Jimmy Stewart played a naïve man who went to Congress and stood up for us all in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” Down in Tidewater ‘Jimmy’ Bowden isn’t naive, but neither is he wealthy or connected to big money. So, can Jim Bowden go to Washington armed with only support of regular folks and a better grasp of public service and Armed Services expertise than well funded career politicians? We will find out this weekend.
On November 10th, the Republicans of Virginia’s First District select their candidate for the special election to fill the seat formerly held by the late US Representative Jo Ann Davis. In this very Conservative district of Tidewater – and a bit of Hunt Country – Virginia, the Republican candidate has a 3-2 advantage. That is why a dozen or so Republicans want the nomination.
Unsurprisingly, a key issue of winning the candidacy is boiling down to money, and that’s where maybe Jim Bowden is as naive as Jimmy Stewart.
Bowden once wrote that the tight time lines of a nominating race lasting a few weeks that all the money in the world can’t buy the election.
Maybe he’s wrong…
The field includes the wealthy, the elected, and the connected…then there is the political activist, grassroots guy –James Bowden…and his path to the nomination is obstructed by a wall of checkbooks.
He enjoys financial support from regular folks, average $20 to $200 in donations from across the country as well as his home District. His campaign is driven by volunteer workers across the District who are recruiting and shepherding the Delegates needed to win the Convention next Saturday. Can such a grassroots effort win national office?
Please forgive me if I get a little preachy, but when you see a good man like Jim Bowden getting kneecapped by those he has worked with…well, it gets my dander up. Moreover, what is happening to Jim Bowden is reflective of what keeps so many folks from considering entering public life
Jim tells his story in text and videos here and here. This new media tells a story that otherwise can’t get out in this special election. The MSM is too busy reporting on and now commenting on the general election to say much about the nominating conventions on November 10th. This despite the opinion of some that the Republican convention is the de facto election for the U.S. House of Representatives.
If his story shows the credentials to compete and win the nomination and the special election against Conservative-appealing, ex-military Democrats, then what is the problem? The problem is that money buys paid professionals to promote one candidate or down another. Wealth brings paid professionals. Bowden can work hard to exhaustion and wield the sword of truth to good advantage in one place at a time while the paid staff of other candidates work simultaneously in the other 22 counties and cities. His volunteers across the District have only sparse minutes to do what pros are well paid to do by the hour.
Money, like power, is an aphrodisiac, and many are choosing patrons over principles. A Virginia Pro-Life organization sent out a press release touting two candidates, candidates who have made major financial contributions to the organization. Pro-Life lobbyists knew that other candidates have just as strong a commitment to life, and have welcomed their support. These same lobbyists continue to ignore others whose passion for life is larger than their checkbook.. How powerful is the pull contributions past and the hope for more in the future!.
Of course it’s reasonable for many Conservatives to repay the generous financial support of the past with political support now. Yet, movement Conservatives and Conservative advocacy lobbies should ask themselves how they can serve two masters – truth and wealth. If they believe in the principles they espouse, they should be more candid in their endorsements and not ignore those who have fought the good fight with them. I can only hope other groups extend better treatment to those running in Va 1.
The same can be said for politicians who wanted to carpetbag into the District and run for the office. The timelines between getting one office on November 6th and winning a different office nomination on November 10th were just too tight. Even a seasoned politician is too hard put to explain the logical inconsistency, moral mousiness and just sleazy politics to pull such a stunt. So, keeping in mind a future chance at a prize, these politicians support the guy they see as a walking ATM.
Where does that leave Jim Bowden? Earning delegates one by one, one phone call at a time. He wants to recruit a Gideon’s Army-sized force. If not, I imagine he’ll take a Gideon’s company or platoon into Caroline County, Virginia and see what can be wrought.
Why does my friend Jim Bowden fight this fight? For the same reasons he served this country in the military, for the same reason he uses his voice and pen to address the important issues facing this country. He believes the United States is the best hope of the world, and the best way to keep us all safe and strong is to seek “dignity, justice and hope” for all Virginians…and for all Americans.
It has long been said “Public office is a public trust”. Has it become nothing more than a private purchase? Has cash overwhelemed conscience as a test for public life? Tidewater Virginia, it’s your time to answer that question. Sign up to be a delegate on November 7th. If you have filed, search your heart and mind and vote rightly.