U.S. Senate candidate Shak Hill lashes out at pre-nomination endorsement by Republican Party Chairman Pat Mullins, calling it “downright wrong.”
Late yesterday, Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Pat Mullins issued a public endorsement of Del. Barbara Comstock in her race to succeed retiring Congressman Frank Wolf (VA-10). Bearing Drift broke the story last night.
The problem, of course, is that Del. Comstock doesn’t have the nomination yet, and still faces multiple GOP rivals for that honor. Many activists have expressed reservations about Mullins making this endorsement, though it should be noted that he did so not on behalf of the Republican Party of Virginia, but only in his personal capacity.
Chairman Mullins likewise acted in his personal capacity last week when he signed onto a letter to Republican members of the General Assembly urging them to vote against certain bills that would have stripped the political parties of their rights to choose their nomination processes. I don’t recall any hint of outrage on that.
It’s clear, to me anyway, that Chairman Mullins did nothing against the rules. But, this question about whether sitting party officials should endorse candidates for the nomination is an old one, and goes back at least as far as the perennial convention vs. primary debate. The question is particularly tricky for unit chairmen, as other officials simply don’t carry as much sway. Many chairmen have a policy of never endorsing. That’s probably the best thing to maintain cohesion and unity. But not all chairmen see it that way, and many choose to endorse as an extension of the will of the people who elected them.
But U.S. Senate candidate Shak Hill is having none of it, and apparently aims to harness distaste for the Chairman’s endorsement to his own uphill battle against Ed Gillespie, and Gillespie’s avalanche of endorsements from assorted party leaders.
Below is the relevant text of an email Hill just circulated, where he calls out Mullins for his endorsement, using some pretty strong language:
As chairman of the RPV, Pat Mullins has crossed a dangerous line with his recent endorsement in a current contested congressional race. The Republican Party needs to work to stay focused on the people selecting the candidate, not party leadership. There are several other candidates who are running for the same seat, and others still thinking about the possibility.
To make a personal endorsement is well within one’s right and duty as an informed citizen, but to do so, as chairman, on RPV letterhead is downright wrong.
In an electoral year that should be the best year Republicans have seen in recent memory, to intentionally divide the party based on one’s personal belief, under the guise of the party boss, will do significantly more damage to our party and the chances of our success in 2014.
Personally, I would rather be in a divided party fighting together for liberty, than in a united party fighting for the destruction of America. But when such actions intentionally create division, this will make all candidates and future candidates who are willing to fight for our common liberty beliefs, wonder if they have to go through the party boss or the people for election.
Edmund Burke quipped that in order for evil to exist, good men must do nothing. Well, when good men and women put themselves out as candidates, they are looking to make this country a better place to live. I wonder if Burke should have said, “good men must do nothing, unless they have an endorsement from the party boss.”
I am fighting hard for Virginia values. Wont you help?
For God and Country,
The Hon. Shak Hill
I’m not sure this does much for Shak, but it does show he’s taking his race seriously, and isn’t going to shy away from tough talk.
One minor nit for Shak: don’t sign your own emails with “The Hon.” It’s up to others to show you honors for public service, and looks bad when you brandish it yourself.