Tomorrow morning, I will drive down to Richmond to participate in the Virginia Republican convention. It will be my first in fourteen years, and I’m looking forward to see old friends, including many in the blogosphere.
For those readers who will join me, but are still unsure as for whom they will vote, I will offer one more post on behalf on my choices: Bob Marshall for Senate and Jeff Frederick for Party Chairman.
I’ll start with the Senate race.
Marshall is the only candidate with legislative experience: He has been a legislator for seventeen years, which means he knows how to get good legislation through and – far more importantly – how to stop bad legislation cold. No one else in the race (in either party) has that, and given the likely reduced minority of the Senate Republican caucus, we need someone who will know how to maneuver the legislative labyrinth on Day One.
Marshall is the candidate with the consistent position on Iraq: He has held true to his position and refused to abandon the war. He has called for greater Iraai participation in their own liberation, and recent events have shown (in Basra, Baghdad, and Mosul) that the Iraqis are doing so, but only because they know the United States will not abandon them. Only Bob Marshall has steadfastly refused to throw the President and the Iraqi people under the bus.
Marshall is the only candidate who opposes amnesty, that’s why Tom Tancredo endorsed him.
Marshall is the better candidate on taxes and spending: It takes quite an effort to be better on these issues than Jim Gilmore, but Marshall has pulled it off. Gilmore is best known for the last tax revolt of the 20th Century, but Marshall is best known for leading the first tax revolt of the 21st Century. Given the fact that these issues will once again be front-and-center during the special session this summer, Marshall will be able to endear himself to taxpayers and independents (since both partiy establishments prefer tax hikes) in a way no one else can.
Marshall has won in Northern Virginia: Since 1991 (the first year Marshall ran for Delegate in Prince William County), no Republican has won more elections in Northern Virginia than Bob Marshall (although Tom Davis and Frank Wolf have won more often if we include the 1980s). He has been elected in re-elected in good Republican years (1991, 1993, 1997, 1999, and 2001), iffy ones (1995 and 2003), and downright awful ones (2005 and 2007). Voters up there know him already, and those who admire him won’t be swayed by whatever the Democrats try to throw at him.
Marshall is the pro-life candidate: As much as I have insisted the GOP can’t win elections with only social conservatives, they can’t win without them either. Marshall appeals to the base in a way no one else can – something vitally important in a year when said base needs motivation – badly.
All of these reasons also add up to one more: Marshall is the only candidate who can beat Mark Warner. Will it be easy? Heck no, but it will be possible – and much more possible than conventional wisdom holds (remember, that would be the same conventional wisdom that gave Marshall no chance at being nominated).
As for the Chairman’s race, here’s why I support Frederick.
We desperately need a change. Over the last four years, the Republican Party of Virginia has become Tax-Hiking Party B. We have become indistinguishable from the Democrats on economic issues, and we’ve been hemorrhaging votes and seats ever since. It is no coincidence that all of our losses in 2007 were concentrated in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads, the two areas that suffered under the HB3202 debacle.
We must become the party of lower taxes and limited government, and we need to start now. The upcoming special session is the perfect opportunity for RPV to start repairing the damage of the last few years, but it won’t happen unless we have a Chairman that undersatnds the damage that has been done. Only Jeff Frederick realizes that the party has lost its way. Unless he wins, the party will continue to defer to Bill Howell, Walter Stosch, Ken Stolle, and all of the legislative “leaders” who have brought us to this point. We cannot allow that to happen.
We’ll see what happens tomorrow.