Former U.S. Air Force fighter pilot Shak Hill is bracing for two uphill fights in his quest to win a U.S. Senate seat in Virginia, but he says the Constitution needs more defenders and he is ready to fight for it.
Hill served nine years in the Air Force and rose to the rank of captain. He served as flight commander for the presidential wing at Andrews Air Force Base. He now runs a business, is father to six biological children and has also provided a home for dozens of foster children.
He was an early entry into the 2014 race to challenge incumbent Democrat Mark Warner. As if that weren’t enough of a political challenge, Hill was recently joined in the GOP field by former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie, a candidate with huge advantages in networking, name recognition and fundraising potential.
Hill said his reasons for staying in the race are the same ones for entering in the first place.
“When I was an officer in the military, just like many other military members I raised my right hand and I promised to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies. I’m 49-years-old right now, and I see that our Constitution needs more defenders now than at any time in my life. Whether it’s the NSA or the IRS or other scandals (like) Benghazi, we’re having a constitutional crisis right now,” he said.
“I want the American dream for my family. I want it for the foster children I’ve been a parent to. I want it for your children and just our prosperity. We’re losing it, and I knew I needed to do something about it. Running for the United States Senate and unseating Mark Warner and firing Harry Reid is exactly why I’m joining in the fight and why I’m going to win in Virginia,” Hill said.
Listen to the WND/Radio America interview with Shak Hill:
So what issues would he pursue most passionately if elected?
"We've got to get back our Fourth Amendment rights," he said. "That's a personal rights issue. We are having too much authority ceded to the federal government, as far as going to the NSA and as far as the IRS having the opportunity to look into our medical records. I mean, can you imagine someday if an IRS agent knocks on your door and says, 'Ma'am, Sir, show me proof of your medical insurance. That's where we're heading, and this is an abomination."
Hill is one of four Republicans vying for the nomination, which will be decided in a state party convention in June. Hill is endorsed by retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. William "Jerry" Boykin and by the pro-Second Amendment Gun Owners of America. Gillespie, however, is endorsed by a long list of prominent Republicans, including former U.S. Senator and Gov. George Allen and State Sen. Mark Obenshain, who very narrowly lost last year's statewide race for Virginia attorney general.
Hill said he is not daunted because he knows he is the better candidate for the party and the commonwealth, and he believes voters will ultimately respond to his message rather than one from the GOP establishment.
"They do not want a quintessential, 20-year-plus, inside-the-beltway lobbyist. They want somebody who's got real-world experience, somebody who's defended our Constitution, worn the uniform that keeps and makes our country free," Hill said.
"What I'm finding as I go around the state, they are rejecting the notion that he is the nominee to be coronated. If you want a very good lobbyist, I would probably hire Ed Gillespie or his firm, but he's mortally flawed as a candidate," he said.
According to Hill, state and national Democrats are already assembling an ad campaign that will highlight Gillespie's lobbying record, including his work years ago for disgraced energy giant Enron and also for collecting some $2 million in fees while representing the families of those killed in the terrorist bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988.
"So instead of talking about Mark Warner's votes to use taxpayer dollars for sex-selection abortions, instead of talking about Mark Warner's vote to give us Obamacare and pushing cap and trade, we're going to be talking about Ed Gillespie," Hill said. "We need to have somebody that can make Mark Warner run on Mark Warner's record. That's me. If we do that, we win."
Most voters are aware of Warner's votes on health care and cap and trade, but why is Hill focusing on sex-selection abortions? He said Democrats are sure to play the "War on Women" card again in 2014, and he believes the best counter is to aggressively point out what he sees as extreme positions that Sen. Warner holds on abortion.
"Let's push Mark Warner where he's most vulnerable. Mark Warner has a war on girls, and it's killing them," he said. "He's doing that because of his extreme position on abortion. Not only is he in favor of allowing gender-selection abortions, but he's in favor of allowing the gruesome late-term abortion up to and including the day of natural delivery. That is extreme."