The Electoral College hasn't even met to confirm the dismal results of establishment Republican Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, and already many conservatives are talking about the 2016 presidential election.
It is understandable that Republicans would want to put Romney’s disastrous campaign in the rearview mirror, but there is much work and many opportunities before us conservatives between now and 2016.
Chief among our opportunities is the 2013 Virginia Governor’s race that pits principled small-government constitutional conservative Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli against establishment Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling.
Cuccinelli, a rising conservative star, was the first of the state Attorneys General to fight Obamacare.
Cuccinelli was also the driving force behind Virginia’s 2012 constitutional amendment to protect property rights -- Question 1 on the ballot -- that passed with over 74% of the vote.
But perhaps most importantly, Ken Cuccinelli is the kind of principled small-government constitutional conservative who will get out and articulate conservative ideas and policy in ways that the vast majority of Americans can understand how they apply to them.
If there is one thing that Republicans should have learned from the disaster of 2012, it is that it is not enough to say you are for conservative ideas or principles – you’ve got to actually believe, articulate and campaign on them to win.
Cuccinelli did that in one of the most heavily Democratic areas of Virginia to win not just one, but three terms in the State Senate.
And he did it again when he ran for Attorney General.
But conservatives have a lot of work to do to get Ken Cuccinelli into the Governor’s mansion in Richmond. Given not just that Romney and George Allen lost in Virginia, but that Barack Obama won for a second time there, I can think of few elections in my lifetime that have more significance for the conservative movement. If ever a governor’s race was the ultimate showdown of establishment Republicans versus the conservative movement, this is it.
Cuccinelli’s race is also the first chance following 2012 for the Tea Party to demonstrate its permanency in politics.
First, we have to beat back the Republican establishment who are backing Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling. Clearly, they understand the significance of this showdown, and will throw their resources into this race. Cuccinelli’s win would go a long way to discrediting their mean-spirited attacks on principled conservatism and conservatives.
Bolling and his special interest allies in Richmond have already started attacking Cuccinelli. And conservatives should expect those attacks to continue right through the General Election because the establishment, even those who claim to be Republicans, isn't really interested in shrinking the size and scope of government. Ken Cuccinelli is. He is also a student of history. He understands the proper roles of government and the law, and why lawful government is supposed to protect our liberty.
For these reasons, it is important for conservatives across the country to contribute to Cuccinelli’s campaign, and contribute as much as they can. Every race that Ken has won he’s been outspent. In 2013, however, he will be up against big money like never before – and this time, his opponents will include the mainstream media that are determined not to let a principled small-government conservative win.
Ken needs money, not only to overcome the establishment Republicans’ money advantage, but to be able to deal with the unfair, scurrilous attacks that will be leveled against him by the mainstream media because he is principled.
Between now and 2016, there is going to be a knockdown drag-out fight for the soul and direction of the Republican Party – and Round One is going to be the 2013 Virginia Governor’s race.
Ken Cuccinelli is mounting a strong campaign, but there is a lot of work to do between now and the May, 18th, 2013 Virginia State Convention in Richmond. Cuccinelli’s victory will only be assured if conservatives get behind him and make his nomination a national bellwether signaling that the GOP has recovered from the defeat of 2012, and that the Republican Party is the Party of small-government constitutional conservatives.
Please go to the Donate Now link at Ken’s website http://www.cuccinelli.com/ and make a contribution today.