Kirk Cox: Republicans Must Unify Against the Democrats’ Failures and March Toward Victory


Cox: Civility in campaign’s final days
Kirk Cox
The Roanoke Times

I’ve been in and around the world of politics for many years, from teaching U.S. government to volunteering on Ronald Reagan’s campaign to representing the 66th District in the House of Delegates.

I’ve seen underdogs surge to unexpected victory and incumbents agonize over defeat.

Methods of campaigning have evolved, with debates happening on Facebook rather than in town halls, but the purpose of running doesn’t change.

Unfortunately, one of the things that has changed is the way we treat our competitors within our own party. Virginia Republicans have been inundated in recent months by mud-slinging and deceptive advertising.

Nearly every candidate in the governor’s race has been subjected to some kind of attack from a shadowy front group set up to shield the individuals responsible for the ads. These shady methods are hurting our party. It’s time to put those attacks aside and bring Republicans together.

Some genuinely bad things have happened under the Northam administration: The Parole Board broke the law.

All three statewide leaders had scandals that distracted from their ability to govern.

Critical government agencies like the Virginia Employment Commission have left people waiting for months for assistance.

To win in November, we have to unify against the Democrats’ failures and march toward victory.

I have always tried my best to be an honest broker, and maintain civility when the going gets tough. So it’s frustrating to watch Republicans use inflammatory mailers, text messages, and ads in an effort to tear each other down. Our conservative principles are best exemplified by our records.

It’s time we put an end to the manipulative politicking and restore character and integrity to what has been a turbulent primary season for Virginians..

With all the negativity going on out there, I decided it was time to step up and say something nice about my fellow candidates. Over the past few months, we’ve gotten to know each other at forums and other campaign events. While I’ll be the first to say we don’t all agree on everything, I do respect my opponents and have no fear in saying nice things about them.

Amanda Chase was nice enough to speak at my campaign kickoff in 2019. I haven’t agreed with everything she’s said and done, but she’s true to herself, and there’s something to be admired about that.

Sergio de la Pena, has a beautiful family, and it’s inspiring to see how they travel with him and support him every step of the way.

Peter Doran is a smart guy with a lot of ideas, and one thing I’ve learned from my time in the General Assembly is that smart guys with a lot of ideas tend to do well.

Octavia Johnson and I first met when she ran for the House of Delegates in 2013. She ran in a blue seat, and was unafraid of the fight then and it’s clear she’s unafraid of the fight now.

Pete Snyder stepped up in a big way last year when he created the Virginia 30 Day Fund to help small businesses survive the pandemic.

And Glenn Youngkin is a man of faith. I pray for Glenn – and the other candidates in this race – and I know he does the same.

We should be proud to have such a strong field of candidates vying to restore Virginia. The glory of our election system is that we all bring something different to the table, but share the same goal of handing over the keys to the Governor’s Mansion to a Republican in November.

This convention is about more than just being someone’s first or second choice, this is about our party saying no to crass politics and uniting in our fight against an agenda that seeks to destroy our way of life.

Virginians have been subjected to enough poor governance and scandal over the past eight years. Instead of giving them anything else to be disappointed by, let’s join together to restore civility, honor, and decency to Virginia’s highest office.

Read the op-ed in the Roanoke Times