One candidate emerged as the clear winner of yesterday’s 10th District Congressional debate, Stephen Hollingshead. He was knowledgeable, personable, smart, and funny, overall a very attractive candidate. He was clearly the crowd favorite. Following the debate I spoke with many observers and every one of them liked Hollingshead. Even Comstock supporters said positive things about him, such as “I still support Barbara, but I really like that guy.” Other activists from Loudoun said, “He’s just who we need,” or, “He’ll be a great candidate for us,” and “He’s our future.”
The response to Hollingshead was overwhelmingly positive. He worked for the Bush administration and saved billions of taxpayer dollars rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse in HUD. He’s run small businesses and large businesses, and knows how government regulations are strangling businesses, hurting the economy and keeping unemployment high. He understands economics and foreign relations. Like James Madison, he does not support term limits. If one third of our Congress are lame ducks, he reasoned, those members will have no incentive to do anything for the voters, “working only to feather their own nest.” He spoke about the need for less government in our lives and fewer government regulations. Hollingshead’s oft repeated refrain, “it’s time for the government to just Stop It!”
The biggest loser of the evening was Delegate Bob Marshall. He told us too many times how many elections he had won, against all odds. Worse for him was his terrible closing speech in which he attacked Delegate Barbara Comstock by stretching the truth on some of her votes on social issues. While he garnered cheers from some of his most ardent supporters, his closing comments were way over the top. We know that Bob Marshall is very conservative and will never waiver, there was no need for him to go after Comtock like he did.
We now know that candidate Rob Wasinger actually exists, but the question remains, why is he running for Congress? He spent no time with voters before the debate, waiting until the last minute before making an appearance. He had no signs, no bumper stickers, no palm cards, and no visible supporters. During the debate, he did nothing to help his campaign, other than mentioning several times that he was not establishment, more like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. Several times he criticized the Green Ninja program. He supports term limits. At times he was so soft spoken that we wondered if his microphone was on.
Howie Lind did a good job, clearly a candidate who wants to stand up for us in Congress, one who will insist we learn what happened in Benghazi and the IRS scandal. His refrain, “Enough is Enough!” Howie is the only military veteran in this race and he cares very much about the defense of our country and a foreign policy that will protect us and gain respect around the world, things we have lost under this administration. Howie is not an establishment candidate and he firmly supports term limits, 6 years for House members and 12 for Senators.
Marc Savitt, a small business man, did little to help his campaign although he seemed be a nice man who repeatedly told us he cares about people. He’s also testified on Capitol Hill a number of times. There wasn’t much in his performance that was memorable. Savitt supports term limits.
Barbara Comstock did nothing to hurt her campaign but said little that was new, surprising, or different. Much of what she said was predictable for a republican candidate. She believes energy independence will help with our foreign policy, helping the U.S. to stay strong and independent and help to lower our unemployment. Offshore drilling and the Keystone pipeline are two things that will help toward a goal of energy independence She mentioned several times that she knows how to win elections, having won repeatedly. She is opposed to term limits, voters should have a choice.
The debate surprise was Stephen Hollingshead, clearly the crowd favorite. No Congressman has ever come from Loudoun County. Will Stephen Hollingshead change that? If he continues to impress as he did on Saturday, perhaps Loudoun County will finally have a representative in Congress.