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Verga Shakes Up 5th District Race

As former resident of Charlottesville and a Republican who was caught off guard by the loss of Virgil Goode last year, I’ve been watching the race for the Republican nomination in Virginia’s 5th District very closely. Given the make-up of the district and the various factions of the party dwelling within, I’ve viewed it as a bellweather for primary fights to come (plus its pretty easy to watch from the neighboring Sixth).

Although all the candidates bring their own values and personalities to the table, I’ve been impressed time and time again with candidate Laurence Verga. When I first heard of him my first response was “Who is this guy? That’s not a Virginia name!” Yet both in listening to him speak and reading his campaign announcements via my inbox, I’ve come to see Mr. Verga as the kind of candidate we need to embrace in the coming cycle–a principled outsider with real world experience. Mr. Verga is not a long time party activist, nor is he a current officeholder. What he represents is a heavy thinker on the issues facing America and someone whose extensive success in the business world can lead to real principled, conservative leadership in Washington. That’s why I was glad to see Mr. Verga come out today and denounce the NRCC’s premature involvement in the 5th.

They were proud to recruit State Senator Robert Hurt in the Fifth. Their thinking was “Oh, well this guy wins time and time again, he must be alright!” After all, he has good rapport with the party insiders (distinct from activists). However, Mr. Hurt is not everything the NRCC wants you to believe. From Mr. Verga’s RedState post:

Hurt voted for then-Democratic Governor Mark Warner’s $1.4 billion tax increase, the largest in Virginia history.  If that wasn’t bad enough, the state had a surplus at the time, negating any shallow argument that the state needed more money.

Unfortunately, this isn’t my opponent’s only misguided vote. He also voted for outgoing Democratic Governor Tim Kaine’s unconstitutional transportation bill which attempted to appoint regional tax authorities to tax Virginians without their approval. Thankfully the State Supreme Court was more prudent than Hurt when it unanimously decided (by a 7-0 vote) that the law was unconstitutional for imposing a system that amounted to taxation without representation.

Is this really the kind of candidate we want? One who not only betrayed his party’s core principles on the largest tax increase in Virginia history that ended up being part of the Warner’s administration shell game on revenue figures (a game that was continued under the Kaine administration to our current outcome of billion dollar defecits), but also attaches himself to a hare-brained “good government” scheme that doesn’t even pass constiutional muster?

Over at Virginia Tomorrow, Mr. Verga makes the case for why at this time, when our party may be down but clearly not out, decisions on our nominees must be left up to the people who will get them to Washington to affect our conservative principles into policy:

Conservatives and Republicans want to end the Democratic congressional majority next year.  But I believe that the best way to do that is to allow for competition, which will ultimately provide the starkest contrast with conservative candidates running against the excesses and damaging left-wing policies of this administration and the Democratic Congress.

It’s time to get Washington back on track with courage and judgment, not a “go along to get along” attitude being transferred from Richmond to Washington, D.C.

Conservatives who care about the direction of the Republican party and the country need to send a clear message that we will win again when we go back to our conservative roots and principles and demand that our leadership do the same.

As I’ve said time again both here and on my podcast, competition is healthy. When party insiders go with candidates just because of the name or position, we are doomed to failure. That failure may not be at the ballotbox during that next election, but what’s worse–losing an election, or losing our principles in the course of governance, THEN witnessing crushing defeats even for good conservatives because some forgot who they were under the Capitol dome?

Mr. Verga is the candidate who can ensure that won’t happen again.

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