Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | May 22, 2016

Losing an Election

The wisdom philosophy of Ricky Bobby rivals the great Yogi Berra and Popeye.

The wisdom philosophy of Ricky Bobby rivals the great Yogi Berra and Popeye.

Yesterday, I lost my bid to be a delegate from 2 CD VA to the RNC Convention.

Congratulations to the winners.  Best wishes.

And, now, a short epistle on politics and self.

Politics.  The dynamics of the 2nd Congressional District, Virginia are different from the 1st Congressional District, Virginia – which was my political home for 25 years until the recent re-districting.

The behemoth. which is Virginia Beach in a district with parts of James City County, Hampton, and Norfolk and all of Williamsburg, York County, Eastern Shore, and Poquoson, presents a different picture.  The “elephant in the room” isn’t adequate to describe Va Beach’s girth politically.  Virginia Beach is 52% of the vote – anytime there is a vote.  The simple math to 50% plus 1 is = for every per cent a candidate goes below 50 per cent of Va Beach, the candidate must do a bit better than an additional per cent in ALL of the other cities and counties.  It can be done – Jeff Ryer won a seat on State Central – but it is much different math than winning in our old 1 CD.

The dynamics of how the Stolle Family Inc. and Towne Bank Assoc. operate in party politics is different. Busing in folks from their ethnic cultural center is fair play – and would make any old party boss proud – from Tweed to Tammany to Daley to Crump to Byrd, etc..   It’s just different to me in local politics.  The 1 CD was old Tidewater.  A unique political culture where authority is rarely challenged.  Elected officials are given more deference and respect quite differently than 50 miles west of I 95 or north of Aquia Creek.

The mechanics of how to win a convention are the same.  Bring your voters.  Know them by name.  Or, convert the delegates soon after they sign up and know them by name.  Or, you lose.

Personal. I’ve lost 2 elections since 1997.  My one run for public office, 7 weeks after Cong.  Jo Ann Davis died, was a loss in 2007.  I won all my runs for party office until yesterday.  Yesterday was interesting.

I signed up to be a RNC delegate to support Ted Cruz.  When Ted Cruz suspended his campaign, I thought about quitting.  A conference call with people I trust and support encouraged me to continue.  Then, I threw out a fleece in prayer.  “If it is meant to be, let me win.  If it isn’t, let me lose.  Let it be in Your Will.  I’ll praise either way.”

I got the delegate lists – eventually.  Sent emails to those with email addresses.  Virginia Beach had none.  I chose not to make the 900 phone calls to try to engage the VA Beach delegates individually.  Posted my flyer on Facebook.  Produced the flyer and handed it out at the Convention.  Picked up a few votes and lost many more with that.  Gave my little speech and have no clue what that did – if anything.

So, while I say I threw out a fleece, I didn’t do everything I could to win.

Unless lightning, or more accurately – a meteor, strikes and the RNC Convention goes to a second vote, it would have been a very awkward affair for me.  My lack of support for Trump would have make it awkward for the Trumpbots around me at the exultant Trumpfest of ecstatic  Trumpian euphoria.  It’d be fun to be with my fellow Conservatives from Virginia – who would vote Cruz on a second ballot.  My vote for the most Conservative platform and open, fair, transparent rules in 2020 would have been only one vote.

So, when I lost yesterday, I praised the Lord.  I was relieved and grateful.  I felt like I did my duty to run – and run openly.  The rejection was fair and square.  No harm, no foul, no problem.

But, my inner man – the sin of pride – still prods me about not doing everything possible to win.  I hate losing.  Even though I’ve lost and failed enough in life to get used to it, I don’t.  It’s in my Bubba-Atticus, or Bowden-Maley-Henderson-Holland-League, or Scot-Irish, or Southern, or Evangelical Christian, or whatever DNA to never quit.  Never, never, never, never, never, never – get the picture? – never quit.

I hope that is said in my eulogy to small crowd gathered – He never quit.

So, I’m sharing a little self so the Holy Spirit might nudge others to think about themselves.  I fight the sin of pride – wanting to win always – while serving the Risen Savior.  I’m not proud of that.

I’ll stay in the U.S. Culture War fight, which means staying somewhat involved in politics, until I can’t do anymore.  I’ll do what I see as my duty to the best of my ability.  I’ll do my best against my inner sin of pride – and desire to win always.

Of course, I’ll do what I was told to do on March 15th, 1987.  Read and write.

Now, I have to sort out what I will decide, say and do before the Great Election of 2016.  I just don’t know right now.  Need a lot more prayer – and counsel from good men and women.

Coach Harris, my Virginia HS wrestling coach, a college All-American, said this with vigor! Great speech.

Coach Harris, my Virginia HS wrestling coach, a college All-American, said this with vigor! Great speech. Winning in Him is everything.



  1. Shane about you being in the 2nd now. Something really needs to be done about the Towne Bank/Stolle/Wagner/et al mafia. Thanks for all you do, Jim.

    • Thank you. The oligarchy in Va Beach can be replaced – but it will take a lot of lot of work. Need candidates, issues (got that) and campaign.

      • We face a similar situation up here in the 8th, with Allen/Gillespie/Snyder and their professional cronies. It’ll be a battle to wrest the three State Central seats back from them, but like you guys, just have to work.

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