On June 13th, Virginia voters will head to the polls to cast their ballots in the Republican Primary. Not only are the statewide nomination contests consisting of Governor and Lt. Governor up for grabs, but several House of Delegates seats are also facing primaries this election cycle. This is especially true in the 72nd House District, where long time occupant Jimmie Massie has decided not to seek re-election. In the republican nominating contest for the 72nd House District, there are two candidates republicans can choose from. As a matter of disclosure, I serve as Eddie Whitlock’s Grassroots Director, however I am writing not only in that capacity, but also as a friend and supporter of his. For reasons which I will lay out in this article, I encourage all republicans in the 72nd House of Delegates district to vote for Eddie Whitlock on June 13th.
When choosing a representative, a voter must be confident that he or she is choosing someone who can relate to their community’s needs and value set. They need to be assured that the person they select has the necessary leadership qualities to promote their interests and beliefs. Finally, the voter must be reasonably certain that the person they’re voting for has a solid understanding and grasp of the demands and job description of the position for which he or she is running.
Eddie Relates to the Community’s Needs and Value Set:
Eddie has lived his entire life in Henrico, from growing up in the Derbyshire area with his parents, to choosing to raise his own children, with his wife Mary Alice, in the county that has provided so much opportunity for so many families. His children attended local schools, enabling Eddie to experience many of the issues that impact parents with school aged children. Eddie not only lives in Henrico – he works and worships there as well. As a partner at the law firm Lafayette, Ayers, & Whitlock, Eddie not only assists families from all over Henrico with their particular legal needs, but also has an acute understanding of the local ordinances and business regulations that any small business must navigate. Additionally, he has served as a chairman of one of the Virginia State Bar’s many disciplinary committees, holding lawyers accountable who fail to meet the ethical and legal expectations of the Bar.
A longtime member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, as well as the Knights of Columbus, the world’s largest Catholic fraternal organization, Eddie understands well the ministry of service and servant leadership. He is a state director for the Virginia Knights of Columbus charity, KOVAR, which serves Virginians with intellectual disabilities, and served as the Chair of the Building Committee at St. Mary’s. His leadership saw the construction of a new middle school wing, an early childhood development center, and a new daily mass chapel, among other important additions to the church.
Eddie Has the Necessary Leadership Qualities:
In 2016, Henrico County Republicans elected Eddie Whitlock as their chairman, and with his dedication and leadership, that committee was reborn from the ashes of a divided and distrusting membership. Many still remember the contentious, angry, and insult ridden Henrico County Republican Committee (HCRC) mass meeting of 2014. In the two years that followed, it was very difficult to imagine the HCRC being any different, and especially so soon after. However, in 2016, that changed due to Eddie’s leadership; republicans from every wing of the party were given a seat at the table, and a microphone to voice their opinions. Positions were created to allow everyone the chance to ‘own’ a different, yet important job in the Committee. As a result, the HCRC is now thriving, and republicans of every stripe, from moderate republicans, to ‘Establishment’ republicans, to ‘Tea Party’ republicans, back Eddie Whitlock.
Why is this important? First, because it shows that Eddie can bring all factions of the Republican Party together in the pursuit of a common goal, and do so in a manner that is amenable and respectful of all voices. Second, it proves that every republican in the 72nd House District can depend on Eddie Whitlock to be the voice they need in the General Assembly to fight for their values. If the voter’s issue set concerns the economy, government spending, and keeping taxes low, you can count on Eddie to implement his signature Whitlock Test, a questionnaire which asks three simple questions of legislation seeking to fund any item:
- Is the spending for a core function of government like public safety, infrastructure, or education?
- Is the spending for something that the government does better and more efficiently than the private sector?
- Is the spending at the lowest appropriate level with all waste and redundancy removed to get the job done?
If a piece of legislation fails just one question, Eddie will vote against it. Additionally, Eddie has signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge from the group Americans for Tax Reform, promising to hold the line on taxes and to oppose and vote against any tax increase attempt.
Of course, there are other issues of significance to the voters of the 72nd District. For example, if a voter’s number one issue is 2nd Amendment rights, they can look to Eddie’s AQ rating by the NRA, the highest rating any candidate who has not held elected office can receive, as well as his endorsement by the Virginia Citizen’s Defense League (VCDL). Furthermore, Eddie believes that the government has a duty to respect and protect the rights which are enshrined in both the U.S. and Virginia Constitutions; the role of the government is to maximize a citizen’s liberty, not infringe upon it.
Perhaps the issue of choice in education is at the forefront of the voter’s mind? Eddie Whitlock supports the expansion of school choice options such as charter schools, virtual and parochial schools, and home schooling. Finally, if the voter happens to be a veteran, he or she only has to look at Eddie’s 12 years of service in the Virginia National Guard to know that he is uniquely positioned to understand the issues our veterans face every single day.
Eddie Understands the Demands and the Job of Delegate:
No one understands the demands the House of Delegates puts on a person more than retiring delegate from the 72nd House District, Jimmie Massie. The man who has represented this district for nearly a decade has chosen to endorse Eddie Whitlock, saying in a Richmond Times Dispatch article that “a great conservative like (Eddie) Whitlock will be able to hold this seat.” Other than the vote of the general public, there can be no greater endorsement of confidence than from the person who has done the job and who knows every challenge it will bring.
To add to that, Eddie understands that his number one job is to represent the people of the 72nd District; not the lobbyists, not the special interests, or the incoming executive administration. Voters in the 72nd can count on Eddie to stand up for them, to vote for or against legislation which would be a detriment to their everyday lives, and to speak truth to power when needed. Finally, as a lawyer, Eddie possesses the analytical skills needed to read through the hundreds of bills which will cross his desk, as well as the legal background to fully understand the implication of any legislation which is put forward. For those like me, who don’t understand what we affectionately refer to as ‘legalize’ fluently, Eddie Whitlock does, and when he crafts or votes on legislation, he will be able to do so with the full knowledge of what the legislation will truly do.
As tirelessly as Eddie has worked to earn every single vote, is as hard as he will work for his constituents. The Whitlock Campaign has just this week crossed the threshold of reaching 9000 voters through door-to-door operations alone. We have sent hundreds of personal letters to voters, and Eddie has been on the phone every day with those we meet at the door who request a direct call from the candidate. Voters can be assured that Eddie will remain just as responsive and engaged when he is in office as he has been during this campaign. On June 13th, voters in the 72nd District have a choice. I enthusiastically urge all who live in HOD 72 to cast their vote for Eddie Whitlock.
Sara Allison is a member of the Chesterfield County Republican Committee and has worked on several local campaigns. She currently serves as the Grassroots Director for the Eddie Whitlock for Delegate campaign.