Following a 2019 election blue wave in the Virginia State legislature, Republican Mark Ellmore is looking to restore conservative values in the northern part of the state.
Virginia, which was once a Republican stronghold, is now controlled by Democrats in every high-level elected position including the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, and both Senators. Democratic influence in Northern Virginia, which many federal workers call home, is particularly strong and has steadily increased in recent years.
Ellmore doesn’t believe that his district, Virginia 08, is a lost cause though. Though VA-08 encompasses the liberal strongholds of Arlington County, Falls Church, parts of Fairfax County, and the city of Alexandria, Ellmore believes that voters are being left out in the cold by the rise of socialism.
“It comes down to trying to bring balance back to the community,” Ellmore said. "A lot of people move here, we have a lot of federal workers, and they feel that, 'If I'm not electing a Democratic candidate I'm not going to have a representative that really advocates for federal workers'...we're trying to bring some common-sense solutions, talking to people about keeping the ball rolling economically, making it so we keep taxes low, things the president has been doing well."
Virginia District 8 is currently a +21 Democratic District, the most white-majority Democratic stronghold in the south.
Looking forward to the 2020 election, Ellmore strongly believes he can spread the message of conservative values to the constituents of his district if given the chance to have his voice heard.
“With [Presidential candidate and Socialist Sen.] Bernie Sanders, we've allowed it to go from being a benign cyst and George Soros getting involved to being full-blown metastasized cancer.” Speaking of the constituents of Virginia-08, Ellmore doesn't believe that people who espouse socially liberal values are ready for actual socialism promised by Sanders and other Democrats. "These are common-sense people," he said. "That's where we hit a wall...how do we bring balance back to the community?"
Speaking of the staggering amount of Democrats recently elected to the state legislature in 2019 as well as a large amount of U.S. Congressional representatives representing most of the state, Ellmore doubled down on wanting to have more balanced representatives throughout the state. "The window's open slightly," Ellmore said of his deep-blue district, referring to his opponent, the current VA-08 Rep. Don Beyer (D), who he calls, 'Dr. Do Nothing.'
"When you go from being a moderate Democrat as he was when he was Lieutenant Governor – he wasn't anti-gun, he wasn't a late-term abortion advocate, he wasn't open borders, he wasn't what he is now – he's just a seat holder now," Ellmore explained.
Ellmore, who has lived in Virginia's 8th District his whole life, referred to several other VA politicians that migrated to the state to run for office on the Democratic ticket as a preview of what to expect if Beyer is replaced. "Somebody's going to move here and then Don Beyer's gonna hand the case to that person who wants to be a Congressman."
Ellmore, who is self-made and previously worked as an Executive for Washington-Lee Savings and Loan, acknowledges that convincing voters of his worth as a conservative Congressional representative in a district that is +21 Democratic is an uphill battle. He fully believes it is a battle that can be won and is approachable because voters still believe in free-market capitalism and free will, something that is not being offered by front running Democrats who espouse stridently socialist values like Senator Bernie Sanders.
In fact, Ellmore sees the rise of socialism as a unique opportunity to share the message of conservativism with voters who have selected Democrats out of habit the past several election cycles and have seen no return for anyone on the Bench in the District, including Beyer. "He's done nothing for the working-class people. Nothing, he said. "He's just an empty suit, and I think we can do better.
As for his conservative values, Ellmore is ardently pro-life and wants to protect Virginian's Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. He knows that many Democrats feel left out in the cold as their party has rejected their deep American values. He believes in financial prudence and cited Trump's rise as a conservative hero with economic success
As to the sharp and drastic change from conservative to liberal, Virginia hasn’t gone for a GOP presidential candidate since 2004 and Ellmore blames Republicans. Speaking of the Virginia Legislature, now controlled by Democrats, pushing for late-term abortion and Governor Ralph Northam suggesting, shockingly, an abortion-surviving child be allowed to die, he condemned his fellow party members.
"Now you're griping about Richmond being a mess with late-term abortion and even infanticide, you're sitting around wondering, 'how did that happen?' Well, you didn't do anything. I didn't do enough. We didn't do enough," he explained.
"I'm doing this because I love where I live and I believe we need to turn this around," Ellmore said. "The only way to do it is if, God willing, I'm elected, I'm going to work extremely hard on helping us to get other candidates to go so that every seat in this region is challenged."