My recommendation for all the Trump voters and other conservatives/libertarians and especially gun rights supporters in the 71st District special election next Tuesday (February 7) is as follows: Independent Regie Ford.
There are three candidates in the election -and one of them will be in the state legislature after February 7.
Let’s start with Democrat Jeff M. Bourne, 3rd District School Board representative. He’s unacceptable for several reasons:
- Bourne speaks in platitudes – both on his website and at the forum. Here’s one example:
I’ll support policies that grow and diversify our economy and that provide greater economic opportunity and prosperity for all. We need to tackle the issue of poverty in our city and provide hope and a hand-up to those who need it.
- Bourne also was on the Richmond School Board since 2012 – I think this ought to be a disqualifier for higher office without a clear record of showing that he tried to defeat bad policies – deficits in the schools, potential building closings and other similar issues.
- As a corollary to this – Jeff Bourne is elected on the same day Trump is and eleven days into a new four year term, he turns around and runs for a different office.
- BUT finally Bourne takes dangerous positions on gun rights. He wants to end concealed weapon reciprocity with other states – he said at the RCFV event too many states have reciprocity with Virginia. He also would reinstate the one gun a month ban.
Now there is a Libertarian in the race. A fine, solid candidate (he is a teacher of chemistry and math at Richmond Military Academy) but some of his positions are fuzzy at best.
- Barclay was focused on three issues – legal pot, felon voting and education. His answers were incomplete from a liberty standpoint. For example: His position on education was not school choice and competition so the schools will get better on their own but rather legalize marijuana and maybe earmark the tax money for schools.
- While Barclay is clearly superior than the Democrat, his position on gun rights was astounding: Let’s do away with gun loopholes! Yes he actually said this – at the Crusade event. (I almost passed out when I heard it!) Now I am sure he is more pro-gun rights than Bourne (and maybe even Ford, too) but I think his positions need work. Too much work for right now.
Finally we come to Regie Ford.
- Ford is the best communicator of the three. But he is more than just talk. He has been active in the Toastmasters, attaining the rank of District Director for the District that consists of all of Virginia but the northern part. For the first time in eight years, the district was recognized as a Distinguished District during Regie’s year. Regie also ran for president of the Crusade for Voters and revised its corporate status, get the group to adopt by-laws and ran fair and inclusive candidate events. He even invited and brought me in to help.
- Ford is probably a liberal/moderate Democrat at heart. But he listens and seeks advice from others. He has passion for getting things done. He recognized how scammy these minority set-asides in bidding for state contracts (Ford did not use the word “scam” but he told the Crusade it is easy to manipulate the system – make my wife the president for example to play the system. Bourne supported changing the criteria and Barclay refused to denounce it.)
It is not the best set of choices. The Deplorables in the 71st – maybe 8 to 10,000 voters – I won’t go through that list of precincts again! – ought to get out and vote Ford. He’ll listen to all the voters – including the Republicans – and he’s not going to buck for higher office, and he’s passionate. I wish I could support Barclay. Maybe in a future election I can. But it’s Ford in the 71st. Maybe you could call it lesser of three evils but I prefer to say the best of three flawed candidates. I am helping Ford and I urge you to vote for him if you live in the 71st.