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Chris Saxman at the RPV Advance
Posted by: Jon Henke on Tuesday, December 04, 2007

A bit of Virginia-blogging...

This past weekend, I attended the RPV Advance - the yearly gathering of the Republican Party of Virginia - to speak on a couple Blogs and Politics panels. When those ended, I decided to stick around to speak to some friends and hear some speeches. In particular, there was a great deal of buzz surrounding the speech of Delegate Chris Saxman, a friend, a politician/blogger and rumored potential candidate for the '08 Senate race.

As it turns out, I'm glad I stuck around. Del. Saxman's speech reminded me why I like him and think he has a very bright future.

Quoting Chris Saxman:
"Our government is taking more control of our daily lives, taking more of the money we earn and giving us less in return.

The only way to put government back in its proper role is for the Republican Party to become a first rate political force once again. To do this we must rededicate ourselves to being the Party of growth and opportunity. At the same time, there can be no doubt that our Party is the protector of the individual – whether that individual is in the womb of her mother, perparing his children for school or wiping the sweat off of his brow after putting in a full day of work. Our Party is at our best when we are pointing out that individuals made this country great, not the federal government. Just look at any point in our nation’s history; whenever individuals were given control to decide their own future and enjoy the rewards of their success then our nation became more energized, prosperous, forward-looking and free."
That's the kind of thing Republicans need to say, loudly and often. Then, Saxman went on to explain that he was declining to run for the Senate nomination.
After “an incredible amount of soul searching,” the fourth-term delegate told a ballroom filled with hundreds of party faithful that a bid for federal office would require him to raise money during the upcoming General Assembly session, something he could not ethically do.

“Though a U.S. Senate campaign is governed by federal law, it is my belief that raising money is not the thing to do,” he said. “While it might be legal, it is unethical. We need politicians to put that first.”
The reception to Saxman's decision - and the integrity it showed - was, so far as I could tell, very positive. Virginia bloggers seem to love the guy. (and Democrats are more concerned about him than about the other candidates) So it's difficult to understand why Washington Post Reporter Tim Craig writes...
Chris Saxman - Some GOP activists wonder whether Saxman overhyped his potential candidacy. And instead of announcing his decision Saturday evening, some asked whether Saxman should have made his intentions not to run known sooner. Saxman also let down a lot of Republican activists who were certain he was about to enter the race. And even if he decided not to run, some GOP activists say he should announced his decision earlier in the weekend. That way, the argument goes, the stories in the Sunday papers would have been all about Gilmore and party unity, instead of Saxman's decision.
Did Craig find the rare critic? Perhaps so, but they were certainly the exception, and highlighting the exceptions seems a...let's call it statistically incorrect approach to evaluating public opinion.

Should Chris Saxman decide to run for another office in the future, his reputation for integrity will be remembered and rewarded by Virginia Republicans. Chris Saxman could, should, represent the future of the Republican Party.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

I hope for the Virginia GOP to continue their current trends :)
Written By: Oliver Willis
That’s the kind of thing Republicans need to say, loudly and often.
It’s good rhetoric,but even George W Bush often says the right things. Then he goes off to do the opposite. I’m afraid I’m with Mr. Miyagi on this one: there is no say, only do. On the doing front the GOP has not been much of a defender of individuals, nationally anyway.
Written By: Retief
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