At 11:30 AM today, Delegate Scott Lingamfelter (R-31) came to Harrisonburg to speak about his campaign for lieutenant governor. Later in the evening, the Republican Women of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County held an event featuring each of the seven Republican candidates. However, as Delegate Lingamfelter was unable to attend this gathering in person, he decided to meet with the local delegates beforehand.
Prior to Delegate Lingamfelter’s speech, two Valley legislators offered their thoughts and praise for him, Delegate Tony Wilt (R-26) and Delegate Steve Landes (R-25). Both men have previously endorsed his candidacy.
Expecting a similar message to his last trip to Harrisonburg, I did not record Delegate Lingamfelter’s words. However, he offered a bit of a different message, focusing upon the proper role of government and ways in which he can make an impact as lieutenant governor to promote his philosophy. He stressed that one should never abandon his or her principles for the sake of political power.
During the question and answer period that followed, I asked Scott Lingamfelter about one of my greatest reservations, his harsh condemnation of Ron Paul and his supporters after Paul’s unfortunate and ill-timed comments made after the death of a U.S. soldier. Presumably quite a few Paul supporters would appreciate a good bit of the Delegate’s record and rhetoric if not for his anti-Paul rebuke. Lingamfelter admitted that some of his words were written out of the anger stemming from the moment, given his personal experience dealing with the death of fellow soldiers and praised Paul for raising awareness for important issues such as auditing the Federal Reserve. As he pointed out from his campaign card, Delegate Lingamfelter has been advocating an audit of the state government. He also added that his greatest regret arising from that situation included his statement made against Senator Rand Paul, given Paul’s impressive effort to curtail the power of the federal government over the domestic drone issue.
Lastly, I briefly spoke with Delegate Lingamfelter’s campaign staff regarding American’s for Growth and Prosperity [sic], the group responsible for anti-Lingamfelter attack pieces. Although I have no objection to criticizing the record of any candidate, I do not approve of a person or campaign that attacks a person anonymously. Such a move is not only questionable from a legal standpoint, but also reeks of cowardice. A word of advice to the other six candidates: if your campaign is behind this action, I urge you to admit it and come forward now. Yes, point out your objections to Delegate Lingamfelter, but do so openly. I doubt many undecided delegates, myself included, would look upon your campaign favorably should ties be unearthed between your candidacy and this anti-Lingamfelter front group.
Getting back to my main point, Delegate Lingamfelter seems have build up a considerable statewide following, though his previous statements immensely weakened his chance of capturing any segment of the pro-liberty/Paul delegates. Will today’s comments in Harrisonburg help erase these misgivings? Is more required? Or is the damage simply irreversible? We’ll find out in about a month, once the 2013 RPV Convention delegates select their nominee.