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Democrat Running in Virginia Discovers New Southern Accent in New Home State
Washington Free Beacon ^ | 2/9/18 | Brent Scher

Posted on 02/09/2018 6:18:29 AM PST by markomalley

The leading Democratic candidate for a Virginia House seat the party is targeting in 2018 moved to the state just a year-and-a-half ago, but you'd never know it from watching his campaign's first ad.

Roger Dean Huffstetler, who is both outraising and outspending his Democratic opponents in Virginia's largely rural fifth district, announced his campaign less than a year after he moved in the summer of 2016 to Charlottesville, a blue city located near the center of a rural red district. His first ad—which, based on a nearly $50,000 expenditure, appears to have been created by a major D.C. advertising firm that made ads for Barack Obama's presidential campaigns—attempts to erase any outsider image he may have.

The ad, "Best I Can," opens with Huffstetler driving an old white Ford truck through a Virginia farm and then sitting atop a bale of hay to speak of his rural upbringing. The way he speaks, however, caught the ear of one Virginia voter.

"I've seen him speak publicly," said Richard Foxx, a farm owner from inside the district. "The R.D. Huffstetler I've heard over the last year and a half doesn't quite sound like our current governor Ralph Northam, but in the ad he sounds a lot like our current governor Ralph Northam."

A comparison of the way Huffstetler speaks in the ad to the way he spoke during a 2013 tech conference presentation—Huffstetler lived in California from 2010 to 2015 and founded a tech company called Zillabyte—reveals the addition of a strong southern drawl in the ad.

Here are clips of the two videos together for your own judgment:

"To someone who's just tuning in or sees it on Facebook, they're probably going to think, ‘Hey, this guy is just a good old boy from Virginia,'" Foxx said.

Huffstetler's resumé is a good one, but it's not a Virginian one.

He was born in North Carolina and went to college in Georgia. After being deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan as a Marine, he moved to Boston to attend Harvard University for graduate school. In 2010, he moved to San Francisco for a consulting job and eventually founded Zillabyte, a data analytics company.

His entrance into politics came in April 2015 when he moved to Washington, D.C., to become chief of staff for Massachusetts representative Seth Moulton (D.), a fellow Harvard graduate and Marine who is actively recruiting military veterans like Huffstetler to run for Congress.

Huffstetler stayed on as Moulton's chief of staff until June 15, 2016, according to congressional records. It was after he left that job that he moved to Charlottesville, where his wife got a job at a local hospital. In July 2016, he referred on Twitter to Charlottesville as his "new hometown."

Records show Huffstetler first registered to vote in Virginia in May 2016. His previous voter registrations were in Massachusetts and California, where he was a voter in House minority leader Nancy Pelosi's district.

Huffstetler's lack of Virginia ties actually made presenting himself as a Virginian in an ad a challenge, according to Foxx, who told the Washington Free Beacon he knows many local farmers who were cold-called by the campaign to ask whether they could use their land to shoot the ad.

Foxx says his initial reaction to getting contacted by the campaign was shock that a candidate in a district as rural as Virginia's fifth had to reach out to strangers to find a farmer.

"He was calling around locally to a bunch of people with known farms," Foxx said.

"My initial thought was, ‘You're running for Congress in the fifth district of Virginia and nobody on your staff or that you know is a person with a farm?' If you get out of Charlottesville, the whole district is rural."

The campaign also had to reach out for the white Ford truck which served as the ad's centerpiece, according to a December Facebook post by Huffstetler's campaign manager.

"Charlottesville Friends, I am in need of an old Ford pickup truck for a few hours next week," wrote Kevin Zeithaml. "Does anyone in the Charlottesville area have one that they would be willing to let me snag for a few hours at the end of next week? No Chevy or GMC need apply."

The effort to present Huffstetler as a Virginian extends to his campaign website as well.

His website said last week that he and his wife are "proud UVA football season ticket holders," without mentioning that there has only been a single football season since he moved there. It was updated this week as Charlottesville transitioned to a full-fledged basketball town—he now enjoys going to "UVA basketball games." The website makes no mention of working in Massachusetts, California, or Washington, D.C.

Neither Huffstetler nor his campaign responded to numerous requests for an interview.

Geoffrey Skelley, an expert on Virginia elections for University of Virginia's Center for Politics, said Huffstetler's lack of local ties could hurt his chances to win the Democratic nomination, which will this year be decided by a convention and not a primary.

"Having strong local ties could be vital in the nomination process," Skelley said. "Given Huffstetler’s impressive fundraising, the fact that Democrats are using a convention rather than a primary may limit the meaningfulness of his war chest advantage to some degree, at least in the nomination process."

Skelley said having a local connection to the area is "traditionally an important trait in most legislative elections," but there are situations where "a candidate truly drops into a district and wins it"—he cited Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (R., Ind.), who moved to his district a month before launching his campaign in 2015.

Federal Election Commission filings show Huffstetler has thus far reported more money in itemized donations from Massachusetts, $161,737, and from California, $116,107, than he has from Virginia, $88,671.

If Huffstetler were to win the election, he would become the first representative in the history of Virginia's fifth district—first represented by former President James Madison in 1789—not to have spent the majority of his life in Virginia. Only two representatives, including the current Rep. Tom Garrett Jr. (R.), were born outside of Virginia. Garrett, however, moved to Virginia during his childhood and has remained there since.


TOPICS: Front Page News; Politics/Elections; US: California; US: Georgia; US: Massachusetts; US: North Carolina; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: 2018midterms; afghanistan; boston; california; carpetbaggers; charlottesville; demprimary; georgia; harvard; huffstetler; iraq; massachusetts; northcarolina; oifveterans; rogerdeanhuffstetler; sanfrancisco; sethmoulton; tomgarrett; va2018; virginia; zillabyte
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Gotta love carpetbaggers.
1 posted on 02/09/2018 6:18:29 AM PST by markomalley
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To: markomalley

Libs now join the military solely so they can run for office. But this guy is an embarrassment! Reminds me of when Rick Perry filmed himself wearing tight jeans and spreading hay around the stable.


2 posted on 02/09/2018 6:20:57 AM PST by miss marmelstein
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To: markomalley

Ah ain’ no whars NEAH tahhed !


3 posted on 02/09/2018 6:21:55 AM PST by knarf (I say things that are true, I have no proof, but they're true)
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To: knarf
It's amazing to what extent people will go for pandering.

"Ah ain't no ways tahhhrd"

4 posted on 02/09/2018 6:26:11 AM PST by SERKIT ("Blazing Saddles" explains it all.......)
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To: markomalley

Shades of the Hawaiian/Indonesian Ivy League Obama droppin’ his G’s when he was talkin’ to tha “folks”.


5 posted on 02/09/2018 6:29:18 AM PST by GnuThere
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To: markomalley
How many times do we have to tell these goofs that a true Virginia accent is NOT a down home Southern Accent.

It is a more gentle sound with some English overtones. One can hear it more in the elderly ladies who reminisce about their “mathers when they wah small guls.”

Well, I guess to a northerner, we all look, sound and act alike.

6 posted on 02/09/2018 6:32:14 AM PST by OpusatFR
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To: markomalley

How to borrow a truck. LOL

“Charlottesville Friends, I am in need of an old Ford pickup truck for a few hours next week,” wrote Kevin Zeithaml. “Does anyone in the Charlottesville area have one that they would be willing to let me snag for a few hours at the end of next week? No Chevy or GMC need apply.”


7 posted on 02/09/2018 6:36:30 AM PST by ilovesarah2012
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To: knarf

LOL!


8 posted on 02/09/2018 6:36:50 AM PST by RushIsMyTeddyBear (Screw The NFL!!!!!! My family fought for the flag!)
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To: ilovesarah2012

*Had* to borrow - auto-correct


9 posted on 02/09/2018 6:38:05 AM PST by ilovesarah2012
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To: markomalley

FAKE AS A FLAKE...........................


10 posted on 02/09/2018 6:48:45 AM PST by Red Badger (Wanna surprise? Google your own name. Wanna have fun? Google your friends names......)
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To: markomalley

11 posted on 02/09/2018 6:49:39 AM PST by Michael.SF. (Releasing the memo will destroy our faith in massive unaccountable government agencies)
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To: OpusatFR
It's more complicated than that!

My maternal grandmother was very proud of her Virginia roots, she was Tidewater VA and Charleston SC. The Tidewater accent is the one with the soft "o"s and elided "r"s and the transformation of "house" to "hoose" - almost Scots in sound.

C'ville is so far west that it's really in the Appalachian foothills. Minus all the riff raff from all over who show up because of the university, it's more conventionally "mountainy" in sound - more twang and Elizabethan vowels.

Still not the generalized Piedmont accent that you hear on TV.

12 posted on 02/09/2018 6:52:15 AM PST by AnAmericanMother (Ecce Crucem Domini, fugite partes adversae. Vicit Leo de Tribu Iuda, Radix David, Alleluia!)
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To: markomalley

How pathetic.


13 posted on 02/09/2018 6:54:14 AM PST by EdnaMode
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To: markomalley
A recent graduate of the "Hillary Clinton School Of Fake Southern Speechifying"?


14 posted on 02/09/2018 7:02:20 AM PST by Vlad The Inhaler (The only trannie I want to see is a Muncie 4 Speed M-22 Rock Crusher)
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To: AnAmericanMother

Oh, I know it is! My accent is Tidewater. Relatives from the Roanoke area sound decidedly different from me and my spouse’s.

My personal peeve is the broad, deep South intonations which give Northerners the faulty impression that everyone who has a drawl is stupid.

Being a DC metro denizen, I have run into that particular prejudice many times over.


15 posted on 02/09/2018 7:13:03 AM PST by OpusatFR
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To: markomalley
Remember, McLame was a carpetbagger in Arizona.

McPain is not more an Arizonan than this Huffstetler is a Virginian.

Politicians shopping for an empty seat they might win so they can spend their careers sucking off the government teat.

It's all about them, not their constituents.

16 posted on 02/09/2018 7:13:34 AM PST by HotHunt
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To: HotHunt
Remember, McLame was a carpetbagger in Arizona.

Gee, and I thought his daddy was the commander of that YUGE Naval Shipyard in Scottsdale.

17 posted on 02/09/2018 7:19:03 AM PST by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good -- Leo XIII)
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To: markomalley

Where are the torches?
Where are the pitchforks?


18 posted on 02/09/2018 7:23:00 AM PST by MrBambaLaMamba (Why is it no one ever discusses the rabid Amerophobia which infects Islam and its adherents?)
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To: markomalley

I wonder if the DNC is placing their people, like this one, in other places around the nation. It seems they have identified this district as one they can control. Are there more.


19 posted on 02/09/2018 7:24:10 AM PST by elpadre (AfganistaMr Obama said theoal was to "disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-hereQaeda" and its allies.)
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To: markomalley

Funny guy.


20 posted on 02/09/2018 7:32:38 AM PST by HotHunt
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