The following is a rush transcript of Todd’s interview with Joshua Jones, first vice chairman of the Liberty University College Republicans.Click here to listen to the full interview.
TODD: All right. Well, there’s a lot of political action right now in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Big Governor’s race going on. You’ve got ground zero for all the crazy stuff happening in the education system. And you have the best Christian University on the planet right there in the thick of it all. In the LIBERTY UNIVERSITY STUDIO. Let’s go right to the PATRIOT MOBILE NEWSMAKER LINE. Joshua Jones, first vice chairman of the Liberty University College Republicans.
JONES: [01:01:35] I’m doing good. Todd, thanks for having me on. I appreciate
TODD: [01:01:37] it. Well, glad to do it. And I have to imagine as a young person who is engaged in politics, this has to be a pretty exciting time for you guys, especially with this hotly contested gubernatorial race.
JONES: [01:01:49] Yeah, absolutely. As you said, I’m the first vice chairman here at Liberty of our College Republicans, and there’s a lot going on in the state of Virginia. We’re kind of a hotbed for a lot of national issues going on in the country right now. And also, it’s the first gubernatorial election since the 2020 presidential election. So it’s a really a bellwether to what’s to come over the next couple of years and a good prediction of what’s going to happen in the midterms next year.
TODD: [01:02:13] So I mean, you but you guys have been out there, you’ve been a part of the process. What’s your gut telling you about the governor’s race?
JONES: [01:02:20] Yeah, I’ve definitely been out there involved in knocking doors and helping volunteer at the Youngkin campaign, and this race is neck and neck. Every single race, every single poll that comes out about this race has both candidates neck and neck, both within the margin of error. And you can definitely feel the momentum on the ground for the Youngkin campaign and how competitive this race is going to be in a traditionally blue state or a lean blue state.
TODD: [01:02:42] So you’ve been out there knocking on doors? What are you guys hearing from from voters in Virginia? What is it that concerns them that you think is going to drive them to go vote on Election Day?
JONES: [01:02:53] Yeah, absolutely. So there’s a couple of different policy issues that a lot of voters care about specifically here in Lynchburg, Virginia and rural Virginia. But as I’m sure many people have seen in the national news, CRT or critical race theory has been a very big issue here in Virginia recently, and we have two very different types of campaigns being ran – by the Youngkin campaign. You have a campaign that’s prioritizing kitchen table issues that local Virginians care about. And then on the McAuliffe campaign, who’s the Democratic nominee? You see a campaign centered around national issues or national trends trying to tie certain names with certain candidates.
TODD: 1 [01:03:29] You know, when you heard when you heard McAuliffe, Terry McAuliffe, say that, you know, parents do not have a right to have any sort of a say in what happens in the. I asked her what was going through your mind as as a conservative Christian?
JONES: [01:03:43] Yeah, I mean, I went to public school during my K through 12 education and then came to Liberty afterwards. And that’s definitely something most Virginians do not agree with. Parents should have a say whenever it comes to their children’s education, whether that’s advising public schools through a public forum such as school boards, or if that’s a private institution. But that’s definitely something Republicans, Democrats and independents alike do not widely agree with.
TODD: [01:04:08] You see, I’m with you on that. And when he said that in my heart, I’m thinking he just lost. He just lost independent voters. A good many of them. And I think he did lose some Democrats who feel, you know, that maybe their kid is just a lousy school and this has nothing to do with politics. It has nothing to do with religion. They just want their kid to get a good education in a place you know where people actually care for their kids.
JONES: [01:04:31] Yeah, absolutely. I mean, we’ve we’ve seen that since Terry McAuliffe made that statement about not allowing parents to have a say in their education. We’ve seen massive turnout at Youngkin events and traditionally democratic areas such as Chesterfield just recently, you know, the Youngkin campaign, how that event there at the statewide ticket, they had over 1,200 attendants and it looked like a state fair was going on instead of a political rally.
Speaker 1 [01:04:53] Is that right? That’s yeah. On the Patriot mobile newsmaker line, Joshua Jones, who is part of Liberty University’s College Republicans. Joshua, are you from are you from Virginia? Did you grow up there?
Speaker 5 [01:05:08] Yeah, absolutely. So I was born and raised in Virginia, so I’ve been here all the 21 years of my life at this point. So, yeah, I’m a homegrown Virginian.
Speaker 1 [01:05:15] So it’s it’s interesting because it’s a massive state. You guys cover a lot of ground, beautiful state, by the way, but somebody does need to build an interstate that goes directly to Liberty. Just saying, put that out there, I think we can get Democrats and Republicans to agree on that. But beyond that, people would be surprised to know that the state is pretty much controlled by those D.C. suburbs.
Speaker 5 [01:05:39] Yeah, absolutely. So I’m from rural Virginia, Southwest Virginia, to be more specific. So it’s the most Republican and also the most rural portion of the state. But as you said, a lot of that control, which is in northern Virginia and the Richmond suburbs, the the population density and growth there over the past couple of years, from transplants, from other states moving in to work in D.C. has just been astronomical. And a lot of if you look at presidential elections, the state went for Bush and then it went for Obama, and it’s been blue ever since. And then the state Democrats recently took back the state legislature for the first time in, I believe, 30 years or something like that. So it’s definitely a seat that’s trending to the left or towards the Democratic Party. But as I said before, we’re seeing a real shift in momentum this election year.