Home 2018 Elections Looking to VA05: Democrat Roger Dean Huffstetler Out with Powerful Introductory/Biographical Video

Looking to VA05: Democrat Roger Dean Huffstetler Out with Powerful Introductory/Biographical Video


The 2010 Tea Party wave replaced dozens of thoughtful Democratic Party politicians with #alternativefacts, (climate) science-denying, extremist Republicans. Those Republicans have been damaging the nation ever since, including with their enabling of Trump’s criminality. (Though, frankly that’s just icing on the cake of the vast harm these extremists have caused.)

In the 2010 Tea Party wave, perhaps the most unfortunate case came in Virginia’s 5th, where superb Rep. Tom Perriello – who had voted for the ACA and Waxman-Markey climate/clean energy legislation – lost by a narrow margin (just 4 points) to stuffed-shirt Republican Robert Hurt. In 2016, Hurt announced he would not run for reelection, and today, reactionary/white-supremacist-enabling Republican (anti-)Freedom Caucus member Tom Garrett (who is far to the right of the actual preferences of the district’s electorate) now occupies Perriello’s former seat in Congress.

The November 2018 election is set up to correct that damage, but only if VA-05 Democrats nominate a strong  candidate in a district which Trump won by 14 percentage points and Ed Gillespie won by 9 points.  If Democrats do so, the nominee could well ride an increasingly likely – and increasingly large – “blue wave” to victory in November,  providing VA-05 with representation more in line with the voters’ interests – and with acting as a check in Trump’s extremism while fulfilling their oath to the Constitution – than Trumpster Fire Garrett.

One of the Democratic Party candidates for the nomination to replace Garrett, Roger Dean Huffstetler, just released a powerful “who I am and why I’m running” video that is well worth watching and considering.

Huffstetler’s ad (his family story, views of the nation, etc.) hits many powerful themes and images that would seem likely to resonate with voters.

His family has:

  • struggled and suffered …
    • including in the opiate crisis …
  • worked hard …
    • in three generations, farm to factory to university/technology start-up …
  • succeeded due to
    • their efforts AND
    • government assistance/ways to help people advance.

Also, his family now includes a loving wife and a soon-to-be-born daughter, which helps inform what he values and wishes to see in the future.

As to his closing message, this former U.S. Marine explains why he felt a call to service in Congress, to ensure that…

  • if you put in the work you have job security and can afford to feed your family;
  • if you have a good idea you can start a company in any ZIP code in this country;
  • our kids get the education they’ll need for every cutting edge job of the future

As Huffstetler says in the ad:

I want my daughter and every child to see that they can all be included in the future of this country. That’s what America was founded on and that promise isn’t gone. Sure, Washington, DC, is a disaster but that doesn’t mean America is despite all our struggles.

Mama also used to say to me you can do anything you want. I believed that then and I still do now. It’s why I can’t wait to take my daughter back to feed the cows to tell her about her family, about how they did their best, and about all the opportunities this country gave us.  And, how I’ll do the same for her generation, too. And, most importantly that she can do anything she wants

Now, this isn’t a video designed for instant, 15-second gratification. But it is worth the three minutes to watch and consider, IMHO.

As evidenced by my writing this post and by my words above, I clearly found most of this video and its messaging strong. However, one item struck a discordant note: “Washington, DC, is a disaster…” The wording suggests “a plague on both houses,” “both-sides” false equivalency that is simply not accurate.  Because if D.C. is a disaster, it is that way for a specific reason: because of Republicans like Donald Trump and Tom Garrett, who view government as the enemy and as something to destroy, rather than something to serve the American people.  Democratic Party candidates should not shy about laying blame for the nation’s ills — for Congress’ dysfunction — on Republicans like Tom Garrett. It isn’t just better politics, it has the benefit of being true.

The video passed my way and did its job. I went to Huffstetler’s campaign website, which has the heading “Solutions-Oriented Leadership for Congress” in large font, and explored it a bit.  When it comes to “priorities,” I always check energy and environment first. Here are Huffstetler’s priorities:


The dangers of a changing climate are real and frightening, but we don’t fear the future in America, we build it. Let’s find innovative ways to address climate change that promote economic growth and enhance national security.

This rings real and on point with me, fitting into my thinking that we should be working toward a prosperous and secure climate-friendly future.  We have before us ‘win-win-win’ solutions that can boost the economy while protecting the environment and enhancing national security.  Huffstetler, in just a few dozen words, captures what I’ve been promoting and discussing with thousands of words. From a three-minute ad to rich campaign website to priorities that align with mine, Roger Dean Huffstetler can count me intrigued …

NOTE: While I do like what I see from Huffstetler, I am not a VA-05 voter and have not yet looked deeply at the other candidates. It appears that any of the four candidates (that I am aware of) would clearly provide better representation for VA-05’s voters than they get from Tom Garrett. The other candidates are:

  • RobertColgan

    What bothers me about this commercial is his admission that he felt the “need” to do something after 9/11, joined the Marines, and served in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Anybody who didn’t smell a complete set up from the MilitaryIndustrialGovernmentAlliance on that one…… on the ratcheted up rhetoric about Bin Laden as the source of the attack, on the fake WMDs as rationale to go to war with Iraq, to occupy Afghanistan and Iraq for 14 years————-doesn’t have my vote.

    Unless he learned how faked the entire matter, how much the wars were profiteering enterprises for the MIGA, how much they distracted from actually dealing effectively with rational problems here, how much they killed/maimed/traumatized millions…and I didn’t hear any of that from him.
    I have gotten extremely wary of anyone who has supported American militarism as a “solution” to making the world a better place….unless it has opened their eyes, Smedley Butler style, to who is behind that militarism and why it exists, and what it actually does to destroy the economy (and moral conscience) of a nation.

    Huffstetler, whose wife is an OBGYN, backs womens’ issues, healthcare issues and that alone is important.. . . .but unless he attacks the MIGA————he’s never going to get my vote.

    • A_Siegel

      1. A serious separation is merited between 9/11 / Bin Laden / Afghanistan and going into Iraq. Not going to entertain tin-foil questioning of Al Qaeda and the 9/11 attacks. Consider mood of nation having been attacked and source — no question, imo, in terms of respecting any/all who saw that as a spark to volunteer to serve the nation (whether joining military, deciding to teach in a poor community to help strengthen fabric of society, volunteering for NGO internationally in development, or … many, many ways to ‘serve’ and most don’t involve a uniform).
      2. Once in the military, with his volunteering to serve in the Marines, it is a long stretch to arrive at opposing policy. Since so much wasn’t revealed (even though many of us seriously questioned) about deceit mobilizing support for the disastrous (on so many levels) decision to invade Iraq, I do not see how one can hold “serving in Iraq” after volunteering post 9/11 against someone (especially an enlisted person).
      3. Perhaps a ‘right’ question Hoffstetler might be some variation of the following: “Can you explain how your service as a Marine along with what we have learned about manipulation (if not out right lying) to mobilize popular (and Congressional) support for invading Iraq along with our results in/from Iraq and Afghanistan over the past 17 years informs you about Congress’ role in oversight of the military and of the use of military force internationally?”
      4. In ending post, I made clear that there are four candidates in VA05’s primary — perhaps one of them might be more attuned with your positions/beliefs. In any event, I would hope that a general election choice would be clear in terms of need to reduce the (anti-)Freedom Caucus’ dangerous influence in/power over House of Representative activity.