This Mother Jones story is really disturbing, but it also should be highly motivating – for all of us to vote (Democratic, obviously), remind everyone we know to vote, to volunteer, to donate, etc. Because the future of Virginia VERY much hangs in the balance. Here are a few key points from the article.
- HD30 Republican House of Delegates nominee, far-right-extremist Geary Higgins protested the results of the 2020 election, declaring at a rally on 11/8/2020, “If we can’t have free and fair elections in this country, where people have faith in the system, then we’re not going to have a peaceful transition of power.” That’s bad enough, but the Mother Jones article also points out, “In addition to Higgins, the lineup of speakers included Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and Thomas Edward Caldwell, another member of the far-right organization.” Horrifying.
- “At least three separate GOP Virginia legislative candidates were in Washington D.C. on January 6th for the ‘Stop the Steal’ rally preceding the insurrection, and over 25 candidates have sought to question or challenge the results of the 2020 election, according to research provided by the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC).”
- “…if Republicans capture the legislature and take full control of state government for the first time since 2013, they will be able to put in place harsh limits on ballot access and other measures to limit democracy, following the blueprint adopted by Republicans in other states.”
- Key point: “The Democratic nominee in HD-30, Robert Banse, a retired Episcopal minister, says Higgins’ involvement in the ‘Stop the Steal’ protests (he attended at least two such rallies but was not present at the Capitol on January 6) should disqualify him from holding office. ‘I personally believe that anybody involved in the run-up to January 6 contributed to what was a very real attempt to overthrow the Constitution and the legitimate government of this country,’ Banse says. ‘I would never want anybody representing me, in any level of government, who I knew was involved in that activity and in that process.” (Higgins did not reply to a request for comment.).'”
- Perhaps most disturbing of all, Higgins is NOT an aberration or isolated case. Instead: “According to the DLCC, ‘of the 116 Republicans running this year in Virginia, over 80 candidates either supported or indicated their support for anti-democracy legislation that would restrict access to voting, have opposed measures to expand voting, or spread conspiracy theories around election fraud and January 6th.'” So disturbing.
So…again, make sure you vote – you can do so TODAY if you want, or pretty much any day on or before 11/7 – and, if you can, donate to Virginia House and/or Senate Democrats (or directly to your favorite candidates), volunteer, etc. The Commonwealth you save from becoming Florida, Texas, etc. will VERY much be your own!