In the wake of constitutional conservative econ professor Rep. Dave Brat’s loss to Abigail Spanberger in Virginia 7th Congressional District this past November, there was the requisite woe-is-me rending of garments and recriminations between various factions within the Republican Party of Virginia. However, before Spanberger was even sworn in, speculation began over who would be best to challenge her in 2020. The moderate nucleus of Richmond-area Republicans which once coalesced around former Majority Leader Eric Cantor reportedly prefers state Senator Siobhan Stolle Dunnavant. There is also scuttlebutt that state Senator Bryce Reeves is considering a run in the 7th.
But, for many, especially constitutional conservatives and the liberty movement, the most tantalizing prospect would be a run by Delegate Nick Freitas. His adherence to constitutional principle, intelligence, combat arms experience in the Army, ability to rebut the nonsense that comes from the left, and his amazing speaking ability make him a very strong candidate in any race he chooses to contest. If he had been the nominee for U.S. Senate last year, Brat, and likely Scott Taylor in the 2nd Congressional District as well, would have won reelection. As it was, Freitas got a late start in the race, giving Corey Stewart a financial advantage, and was handicapped by a weak field operation. This cost him a razor close race, and the rest is history. Nevertheless, it is difficult to think fo a stronger candidate from any wing of the party.
National conservative groups seem to be taking interest in a potential Freitas candidacy in 2019, the Club For Growth among them, as outlined by Roll Call last week.
Tom Schultz, Vice President of Campaigns at Club For Growth, shared with TBE that “We are all in for Nick. He is going to beat Spanberger and anyone who challenges him in the primary will lose.” That’s a very strong statement for a candidate, especially given that the potential convention or primary is still over a year off.
We are all in for Nick. He is going to beat Spanberger and anyone who challenges him in the primary will lose.
However, first things first. Delegate Freitas, as well as Senators Reeves and Stolle Dunnavant, must win reelection this year. Tina Freitas, his wife is challenging liberal Republican Senator Emmett Hanger this year as well. It is impossible to predict the electoral environment, or what the turnout model may look like, after not just Trump, but the follies of Ralph Northam, Justin Fairfax, and Mark Herring. It’s entirely possible Republicans may be able to go on offense and gain back the large majority they lost in the House of Delegates in 2017, and expand their Senate majority ahead of redistricting. That has to be built on strong candidate recruitment, fundraising, and grassroots operations. Whether the Republican Party of Virginia can muster those things remains to be seen, but going forward, the sky would seem to be the limit for Nick Freitas.