Veteran combat pilot Shak Hill is the father of six and foster-father to 46 children. He’s also a former city council member and a candidate for the 2014 Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate in Virginia.
Hill brought his nascent campaign to Charlottesville on July 30, where he met with local GOP leaders, spent 30 minutes on The Schilling Show on WINA-AM, and spoke to the Charlottesville Libertarian Examiner at the Shenandoah Joe coffee shop on Preston Avenue.
First, he explained that his unusual first name, Shak, is a shortened version of his mother’s maiden name, Wayshak, which became his given name.
“A long time ago, my great grandfather immigrated from Damascus, Syria, so the name Wayshak has a Syrian derivation to it,” he explained.
Howie Lind and Mark Warner
Hill, who lives with his wife and children in Centreville, is a member of the Fairfax County Republican Committee and serves as treasurer of the Tenth Congressional District GOP Committee, whose chairman, Howie Lind, is the other announced candidate in the race to oppose incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Warner next year.
“Both of us right now are running against Mark Warner,” Hill said.
“Howie’s a good guy. I consider him a friend and he and I have very similar views,” although, he added, there are “some striking differences between us that will make it easy for others to vote for one of us versus the other.”
What motivated him to enter this campaign, Hill explained, is that “our government is becoming overreaching, our constitution is being paved over, and I’m just not the kind of guy that sits idly by.”
Referring to the incumbent, who was first elected to the Senate in 2008, he cautioned that “Mark Warner and the Democratic Party are moving us as fast as they can toward social democracy and we know it doesn’t work. All we have to do is look at Detroit. All we have to do is look at Greece and Spain and Portugal.”
Government in our bedrooms
Asked how he can appeal to libertarian voters in Virginia, Hill said that “the biggest thing I would do is start restricting the government’s intrusion not only into our individual lives but into our bedrooms and our personal lives. I truly do not believe that the federal government has the right to be where it is.”
There are just three things that the federal government does well, he said.
“It provides for the common defense. It settles disputes between the states, and it enters into foreign treaties and such.”
Libertarians, Republicans, conservatives, and “like-minded” Democrats will support his campaign, Hill asserted, because “my job is to roll that authority back.”
“My job,” he explained, “is to say, look, you’re not allowed here. The Constitution doesn’t even give you that opportunity to come here. When we start limiting the power and the strength of the federal government, the individual’s liberty comes back.”
To demonstrate his commitment to winning the nomination – which, unless the Republican Party of Virginia changes its mind, will be decided in a convention in May 2014 – Hill said he and his wife hae already “written a hundred thousand dollar check to the campaign” and urged other supporters to donate “one tenth” or “one percent” of that amount by visiting his web site.