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First-Time Congressional Candidates Overcome Challenges During Coronavirus Election Year



The United States of America is in the midst of a public health emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but if anything, that is only further motivating first-time Congressional candidates to run for office.

There are unique races all across the nation, many of which are not susceptible to identity politics. The 2020 Congressional elections come down to ideas and some new faces think they can better the institution they are looking to join.


“He’s a wartime President that is in place at the right time,” Burgess Owens

“This virus is an equal-opportunity destroyer and it doesn’t matter who you are, if you come close you’re going to get it,” said Burgess Owens (R), a Super Bowl champion running for Utah’s 4th Congressional district against incumbent Ben McAdams (D). “It brings us together in a sense because we all feel the stress of these concerns and when America comes together, we do better at figuring out how to combat our problems.”

Owens, 68, believes that the Trump administration has handled the crisis to the best of its ability.

“He’s a wartime President that is in place at the right time,” Owens added. “You can tell he cares about keeping his people safe. When you look at the Chinese Communist Party and the way they handled it, totally different. They don’t care about their people, they care about themselves and their reputation. President Trump tried to get the word out at the State of the Union and at other points early on.”


“The approach has been if you’re a small business, the engine of new job creation and value creation in the economy, you may possibly get a loan if you just through impossible hoops and bureaucracy,” Jonathan Herzog

Jonathan Herzog (D) is a first-generation American. His parents immigrated from Israel before he was born. Herzog, 24, is running to represent New York’s 10th Congressional district, a seat currently held by House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D).

Herzog is a “Freedom Democrat” and worked on Andrew Yang’s presidential campaign. Yang has since endorsed Herzog for Congress. The Harvard University alumnus believes the recent stimulus package has helped the idea of a universal basic income gain traction.

“We have to recognize that these are important first steps with the stimulus,” he said. “Some folks will receive direct cash and we’re seeing the notion of a universal cash transfer of some sort gain favor on both sides of the aisle. We need to flip the script and invest directly into people.”

New York’s 10 Congressional district, which includes key neighborhoods in the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn, including the Upper West Side, Financial District, Midtown Manhattan, Greenwich and Borough Park, is an area that contains many small businesses including restaurants.

“The approach has been if you’re a small business, the engine of new job creation and value creation in the economy, you may possibly get a loan if you just through impossible hoops and bureaucracy,” Herzog told this reporter. “If you’re a large multinational firm, you’re getting cash. That’s exactly the dynamic we need to switch. We have to invest and provide direct grants and assistance to small business.”


“If this pandemic has taught us anything, in times of crisis, this nation needs real leadership now more than ever,”  sean Parnell

Sean Parnell (R) is a retired U.S. Army Infantry Captain with the Elite 10th Mountain Division. He’s challenging Rep. Conor Lamb (D) for Pennsylvania’s 17th Congressional district seat.

“If this pandemic has taught us anything, in times of crisis, this nation needs real leadership now more than ever,” Parnell told this reporter. “We need fewer politicians in Washington and less political gamesmanship and more leadership. I feel like I have that experience having served 485 days in combat, which is the longest combat deployment in global War on Terror history. I’ve led men in Eastern Afghanistan where lives were on the line. It was there in those 16 months of crisis that I learned to be a leader. You put others before yourself.”

Parnell, 40, believes that the House of Representatives was too busy focusing on impeaching President Donald Trump to deal with the COVID-19 threat.

“On January 15, the first case of coronavirus was detected in this country,” he said. “On that very same day, Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats were marching, along with their impeachment managers, over to the Senate to deliver the charges. When Pelosi was handing out her impeachment pens, President Trump was forming the White House Coronavirus Task Force.”

Parnell adds that it is time for the U.S. to be more self-sufficient, particularly in areas of national security.

“After the dust settles from dealing with the crisis of this pandemic, we need to shift our focus to dealing with China, who is not our friend but ultimately our enemy whose plan is to become the lone global superpower and defeat America on every front,” he said. “We need to bring back all of our medical device production and antibiotic production, and all of our supply-chain logistics back from China. All of our military equipment should be built on American soil and medical supplies should be no different.”

Parnell thinks that the government should offer incentives for American businesses like Apple to move production back to the United States.

In the meantime, he’s told his campaign staffers to direct their attention to serving his Western Pennsylvania community.

“We shifted our volunteer focus to getting school lunches into the hands of kids that need it most in our district,” Parnell said. “Our campaign has always been about serving the constituents but as we deal with this pandemic, now it’s about saving lives and making sure these kids have the nutrition they need to see this crisis through.”

Parnell says this global pandemic has only increased his motivation to serve in Congress. “I want to serve now more than ever,” he said.

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Virginia Public Schools Reinstates Two Books Despite Complaints of Pedophilia and Pornography




Fairfax County Public Schools has reinstated two books despite complaints from parents that the literature depicted and legitimized obscene and pedophilic material. Parents confronted the school board with the graphic images contained in the books beginning in September. Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) announced the books were restored to libraries after two committees reviewed them.

The books, “Lawn Boy” and “Gender Queer” have been determined by the District as helpful to the LGBTQ community. Fox News reports “Lawn Boy” by Jonathan Evison includes long sections of a boy reminiscing about explicit experiences he had at 10 years old. “Gender Queer: A Memoir” is by Maia Kobabe and includes photos of sexual acts between a boy and a man.

Virginia mother and president of Parents Defending Education, Nicole Nelly, told Fox News last week, “It’s appalling that Fairfax County’s response to parental feedback is to quibble over the definition of ‘pedophilia’ and to shame and denigrate families who are concerned about this material.”

“By attempting to normalize this content – and reinstating these books under cover of darkness right before Thanksgiving break – FCPS has demonstrated that in their eyes, parental input is a bug, not a feature, in the system” added Nelly.

In an interview with Fox News, Stacy Langton, one of the mothers who first confronted the school board, says “plenty” of Democrats and liberals are also calling her to say they “don’t want their kids exposed to this in school…this is FCPS coming out and explicitly saying they are in favor of porn in schools for your children.”

FCPS, however, claims that two committees comprised of school administrators, librarians, parents, and students determined that the books did not contain pedophilia, nor did they violate regulations by including obscene material.

“The decision reaffirms FCPS’s ongoing commitment to provide diverse reading materials that reflect on our student population, allowing every child an opportunity to see themselves reflected in literary characters” said FCPS in a released statement.

“Both reviews concluded that the books were valuable in their potential to reach marginalized youth who may struggle to find relatable literary characters that reflect their personal journeys” the statement continued.

Michael Sabbeth, Colorado attorney and author of “The Good, The Bad & The Difference: How to Talk With Children About Values” says “the Board’s assertion cleverly employs a logical fallacy—a strawman argument.”

While the board’s “refutation alleges the material affirms students with ‘marginalized identities’ and acknowledges the ‘difficulties nonbinary and asexual individuals may face’, their justification ignores and fails to negate allegations of obscenity, pornography and or pedophilia” states Sabbeth.

“Ironically, the Board’s justification demeans those it alleges to support. If, for example, pedophilia is in a book, arguing it helps youngsters is morally beneath contempt. To virtuously support those individuals, the Board need do no more than advance this unambiguous message: Treat all people respectfully” Sabbeth concludes.

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