He’s from Illinois, young, smart and has a natural talent for relating to voters. And no, he’s not Barack Obama: he’s Aaron Schock, the newly elected U.S. representative for Illinois’ 18th district. Even Biden would like him -- he’s young, clean, and articulate, and at 27, will bring a Generation Y voice to Congress in January.
In four campaigns (school board, state legislature twice, and now U.S. representative), he’s never run a negative ad. Instead, he talks about what he wants to do. He has taken his message into an urban district, even to the pulpits of his constituents’ churches. And when the mud starts slinging in Shock’s direction, he always has a clean and clear response...
“She’s a Democrat in a Democrat district, and she’ll be there as long as she wants,” Schock said people told him. He ran against her anyway, and he won.
He’s done all this, unlike the Kennedys, without wealth or the backing of a political family.
“People look at me and my age and say, “Oh, you know, [he] must …come from this political family. Couldn’t be further from the truth,” Schock said. “Nobody had ever run for office. My parents never said, “Hey, you should run someday for office.” When I decided to run for the school board at 19, they thought I was crazy...”
He comes battle-tested from an Illinois environment where conservatives could claim protection only as an endangered species. As a state representative, the Republican Schock’s demographic was an urban district where 20,000 of the 40,000 voters were on food stamps. 25 percent of his constituents were African American. He had to overcome $980,000 worth of attack TV commercials against him in his first state house race (it was the most expensive house race in state history). His re-election race set a new record. When he got to the state legislature, the good old boy network advised him to keep quiet if he wanted re-election -- in fact, they told him he shouldn’t vote like a Republican.
“I said, you know what, I’m 23 years old, I ran because I wanted to do what I think is right…I don’t need to be here, and if I lose, so be it, ” Schock said, and ended up voting twice against increase in minimum wage. “I have one of the most conservative voting records in the state house. I’ve got a 100 percent pro-life, pro-family, 100 percent with the second amendment. “
Aaron Schock will vote his conscience, and that may be lucky for conservatives.
Aaron Shock shows that conservatism can win in districts once thought impregnable to Republicans. He shows the power of someone who walks the conservative Republican talk. I hope he is representative of many of the future leaders of our party, & we elect many more who will vote their conscience - conservative Republican conscience.
Crossposted at Rebuild The Party.