By Beth Powel
I am a resident of Virginia’s Seventh Congressional district, one who proudly supports our Congressman Dave Brat. Congressman Brat is unique in elective politics. Not only did he campaign on issues of curbing illegal immigration using the rule of law, fighting for the overburdened tax payer and common man, and standing up to corrupt leadership in Washington, DC, but he has actually governed on those principles as well. He has delivered for the voters of the Seventh District, made promises and has actually kept them; something almost unheard of in the real world of politicians.
As promised in his first campaign, he has held Town Hall meetings all across the district on a regular basis, taking tough questions from his Constituents without handlers or political consultants by his side. He is truly a man of the people representing the people of the District.
One might even say the Dave Brat’s election was a foreshadowing of the political revolution we now find ourselves in during this political season. Over and over, caucuses after caucus, primary after primary, voters have rejected politics as usual. They have rejected the Washington power brokers and party elites, and have fueled the campaigns of anti-Washington politicians, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.
One too cannot help but notice the comparison this year in the race for Republican National Committeewoman in Virginia. As I have heard Cynthia Dunbar campaign across the seventh district, speak about her work on the Texas school board, and how she governed as an elected official on the same values in which she campaigned, I was compelled to look into her record. It didn’t take much more than a simple google search to realize where she stood.
I asked myself, “could lightning actually strike twice? Do we really have an opportunity to elect another Virginia political leader that will act on the promises that they have campaigned on?”
As I continued to investigate the race a bit more, I couldn’t believe the continued similarities between these 2 candidates. Cynthia Dunbar has promised to take on the party bosses and challenge the elitist power brokers who manipulate and dominate the RNC. She has committed to using her skills and background as a Constitutional scholar and accomplished attorney to challenge those who would manipulate the rules and thwart the will of the grassroots, with their goal of holding on to power and control. She has even boldly proclaimed that we should hold Republican office holders accountable to the party platform and support a challenge to them if they do not.
Dave Brat promised to take on the power brokers in DC, and went on to help lead the fight to oust Speaker Boehner. Brat called for challenges to politicians not representing their Constituents or upholding the Republican Creed. This is how he won in 2014 because Eric Cantor lost sight of who he represented and the principles of that Creed.
On the other side of the race for RNC Committeewoman, just like in the case of Eric Cantor, you have a campaign being run based on that of political legacy, one that is more about endorsements and connections to the politically powerful than a commitment to the people. The other side has gone as far as to taut the length of residency in Virginia as the most important criteria for the job.
Dave Brat was born in Michigan and lived in Minnesota before he became a resident of Virginia, while Eric Cantor, on the other hand was a lifelong Virginian.
I would ask you, are our Virginia values more about an address or about principles we are willing to stand and fight for? Does Michigan born Dave Brat embody those values more than life-long Virginian, Eric Cantor? Is Cynthia Dunbar’s almost decade long residency in Virginia and lifelong commitment to fighting for our party’s principles the right choice to take on the RNC?
If you’re like me, the answer is plain.
This critical race for party leadership to represent your voice at the RNC is simple; you can vote for politics as usual, for the one who covets the office because they’re lifelong Virginian’s with political legacy, political connections, and because its, “their turn”. Or you can stand with someone who will stand with you, who have taken on the political power brokers for the sake of principle and represent the will of the people. That someone I would submit is Cynthia Dunbar. She’s proven, tested and will deliver because she already has.
Please join me in supporting Cynthia to take back our party so that we might take back our nation.