May 22, 2013

Virginia Republicans nominated a conservative ticket for the November 2013 Virginia elections last Saturday. The state GOP snubbed the unwelcome advice of Karl Rove urging Republicans across the country to nominate uninspiring moderates without an agenda. The Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) will run current Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli for Governor; Bishop E.W. Jackson for Lieutenant Governor, and Virginia State Senator Mark Obenshain for Attorney General.

The nomination of African-American, and the enthusiastically Christian Bishop E.W. Jackson for lieutenant governor was the biggest surprise. Jackson offers the most intriguing dynamics heading into the 2013 general election. Jackson will not only stir up the Virginia elections but may also challenge Barack Obama nationally. However, Obama shockingly won Virginia in 2012, presumably with Democrats' new, high-tech voter turn-out systems that may once again be a factor in Virginia in 2013.

Already pundits, commentators and the media have bransihed Jackson as a traitor to his race. Rachel Weiner of the Washington Post said "within hours, news organizations had dug up scores of controversial comments made by Jackson about abortion, homosexuality and the Democratic party." She noted both establishment Republicans and Democrats believe Jackson will bring Cuccinelli down to defeat.

It took four rounds of voting over 10 hours to whittle down a crowded field of seven candidates for lieutenant governor. Surprising nearly everyone, Jackson led the field in every round. Furious politicking and jockeying for position attempted to influence the unfolding drama, with various high-profile endorsements. The number of candidates made it overwhelming for the over 8,000 voting delegates to evaluate all the candidates, each with a different rationale for why they would be best.

Ken Cuccinelli, as a national conservative hero, was unopposed for governor. Current Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling dropped out, possibly contemplating running as an Independent in the mold of Florida's Charlie Crist in 2010, who realized he could not win against Marco Rubio in the Florida primary. It is widely perceived that Bill Bolling could not compete against Ken Cuccinelli because the nomination was by convention.

Cuccinelli will more like focus on the economy, jobs and lower taxes, choosing not to focus on social issues. He is on record as diametrically opposed to every program and issue Barack Obama stands for. In fact, he has called for serious consideration on nullification of many or most of Obama's Executive Orders, particularliy on those dealing with guns, the environment (which affects the coal industry) and Obamacare regulations.

For attorney general, Mark Obenshain defeated Rob Bell on the first ballot. Obenshain was elected to the senate of Virginia in 2003, where he quickly became a standard-bearer for conservative policies and a leader on property rights, school choice, family values, and government reform. For twenty-five years Mark practiced law in Harrisonburg and in Central Virginia.

Mark's sister Kate Obenshain was a major boost to Mark. Kate served as the first woman Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia from 2002 to 2006, is Vice President of Young Americans for Freedom, and the author of the book Divider-in-Chief: The Fraud of Hope and Change about Barack Obama.

The Obenshains' father, Richard ("Dick") Obenshain, served as Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia from 1972 until 1976, then was appointed Co-Chairman of the Republican National Committee. Dick Obenshain ran for Congress in 1964, for Attorney General of Virginia in 1969, and for U.S. Senate in 1978. The father won the 1978 GOP nomination, but tragically, on August 2, 1978, died in a plane crash while campaigning. Mark's mother Helen was a political powerhouse in her own right and served as Virginia's Republican National Committeewoman.

Bishop Jackson will turn the Democrats' playbooks upside down. Jackson is the first Black candidate the GOP has nominated for statewide office since 1988. He ran for the Republican nomination for United States Senate in 2012, probably the foundation of his successful campaign on Saturday. He has been one of the most powerful speakers in Virginia for years.

Jackson is a strong conservative who tackles the issues as strongly as Congressman Alan West. But he strongly believes he can peel away Black, Hispanic, and minority votes from the Democrat coalition. Jackson calls for an "Exodus Now"  encouraging Black and Hispanic Christians to leave the Democrat Party. His "Message to Black Christians" has achieved almost 1 million views. He points to when Democrats booed God at the 2012 Democrat National Convention and tried to keep references of God out of the Democratic platform.

In a 2012 interview with Ginni Thomas, wife of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Bishop E.W. Jackson, talked openly about God and criticized the Democrat Party and progressive movement as being fundamentally opposed to God.

Jackson's unabashed pro-life, pro-marriage, and pro-Second Amendment views underscore the right-leaning nature of the Republican Party in Virginia. This will be fodder for the far-left leaning Obama Democrats who will unceasingly look for dirt on him as hard is they did with Sarah Palin back in 2008.

He is a former U.S. Marine and graduate of Harvard Law School. He was a law professor at Northeastern University. He practiced law for 15 years in Boston. He also studied at Harvard Divinity School. He earned an undergraduate degree Summa Cum Laude with a Phi Beta Kappa key academic honors at the University of Massachusetts at Boston.

He and his wife founded the annual Chesapeake [Virginia] Martin Luther King Leadership Breakfast which draws hundreds to celebrate the life and ideals of Dr. King. He is also the founder of "Youth With a Destiny," a non-profit organization established to help youth avoid gangs, drugs, and violence. He served as Chaplain for the Boston Red Sox, Boston Fire Department, and the Family Foundation of Virginia.

Jackson founded the Exodus Faith Ministries, a non-denominational church in Chesapeake, Virginia, and is the founder of S.T.A.N.D. -- Staying True to America's National Destiny, a national grassroots organization dedicated to restoring America's Judeo-Christian heritage and values.

Jackson was Deputy Commissioner of Banks for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Executive Director of a community group in West Milford, and a trustee of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce. Jackson is nationally syndicated talk show host and author of the book Ten Commandments To An Extraordinary Life. In recognition of his national ministry leadership, he was consecrated a Bishop in 1998. He and his wife have been married for forty years, have 3 children and have resided in Chesapeake for 13 years.

Jackson charges that Barack Obama is pursuing a platform antithetical to Christianity. Jackson says if someone is anti-Semitic, "they can't really be my friend." Yet Obama spent 20 years sitting under a pastor who Jackson says is clearly anti-Semitic. Jackson believes that Obama's fundamental anti-Semitism, learned from his pastor Jeremiah Wright, is strongly reflected in U.S. foreign policy under Obama.

Jackson is sure to make Virginia in 2013 one of the most interesting elections in years. He defeated Virginia state delegate L. Scott Lingamfelter of Prince William County, Stafford County Board of Supervisors chairman Susan Stimpson, Northern Virginia businessman Pete Snyder, Corey Stewart, Prince William County Board of Supervisors chairman and former state senator Jeannemarie Devolites Davis of Fairfax County, and state senator Steve Martin of Chesterfield County.

The Republican Party of Virginia chose a nominating convention for 2013 rather than a primary because Democrats and Independents frequently vote in Republican primaries. Conservatives have complained for decades that the Republican Party is being distorted. Voter registration in Virginia does not identify the party of the voter. Therefore, there is no way to limit those voting in the Republican primary to only Republicans.

Yet, a state convention strongly favors the influence of conservatives in the choice of a candidate. Republican insiders complain that convention delegates choose nominees too conservative to win the general election in November. One of the first decisions of the 2013 convention was to select a convention method to nominate candidates in 2014, including for U.S. Senate.

Cuccinelli is the Anti-Obama; Jackson the Pro-Traditionalist and Obenshein is law-and-order. Seems like a winning ticket to me. But it won't be easy for them because President Obama's "dirt-diggers" are many and powerful and his progaganda team is very influential, particularly with low-information voters - lies and all.

Look for Cuccinelli-Jackson-Obenshein to campaign on the issues and look for the Democratic ticket to run on smearing them.

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