( - promoted by Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno)
In the 9pm hour tonight Sher Valenzuela, an unknown lieutenant-gubernatorial candidate from Delaware, will be speaking to the Convention. Jim Geraghty tells us why. This woman's story could do wonders for Republican prospects in November if it gets big play. I hope someone posts a video of this speech.
If you're wondering why an unknown lieutenant-gubernatorial candidate who has never before run for office will speak for ten minutes between party superstars such as Nevada governor Brian Sandoval and Texas Senate candidate Ted Cruz, you can satisfy your curiosity tonight. A cynic might suggest that the GOP is scrambling to spotlight any female candidate with a Latin-sounding surname. (Valenzuela, who is not Hispanic, took her husband's name.)
But in front of the convention-goers and a national television audience, Valenzuela will showcase a genuine reason for her appeal: her family's success story, a triumph over long odds. It touches on the most pressing concerns of many Americans - jobs and economic opportunity, health care, and education.
After learning of their son's autism the Valenzuelas decided to go for their dream of opening their own business.
That was 15 years ago. First State Manufacturing is now a multimillion-dollar business with nearly 70 employees, manufacturing seat cushions and covers, armrests and headrests, engine covers, aircraft-ground-service covers, insulation blankets, upholstery, and various textile products. Their clients include Lockheed Martin and Naval Air Systems Command as well as restaurant and hotel chains. The Delaware office of the U.S. Small Business Administration has named the Valenzuelas, along with their partner, Ashley Wolfe, Small Business Persons of the Year.
So, will Valenzuela emerge victorious in a state that has been tough for Republicans in recent cycles?
"She has an uphill battle, with the Democrat machine firmly entrenched behind her rival, and the registration difference between Democrats and Republicans," admits John Sigler, chairman of the Delaware GOP. "But Sher brings a new dynamic to the table. She's one of our 'real people' candidates: real people who have created real jobs, real solutions, for our economy and our state."
Her story deserves the recognition it will receive tonight. As a female small business owner and a (gasp!) Republican to boot, maybe it will turn a few Independents our way come November.