- Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 May 2013 14:48
- Published on Wednesday, 08 May 2013 14:48
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In 2012, E.W. Jackson ran for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate. He lost, but during his campaign he had the chance to meet Republicans all over the state. Jackson had a strong conservative message. Many have been impressed by his clarity, his intellect, and his commanding oratory.
He is not your average candidate. This year Jackson is hoping to take some of that good will he gathered last year and focus it on a bid to be the Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor. Like it was in 2012, his campaign is something of a longshot, but he is by no means your average candidate, and the GOP needs to take him seriously.
Jackson’s background is one of the most diverse and impressive of any candidate in the field. If it were a competition of the resumes, he would leave all of his opponents in the dust. He has a Harvard Law Degree, and oh, yes, almost concurrently received a degree in Divinity from Harvard as well.
And, before that, he was a U.S. Marine. This guy doesn’t do anything half way. However, one of things that distinguishes him in this race is that he is an African American. That’s not unusual in Virginia politics. Doug Wilder, an African American, was elected Lt. Governor in 1985 and then Governor in 1989.
However, in Virginia, most African Americans vote Democratic and the only Republican to run statewide was Maurice Dawkins back in 1988. Dawkins was something of a lost cause candidate and was soundly trounced by Chuck Robb.
E.W. Jackson, ever since he moved to Virginia in 1998, has carried a message to the Black Community that it’s time to end their dependence on the Democratic Party. He feels, and he has outlined this in several videos, on his website, and in books – he is, if you haven’t figured this out already, a prolific communicator – is that Blacks are taken for granted by the Democratic Party.
And what’s worse, in his view, the Democratic Party has purposely placed African Americans in the role of being dependent on them and on government in general.
Ronald Reagan, in his first Inaugural Speech in 1981 summed up his philosophy in his famous quote, that “Government isn’t the solution to the problem… it is the problem.”
While not necessarily Jackson’s words, it’s a philosophy he subscribes to. He views most government activity, certainly when it comes to regulation (before he moved to Virginia he had an extensive legal practice in small business law) and social welfare programs as holding back the potential of the American people.
He has a strong message and though it’s not clear whether he has moved many African American voters away from being Democratic to becoming Republican voters, he has impressed many in the GOP.
Socially, following his conservative Baptist views, he is entirely compatible with the most conservative elements of the Republican Party. He often says that his philosophy, and the one that he preaches in church, is based on the best moral tenets of both Christianity and Judaism. Being an ordained minister, Jackson, has developed a passionate and compelling speaking style. Given that most of Virginia’s politicians aren’t known for their oratory, having a candidate who can present his views logically and with passion, is refreshing. There isn’t much that’s canned about E.W. Jackson.
With seven candidates in the field, all wanting to be the GOP’s choice for Lt. Governor, Jackson, like he was in 2012, is a long shot. But, it’s hard to argue that he doesn’t have friends in Virginia’s conservative GOP base. And Jackson, knowing that the choice will run for several ballots, hopes that in the kind of back and forth that typifies these kind of conventions that the party just might turn to him. If the GOP does, the race in November with a man this experienced, this intellectual and with more passion and speaking skill than most of us have seen in Virginia for quite some, it would be an election worth watching.