the Capital of the Confederacy, the place where my wife and I would not have been able to get married 50 years ago – is on the verge of having a Black woman as it’s Lieutenant Governor in former Delegate Winsome Sears.
Delegate Winsome Sears is not only an embodiment of the American Dream, she is an embodiment of the Virginia Dream. Winsome is an immigrant, who made her way through the rough and tumble Bronx to serve her country proudly in the United States Marine Corps. She ran a homeless shelter, taking care of the less fortunate and giving them a leg up. She made history when she became the first Black Republican woman and veteran to serve in the House of Delegates in the bellwether that is Virginia Beach. Now, 20 years later, her Commonwealth has called her to serve again.
Del. Sears is a woman of strong conviction and passion, and a true conservative. She is a fierce defender of life. She realizes that the Republican Party cannot win if we do not start talking to others and stepping out of our comfort zones. She knows what it takes to bring new voters into the Republican coalition. She knows that the GOP has a responsibility to provide a vision and agenda to Black Virginians. That’s how she won in Virginia Beach and how she is going to win in November. As my friend and Prince William County GOP Chairman Tim Parrish likes to say, we have to step out of our country clubs and into the streets.
In Virginia, there is a new Republican Party that has the Democrats scared this November. It is diverse, working class, and full of self-
made people – and our ticket reflects that. I am so proud that my growing family, my diverse family, will get to live in a Commonwealth where we are truly reflected and represented.