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Our team scores another election victory winning a key Republican Mass Meeting 78 to 22 percent.

Updated: Aug 11, 2023

Friday our team scored another election victory, working to help local conservatives turn out hundreds of residents to win a key Republican Mass Meeting vote 78 percent to 22 percent to put our candidate one step closer to the State Legislature.

For details on the election win, click on this candidate's website and see the footnote on the bottom of this blog on TBOR Action giving team members partial leaves to work on campaigns - which in recent months included heavy door-knocking from Shreveport, LA to Green Bay, WI in addition to this campaign in rural Southside, Virginia.

I have run more campaigns in rural Southside than any other part of the country, at one point having stayed at so many friends' homes in the Southside that when I helped locals turn out hundreds to hear Ollie North speak in Martinsville. My friends pulled a gag on me that day, making sure the motel placard read, "Welcome John Pudner and Ollie North" much to Ollie's amusement. The area is even more special now that it put me a few miles from my 2014 candidate Dave Brat, now Dean of the Liberty University Business School - and ironically three of us who worked on his stunning upset nine years ago are now working for all three different candidates in this race. While our team's focus is on why we believe our candidate would be the best representative (called State Delegate in Virginia) for this district, continuing to work with voters is crucial in forming TBOR Action election reform policy based on real-life experiences with voters, not Ivory Tower academic theories. The reason I love convention nominations is that they are not won by whoever can pour money into polling and TV. Helping a candidate in a convention involves helping local residents organize their friends to get involved, turnout, have a couple of hours to meet the candidates and discuss issues, and then cast an informed vote. In 2020, friends in the area called to say they thought Congressman Denver Riggleman was voting much more liberal than his constituents, and we produced nine digital commercials to go after him and help current Congressman Bob Good (who was at Friday's event) win his convention 1,517 to 1,020.

In addition to the reconnection with so many Southside friends, this campaign also offered a reunion with Zac Werrell. On primary day 2014, after one Fox News commentator called our upset of Eric Cantor the biggest upset in American political history, the only people allowed in the room with Dave Brat and his wife were one friendly reporter, me, and Dave’s campaign manager Zac. CBS News would call my then 23-year-old friend the “political whiz kid” when they interviewed him for this segment about the same time this Fox News story was calling me Mr. Moneyball.

Zac deserves all the credit he received, but he and I both agree we wish there was a way to have a news story on all 200 people who knocked on doors for Dave Brat or this week called all their friends to ask them to come to Friday's meeting to choose any of the three candidates - those are the unsung heroes who make our Republic work.

Getting to know a wonderful rising star like Zac nine years ago when he was sleeping on a cot for four hours a night at campaign headquarters, or the occasional great victory nights such as Friday night or at the end of campaigns like Brat 2014 or after we elected Bush in 2000 or flipped three state legislatures are inspiring. But that’s not the important experience that guides TBOR Action. Rather it is the experience of running two dozen convention nominations to vet and nominate candidates who are both electable and have convictions - this helps us work for reform policies to align political incentives with the local grassroots rather than outside money.

When we propose making changes to the current political primary system, the reaction is too often that others will “try to ‘rig’ the new system.” The response is simple - they’ve already rigged the current system to frustrate the true will of the voter in many ways. Democratic Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker spent $24 million IN A REPUBLICAN PRIMARY to help nominate the Republican opponent his polls indicated he would most easily beat. Just to the north of Illinois, Wisconsin is one of seven states in which a Democrat US Senator or Democratic Presidential Electors won with less than 50% - because the third, fourth and fifth place candidates were all conservative and took 50,000+ votes in a race lost by 20,000 votes in 2020.

Working the grassroots to help them turn out votes for rural election wins like Friday in Appomattox, or a few months ago in urban Shreveport, Louisiana keeps us connected to voters with a feel for how to truly enfranchise them. It helps us see how solutions from a grassroots GOP process to endorse or even nominate candidates can make them more representative, in addition to how Final Five can prevent spoiler candidates so a conservative majority in a district gets a conservative US Senator or Presidential Electors.

I tried to understand why one conservative political reformer was adamantly against Final Five and was simply told it was because one business leader he viewed as left of center supported it. If the only basis for an argument is guilt by association, then I'm sure the fact that the Democratic US Senator and Governor in Nevada sued to block voters from considering Final Five would trump that argument (the same voters threw the Democratic Governor out of office and approved Final Five on the same day).

If critics can get past an ad hominem attack, an open-minded consideration of ways to fix the current system to incentivize elected officials through changes like Final Five or a more grassroots process to let voters know which candidates are more in line with values such as Virginia’s Republican Creed would incentivize policies that line up with voters' wishes. This is not only important for issues on the national news, but decisions closer to home.

For example, our big win Friday night was in Appomattox, where the country reunited after the Civil War and where voters firmly reject woke ideas about eliminating our history. The feeling is the same a bit north of Southside where the high school sports teams play in the “Battlefield Region” (where I lived when named the top sports news writer in Virginia). Most voters feel the same not too far from Appomattox near the Wilderness Battlefield. Under a system in which the incentive is to seek money from those who want to destroy history - developers are attempting to get approval at this hearing this week to destroy large areas of Wilderness Battlefield in Orange County, Virginia.

Some tell us that they agree with these election reforms like Final Five, or focusing the process on the grassroots rather than letting outside money from liberal ActBlue or woke multinational corporations, but election reform is just a lower priority. However, you may find your policy priorities are only realized if the political incentives provide the means to those policy ends - whether that involves protecting historic battlefields or national social or fiscal issues as outlined in that Virginia Republican Creed or some other set of values you hold dear.

Listening to hundreds of rural voters who turn out to win a victory like the one in Appomattox or knocking on thousand doors in Shreveport may seem isolated, but they are samples of the process needed to Take Back Our Republic.

Picture - I stand behind the 192 Appomattox voters who turned out and gave our candidate one win of close to 90% and another of 78% on the two big votes Friday night. The nomination process concludes on May 20. Footnote - As noted in previous posts, TBOR Action allows team members to take temporary leaves to work directly on candidate political campaigns, though we typically do not promote those candidates on these pages other than reporting after votes.


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