However, you may not know about his challenger - Tom Perriello, who is an excellent candidate in his own right, let alone who his opponent is. And you can hear Dante Atkins (hekebolos) and I interview Tom today at 3:30 PM Eastern on our BlogTalkRadio show.
So why is Tom Perriello so right for Congress? Well, in addition to the fact that Virginia is most certainly a “trending purple” state, Tom has already raised around $600,000 for the race (but he can use all the money he can get).
But even though money is unfortunately a driving force (until public financing of elections), there are many other reasons why we should be supporting his run. For starters, there is his strong faith leading to his history of community service and experiences – even at his current age of 33:
Tom Perriello has been to some of the worst hellholes on earth: Sierra Leone, Liberia, Darfur. "I was part of a team trying to force [Liberian dictator] Charles Taylor to leave office without firing a shot," explains Perriello of his Liberian stint.
Perriello calls himself a "justice entrepreneur," and says he "looks at political solutions to military conflicts." He's helped found a nonprofit that stresses faith-based solutions to children's health care, and supports a higher minimum wage, environmental stewardship, and responsible solutions in Iraq.
The fact that Tom not only wears his faith on his sleeve, but actually backs it up with actions like his nonprofit organization that is looking to solve the issues facing the nation - instead of Goode and many others who use their “faith” as a hammer to slam over the heads of anyone whose religion is different or who doesn’t agree with them.
On the issues, Tom is just as strong. He is one of 51 House Candidates to endorse the Responsible Plan” (one of the original endorsees as well), which outlines a way out of the mess in Iraq. Economic fairness, healthcare, energy independence and national security are his main issues, including the following:
Economic Fairness - Tom will fight to ensure that all hard-working Americans are guaranteed a living wage and secure retirement. Parents should have time to spend with their families instead of having to work multiple jobs just to put food on the table. Tom will end the practice of giving tax breaks to companies that take American jobs overseas and will make sure that corporations and CEOs are held accountable for their actions.
Healthcare - Every American deserves access to a doctor, and none of our elderly should ever have to face the soul-crushing choice of whether to buy medicine for a spouse or put food on the table. Furthermore, our employers should not be burdened with healthcare costs that put them at a disadvantage to their competitors in other countries.
Education and Job Training - There is no higher calling for government than to help its people reach their God-given potential, and there are few better ways to do that than to ensure that all our children receive a quality education. We must support our local teachers and help recruit and retain new ones. We must develop better ways of evaluating our schools to encourage a focus on knowledge and learning. Educational opportunities must begin earlier and continue later in life by prioritizing a pre-K year, affordable and accessible college education and vocational training, and the lifelong skills training required to ensure American workers remain competitive in the global economy.
National Security - Americans are less safe today than on September 12th because of the decisions made by this Administration and many in Congress. Tom has spent much of his career fighting for justice-based security solutions in Western Africa, Darfur, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and he will apply the expertise he gained by focusing on results instead of rhetoric in Congress.
Oil Independence - Our national security, our climate, and our economic competitiveness demand that we achieve independence from fossil fuels during this generation. Our leaders have lacked the courage to do what is necessary to make our country safe and to encourage the “dot-com” boom of the next generation—alternative energy and efficiency technologies. Tom will ensure that the farmers, businesses, and consumers of the 5th District have the tools and the incentives to lead America through this challenge.
Please stop by Tom's website, and if you live in the area, this is a great race to get involved with. And of course, if you have some spare change to give to a very worthy candidate, please stop by Tom's ActBlue page and donate to a very worthy cause.
And if you're interested in hearing other interviews with great progressive candidates, click on the links below!
- Jim Himes (CT-4) - The diary about Jim is here.. The link to his interview can be found here.
- Ron Shepston (CA-42) - The diary about Ron is here. The link to his interview can be found here.
- Betsy Markey (CO-4) - The diary about Betsy is here. The link to her interview can be found here
- Gilda Reed (LA-1) - the diary about Gilda is here. The link to her interview can be found here.
- John Laesch (IL-14) - the diary about John is here. The link to his interview can be found here.
- Dennis Shulman (NJ-5) - the diary about Dennis is here. The link to his interview can be found here.
- Barry Welsh (IN-6) - the diary about Barry is here. The link to his interview can be found here.
- Charlie Brown (CA-4) - the diary about Charlie is here. The link to his interview can be found here.
- Mark Schauer (MI-7) - the diary about Mark is here. The link to his interview can be found here.
- Heather Ryan (KY-1) - the diary about Heather is here. The link to her interview can be found here.
We hope you have the chance to listen live; if not, we will be posting the interview at Heading Left, which is BlogTalkRadio’s official website for progressive internet radio and podcasts.