Tech entrepreneur Pete Snyder is running for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia.
"I want to rein in the size and scope of government," Snyder said this week at Greenspring Retirement Community in Springfield. "When you look over the past 20 years, budgets in Richmond have grown by over 400 percent," he said. "The population of Virginia has only grown by 40 [percent]. Something is out of whack. So, I want to make it a goal to rein government in by 10 percent. That's not that audacious, but the career politicians and others will tell you it can't be done. And that's the problem."
Snyder, 40, a resident of Fairfax County's Belle Haven neighborhood, founded the social media marketing firm New Media Strategies in 1999. After serving as chair of Mitt Romney's 2012 Virginia Victory campaign, he found himself depressed and couch-ridden in November.
It was Snyder's wife, Burson (deputy chief of staff to Republican U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri), who pushed him to enter politics. "She said: 'Where the heck is the guy that I married? Why don't you get off the couch and get off the sidelines and show some courage and actually get in the game?'" said Snyder.
And being a Republican in Virginia took a hit after the election, said Snyder.
"After Nov. 6 there was a lot of talk about our party. 'Can it survive? How do we grow?' We're getting clobbered with Hispanics, we're getting clobbered with women, we're getting clobbered with African Americans," he said. "Is there any hope whatsoever? And the first thing coming out of the pundit's mouth was that we need to throw our principles away; we've got to contort ourselves into becoming some sort of Democrat-lite.
"I'm sorry, folks. The last thing we need to do is throw out our conservative principles. We need to double down on them... Taking my brochure and putting it in Spanish isn't going to do a doggoned thing, but if we can talk to families about having your children trapped in schools that are failing and the only solution that government is providing is to shovel more money at it, and we can show a way to make an impact - that's how our party grows."
Snyder, a contributor to Fox News, faces competition in the race for lieutenant governor, from:
- Corey Stewart, chair of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors
- Del. Scott Lingamfelter (R-31st)
- State Sen. Steve Martin (R-11th)
- Former State Sen. Jeannemarie Devolites-Davis
- Susan Stimpson, chair of the Stafford County Board of Supervisors
- E.W. Jackson Sr., minister and former U.S. Senate candidate
The final candidate for Republican Lt. Governor will not be chosen in a primary, but instead at a Republican State Convention in April.
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