by Bob Barr
As President Trump himself tweets (again) in support of 26-year-old firebrand Laura Loomer’s solid congressional campaign to unseat the liberal Democrat incumbent in his home district in Florida (FL-21), the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) is acting as if the race does not exist. Sadly, it is not unusual for the establishment GOP to look the other way when a movement conservative enters the arena, no matter how strong and promising that candidate may be.
In fact, this race is definitely winnable. Loomer has assembled a campaign team led by veteran operatives with numerous victories under its belt, and she already has proven herself a fundraising juggernaut.
While Loomer may have some rough edges, she is no dummy, and her political backbone is as solid as they come. Loomer made a name for herself as an investigative journalist, building a massive national following of 265,000 supporters on Twitter who rabidly retweeted her work and cheered in support of all that she did. (Twitter then pulled her account and banned her for life, but that is another issue for another day.)
Notwithstanding support from the highest Republican office holder in the land and from numerous other key conservatives, and despite the campaign’s momentum and her “Anti-AOC profile,” the NRCC remains totally silent on Laura Loomer.
The Republican Party’s top way of promoting new candidates is its “Young Guns” program. The Party’s congressional leaders pick candidates from districts across the nation who meet “the minimum threshold of campaign organization and show potential to achieve greater status.” The program currently lists 103 candidates, but the face of young, telegenic grassroots icon Loomer is noticeably missing.
Loomer’s campaign has raised over a half million dollars since declaring her candidacy late last year, which would place her at the top of the crop of “Young Guns” in fundraising.
Importantly, her campaign team is a serious one, appearing to meet all the NRCC requirements to be considered a targeted race. In addition to raising major dollars, Loomer is surrounded by well-known and widely respected political professionals, led by Karen Giorno. Giorno lives in the district, is a veteran of five presidential campaigns, and truly came of political age in George H.W. Bush’s White House.
Giorno proved her political chops in March 2016 when she was instrumental in winning the Florida primary for Donald Trump (with the formidable state operations of people like Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio aligned openly against her). This arguably was the victory that put Trump in the White House.
Then there is Loomer’s general counsel, Charlie Spies. Spies is no slouch when it comes to knowledge of election law and procedures, having served in several major roles including a stint as election law counsel for the Republican National Committee.
But even with this array of talent and money behind her, the NRCC play callers continue to ignore Loomer’s campaign.
The problem for the NRCC cannot be that Loomer has not won the support of major national Republican leaders. She has been endorsed already by several bona fide GOP luminaries, including sitting Congressman Paul Gosar, nationally syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin, Fox News personality Jeanine Pirro, actress Roseanne Barr, and even one of Hollywood’s very few vocal conservatives, Chuck Woolery.
The truth is, the NRCC and the GOP in general are simply scared to death of Laura Loomer. Their fear is based not on any legitimate reason; it is simply that Loomer is a true conservative with the moxie to shake up the Establishment.
It is worth a reminder that this is the same Republican Establishment that four years ago opposed Donald Trump’s nomination until it became obvious he was going to win regardless. Voters who have been around as long as I have might also recall that Ronald Reagan did not enjoy support of the GOP Establishment throughout much of his years-long campaign to win his Party’s nomination.
In this sense, Loomer is in good company. But should she lose her race as a result of Beltway Republican opposition, it will only remind voters that when push comes to shove, many in the top ranks of the national GOP value doctrinaire subservience above all else.
Laura Loomer is not someone to be “seen and not heard,” and for a Republican the Party struggling to strengthen its numbers in the House, that is – or should be – a darned good thing.