Addressing a throng of supporters at the Fredericksburg Veterans of Foreign Wars Post this evening, Sen. Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania) confirmed officially that he is running for the Republican nomination to succeed current Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam.
“It’s about safety and security—both physical and economic,” Reeves said when asked what his campaign was all about. “It’s about keeping Virginians safe in an uncertain economic and security environments, keeping Virginia’s 29 military installations open, and about jobs.”
Reeves spoke to a crowd of roughly 80-90 people, most from Spotsylvania, Stafford, and Fredericksburg, but including grassroots activists from all parts of the state. Pastor Travis Witt, from the 5h Congressional District, delivered the invocation for the event.
Reeves is facing a tough challenge for the LG nomination, chiefly in the form of Sen. Jill Vogel (R-Fauquier). Vogel, like Reeves, is racking up endorsements and is proving to be a prolific fundraiser. Each of these candidates will have the resources and support to compete both at the grassroots level and among the wider electorate. Del. Glenn Davis (R-Virginia Beach) is also running, but so far has been overshadowed by the candidates from the senior chamber of the General Assembly.
What this contest of equals means is that no candidate will likely be able to run away with it on natural advantages, like name identification or fundraising. Instead, this campaign will be about issues. We expect that at times those contrasts on issues might get tough, but it is a contest that will give voters an honest choice.
All the candidates will attend the Republican Party of Virginia Advance on December 9-10 in Richmond. We’ll report on the candidates’ respective presences there, and provide a first-hand analysis of the state of the race. In the meantime, the text of Reeves’ speech tonight is below:
Thank you Colonel Lintz for the kind words and introduction…
As I look at each of you, I feel extremely blessed. Blessed to have all of you here… Blessed for your support. Blessed for my wonderful wife Anne and our children, Jack and Nikki.
My fellow Virginians, I have spent the better part of my adult life working to ensure the safety and security of not only our nation and this great Commonwealth, but for our families.
I have worn the uniform of our country as an Army Ranger and Infantry Officer, worn a badge as a police officer in Prince William County and as an undercover narcotics detective, and I serve as your senator working everyday to ensure our safety.
You see, that’s what has led me here today.
I want to make sure that our Commonwealth, you, and your families are safe and secure. Secure from terrorists hoping to exploit our vulnerabilities. Secure from criminals who don’t care about following the laws of an orderly society. Secure from dangerous and un-vetted refugees. Secure from big-government politicians who burden families and small businesses with crushing taxes. It goes without saying that our Commonwealth and our Country are at a crossroads.
We’re challenged by Washington encroachment, bloated budgets that leverage our future, and assaults on our Constitutional rights from those who have forgotten their oath to support and defend the Constitution.
Now more than ever, we need strong, honest, and trustworthy leaders to put us back on the pathway to prosperity and freedom.
Well I’m here to fight for YOU. For your constitutional rights, your values… I share your values and I will always protect and defend our God-given rights.
You see, Virginia is no stronger than its people. It’s up to us.
With the help of many here today, I was blessed to be the architect and lead negotiator to restore our 2nd Amendment rights in Virginia by not only restoring, but expanding concealed carry reciprocity.
I am humbled and honored to have received the NRA Defender of Freedom Award for my work to restore our 2nd Amendments rights this year.
Virginia needs leadership like that. We all do.
In times of chaos and tribulation, steady, trustworthy LEADERSHIP is what determines how we respond to the challenges ahead.
We must revitalize Virginia and make our Commonwealth number 1 again. We must institute a new tax system that won’t hurt working families and policies that help businesses grow and hire more people.
We must scrap government regulations and red tape that tie the hands of our entrepreneurs and small business owners.
I do not believe that our best days are behind us.
We just witnessed an incredible election where people who were fed up with the status quo stood up, and let their voices be heard in order to make America great again to ensure a better and brighter future. I have faith that President-elect Trump will work to drain the swamp of Washington DC lawyers and lobbyists who put their personal interests ahead of the interests of the American people.
We must do the same in Richmond.
I believe a better and brighter future for our country and our Commonwealth is ahead of us. But it will take real, proven, conservative leadership to ensure that future. Over the past 9 months, I’ve been exploring a run for Lt. Governor and working to revitalize Virginia.
I’ve had the opportunity to tour countless cities and counties around the Commonwealth from Jonesville to Virginia Beach, and meet so many passionate Virginians. I’ve met small business owners like Cheryl Sawyer. Veterans like David Fraser in Halifax. Lifelong Virginians like Wilma Elliott and Bill Campbell, who feel their government is slipping away from them. People who truly love living here, but want to see a new direction for our Commonwealth.
I’ve seen every region and seen how diverse one region is from the next.
But everyone has something in common.
They’re tired of the failed leadership in Richmond, where decisions are influenced by LOBBYISTS, special interests, and foreign companies who try to buy access to our elected officials. As we stand here today, the FBI and Department of Justice are investigating the influence a Chinese national had over our sitting Governor.
VIRGINIANS DO NOT WANT A GOVERNMENT THAT MIMICS THE SWAMP OF WASHINGTON DC.
I cannot and will not stand by and watch this great Commonwealth fall victim to the liberal ideology of the Washington DC elites who have failed America.
We are ready for change. Ready for Virginia to reach its full potential and to feel safe and prosperous again.
It takes leadership to create that future and reach that goal. Leadership with vision. As the Bible says in PROVERBS 29:18, “where there is no vision, the people perish.” I have a vision and I know I can bring that leadership to the people of Virginia.
We must remain positive in times of trouble–leadership demands it of us.
We must uplift the down cast and never forget about the least, last, and lost among us.
We must honor the brave–Those men and women who serve each and everyday on the front line to ensure our freedoms.
As I stand here in this building, I can’t help but think of every veteran in Virginia and every service member overseas.
It has been and will always be a top priority of mine to work for our veterans and take care of those who have served to protect us and to protect our freedoms.
I’m convinced that today the majority of Virginians want what the first Virginians wanted:
1) A better life for themselves and their children,
2) Minimal governmental interference in their lives, and
3) To know they are safe and secure.
I’ll leave you all with this… a true leader, Ronald Reagan once said:
“We have the opportunity to stand for something. For Liberty, for Freedom and fairness, and these are the things worth fighting for, worth devoting our very lives too.”
I hope you will join me and fight for Virginia’s future.
Ladies and gentlemen, I’m Bryce Reeves and I am running for Lt. Governor of Virginia.
God bless you, God bless Virginia, and God bless the United States of America.