Republican Delegate Candidate featured on Raising Kaine, Blue Commonwealth

By VA Blogger

I’ve been waiting for a while now for an excuse to publish a story about my good friend Brett Coffee, who is running against Dave Marsden in the 41st District next year. Fortunately, the good people at Blue Commonwealth and its predecessor, Raising Kaine, gave me a reason when I saw his smiling mug on their front page:

Brett recently graduated from the Sorensen Institute, so he deserves all the accolades he implicitly receives from the liberals. I’ll have a lot more on Brett as the election cycle progresses, including details about his January kick-off. In the meantime, you can check out his website here. And congrats to Brett.


  • Anonymous says:

    Good luck to him! My aunt lives in Marsden’s district and says he’s been to her door a bunch of times and always answered her emails with a phone call in return, which she gets a big kick out of for some reason.

    Much to my chagrin, even though she’s a Republican, she’s voted for him twice and says she’ll keep on voting for him as long as he provides that kind of constituent service. I haven’t given up on her though.

  • Dan says:

    Is he running as an independent?

  • VA Blogger says:

    Obviously not, and before you go any further, let me just say that Ben is an idiot.

  • Dan says:

    Well, I don’t know that I’d call Ben an idiot. Over the top on occasion, but not an idiot.

    I’m sure Mr. Coffee is a fine fellow. You do have to admit though that it is amusing when a candidate so studiously avoids the word “Republican” on his campaign website.

  • VA Blogger says:

    No, actually I don’t. I’m entirely indifferent to it, and people who think it’s worth pointing out are morons.

    Why would Coffee decide to introduce himself as a Republican? What purpose would that serve? He has a lot of ideas for the district, and a lot of plans for being in office. Those are what he’s running on, not a party label in a Democratic-majority district.

    It would not only be idiotic of him to make his introduction to the voters of the 41st be primarily about party affiliation, but it’s idiotic for people like you and Ben to think that he’s avoiding using the term, as if he would lie if someone asked him.

    It’s a matter of what is important to candidates like Brett and voters, and what’s important to idiots like Ben.

  • Party Label Matters says:

    It’s important because the label does matter.

    First, he should be proud of the Republican party and be proud to associate himself with fine leaders like Bob McDonnell and Bill Bolling and their ideas. They’re running statewide and don’t seem to have a problem identifying themselves as Republicans. The AG has the Republican symbol on his front page and an article about campaigning for Senator McCain on the front page too! So does the Lt. Govenror. By your logic, and the fact that we lost Virginia in November, they should get rid of all that stuff. That’s rubbish. We want Republicans who are proud to be Republicans! Period.

    Second, all his fine ideas have to pass muster with his fellow Republicans in the House of Delegates and his fellow Republicans in the State Senate (plus a couple of Dems). If they don’t, they don’t mean squat.

  • Crimson Fist says:

    That is absurd. Frank Wolf was reelected in a landslide, even in Judy Feder’s home area (she won four out of 26 precincts in Dranesville District, supposed to be her home base). He did not put party label on his lit and website and he did pretty well. Compare that to Feder who put “Democrat” everywhere and no wonder she didn’t break 35%.

    Each candidate should aspire to create their own unique brand so that they are not completely attached to the hip of the party, should the party hit hard times.

    There’s nothing wrong with trying to make your message inclusive. Ever think some people might tune out a candidate merely at the sight of their party name? Its things like this and the insistance to go run on issues that do not matter to most folks in Northern VA like guns instead of talking about Transportation is why our candidates do not get the full support they deserve: most would rather focus on small things like this rather than go work and elect a Republican, especially this year when we need to keep the HoD

  • VA Blogger says:

    Label matters, but it’s about an introduction. Coffee is unknown to most 41st District voters. When they log onto his website or meet him for the first time, if the first thing they see or hear is “Republican”, half of them will be inclined to shut him out. It’s much more preferable, for the candidate and for democracy, for him to be able to introduce his story and ideas as the first impression.

  • RichmondDem says:

    Look, it is well known that candidates running in a district where their party is in the minority is not going to stress their party label. It’s just basic political strategy.

    When I lived in Chesterfield, the candidates for BOS who were running as Democrats would never have the party label on their signs, while the Republicans would almost always have REPUBLICAN! on their campaign signs. It didn’t mean the Democrats were independents, it just meant they didn’t want to stress their partisanship in a Republican area.

  • Dan says:

    Va Blogger,

    I realize the guy is a friend of yours and you are hoping for his success, so I’ll overlook that you just called me a moron. I respect anyone who runs for office. The general public has little idea what type of sacrifice is involved for both the individual and his family. I wish him well.

    I think his website is just fine. He has a lovely wife. I liked his dogs. And I believe you can tell a lot about a guy from how he treats his dogs. Overall I thought it was a good introductory site.

    I didn’t propose that in a majority Democratic district he should sell himself primarily as a Republican as if that were his most significant accomplishment. In 2008 only a fool would be screaming, “Hey! Vote for me! I’m a Republican”. I understand he wants to win. I simply said that I found it amusing that the word Republican was not to be found anywhere on the site.

    I do think that party labels are important. Presumably a political party stands for something. A common set of beliefs and positions that are being presented to the electorate. For years I have been listening to foolish people decrying the power of political parties. The result has been that through 527 groups a few rich lunatics on both the left and the right have exerted far too much influence on our politics and government.

    I want to see stronger party structure and better candidates from both parties. We all benefit from that. You guys will win some too. I don’t want you to be putting up schmucks. I want to see you put up good guys like your buddy Coffee.

  • VA Blogger says:

    Thank you, RD.

    Dan, I tend to react sharply to people who take their cues from Ben; if I was hostile, I apologize.

    I don’t disagree with what you just said.

  • Dan says:

    No need to apologize. I may be a Democrat, but I have that thick elephant skin.

    Wait a minute! Being called a moron is one thing, but did you just accuse me of taking my cues from Ben??? Now that’s insulting!

    Just kidding. It’s all good.

  • Former Candidate says:

    I’ve talked to Brett at length and I have to say he is exactly who we need to wrest this seat from that Moron Dave Marsden… and I can tell you that Brett is a Republican Stalwart and has supported all our candidates in the past in every way possible. If he decides, based on the political climate and strategy, to not use the word “Republican” on his website… more power to him. In this off-year election it could make the difference between replacing the worst delegate in the state or losing another race.

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