The 11th Congressional District of Virginia, which includes all of the City of Fairfax, most of Fairfax County and parts of Prince William County, has been rigged as a solid district for the Democrats. Republicans came real close in 2010 when we lost by around 900 votes. Since then redistricting has made the district more favorable to the Democrat incumbent, Gerry Connolly. Any typical Republican will have a very difficult time running in this part of Northern Virginia. But Republican nominee Suzanne Scholte is not your typical Republican.
Mrs. Scholte is an expert on foreign policy having spent decades working to bring more individual freedom to East Asia. She has won numerous awards for her efforts such as the Seoul Peace Prize in 2008, the Walter Judd Freedom Award in 2010, the Sungnye Diplomatic Service Medal in 2013, and this year she added the Sanders Peace and Social Justice Award to her list of achievements.
Her reach to demographics outside the typical Republican sphere goes beyond East Asia. Next week a group called North Africans for Suzanne Scholte will host an event called A Night in the Sahara. This is a great example of her campaign reaching out to a group not often specifically engaged by Republicans in the past.
This all adds a very important characteristic to this race; Mrs. Scholte can bring to the polls a diverse group of voters that typically do not vote, or when they do they don’t usually vote for Republicans. She really could engage a lot of potential voters who are, right now, sitting off the political radar. Making moves like a Night in the Sahara will bring voters to the polls who sit off the lists of polling firms and political consultants thus making her a sleeper candidate who could really make some noise on Election Day.
Sunday afternoon I received a call from the Scholte campaign inviting me to attend Monday night’s town hall meeting in Springfield. The town hall, held last night with a sizeable crowd, focused its discussion on healthcare. The call Sunday was a recording of Mrs. Scholte and it was short, to the point, included a shot at her opponent by linking him to President Obama, and also included the standard contact info for people to follow up with. The robo-call was a great use of campaign funds and the town hall meeting was a great use of campaign time. Mrs. Scholte is really showing us she is in it to win it.
We certainly hope this is case because Mrs. Scholte’s opponent is a partisan hack. Rep. Connolly, pictured here wearing a shirt that is as obnoxious as he is, showed us that he is unfit for the responsibilities at hand when he walked out of one of the hearings on the Benghazi terrorist attack. And he showed us that he doesn’t take his job seriously when during a hearing on the IRS targeting conservative groups he asked a witness “are you a witch?” When he walked out on Benghazi he walked on the American people and when he asked a witness if she was a witch he tarnished Congress’ oversight authority, he needs to be removed from office.
Too many voters blindly vote based on the sample ballot they receive moments before casting their vote. Here in Northern Virginia all those Democrats who will show up on Election Day need to know that Rep. Connolly is unfit to serve and needs to be replaced. Suzanne Scholte is a credible alternative who will represent the 11th District with the dignity and respect that is expected of a congressional representative. She can win. She has my vote.