Republicans are keeping an eye on another rogue candidate who could lose them a seat come midterms in what should be an easily won district – this time in Virginia’s 6th congressional district.
Cynthia Dunbar has quite the storied history, beginning with her stint on the Texas State Board of Education, moving on to supporting Roy Moore in Alabama’s special election, and culminating with her run for federal office in Virginia – a race that she is currently favored to win, with the help of the district GOP.
As a member of the Texas State Board of Education (TSBOE) from 2007 to 2010, Dunbar played a pivotal role in turning a local debate about American history into a country-wide conversation about the outsized role Texas educational policies play across the U.S. Along the way, Dunbar revealed the depths of revisionism she and her allies wanted to push across the state, and ultimately the nation.
From the outset, Dunbar’s placement on the TSBOE was an odd choice. An outspoken proponent of homeschooling, Dunbar — who had insisted that Barack Obama was a terrorist sympathizer — wrote a 2008 book entitled One Nation Under God: How the Left is Trying to Erase What Made us Great that laid out many of the policies she would later advocate.
ThinkProgress notes some of those policies as follows:
- Dunbar believes the Founding Fathers, all evidence aside, created “an emphatically Christian government,” one that should require a “biblical litmus test” among government officials. Dunbar’s proposed changes would force all government officials to “have a sincere knowledge and appreciation for the Word of God in order to rightly govern.”
- In keeping with her fundamentalist beliefs, Dunbar argues that the separation of church and state is a fallacy — and notes, as The Roanoke Times wrote, that it’s “impossible to be both a Christian and a Democrat.”
- As if that weren’t enough, she would make the judicial branch “subordinate” to the legislative branch — effectively undoing one of the primary separations of power in the U.S.
Dunbar also sought to do away with references to Thomas Jefferson, a proponent of keeping church and state separate:
As The Guardian wrote, “Several changes include sidelining Thomas Jefferson, who favored separation of church and state, while introducing a new focus on the ‘significant contributions’ of pro-slavery Confederate leaders” during the Civil War.
ThinkProgress also notes a textbook Dunbar promoted in 2016 on Mexican-American history – a book that stereotyped Mexicans as “lazy” and claimed they had “adopted a revolutionary narrative that opposed Western civilization and wanted to destroy this society.”
The brazenness of the textbook’s claims led a South Texas College history professor to say there was “no way this textbook can be corrected. The errors are so extensive… [It] really is not a textbook. It is a polemic.”
In the wake of the embarrassment and blow-back that stemmed from her attempt to literally rewrite the history books — to say nothing of a resounding loss in her attempt to win a congressional seat in Texas’s 22nd district — Dunbar eventually uprooted for Virginia.
While there, she became Virginia’s national committeewoman to the RNC. She even spent time stumping for Roy Moore, the former Alabama Senate candidate accused by multiple women of preying on young girls.
Now hoping to replace Republican Rep. Bob Goodlatte, Dunbar has won the support of Ron Paul, Michelle Bachmann, and Allen West – as well as Texas Senator Ted Cruz (R).
In looking to help Dunbar, the district’s Republican committee opted for a convention instead of a primary. Moreover, they changed the rules to allow the winner to be declared not when a candidate receives a majority of the votes, but when they simply receive a plurality of the votes cast.
In the end, a district that hasn't elected a Democrat in decades has GOP leadership concerned that a Dunbar victory will lead to another seat handed to their opponent.
Toss in FEC complaints and accusations of forged letterheads, and Virginia’s 6th has swiftly become one of the most surprisingly bizarre primaries of the season. What’s more, the likeliest outcome includes watching the Republicans nominate a woman who would shove Thomas Jefferson to the side, inject creationism into American curricula, and take her claims of “tyrannical” public schools nationwide — and see the Democrats watch another potential seat come into play along the way.