A curation of the scandalous rhetoric and the unprecedented electoral truth-telling employed throughout H.F. Valentine’s groundbreaking campaign, Don’t Think of a Republican proves, as badass as his candidacy may have been, the idea of running a lefty progressive in a Republican primary was not really all that bonkers.
United States Senator H.F. Valentine:
Senator Valentine made his initial run for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2022. A candidacy in which he, despite championing policies as progressive as any of Bernie Sanders, or as he would say – because he was championing such policies, went on to win a GOP primary in a solid red Republican district. After winning said primary, he easily won the general election and began turning shit completely upside down in the U. S. Congress. Having imagined he would only get away with serving one term, he went, as the more crass of us might put it, balls out and began proposing legislation so audacious yet simultaneously common-sensical, and thus extremely popular, that it made fools of any in the establishment class who were tasked to explain why such policy solutions should be out of reach. During which time, he continued making speeches and giving interviews and holding town halls that would help change the conversation on a wide range of issues by offering the public a different frame through which to look at their collective dilemmas and respective remedies. And just as he had done during that unprecedented primary run, he spared no honesty calling out members of both parties for their venality and political cowardice. The entire time accumulating just enough media attention, just enough voter respect, and just enough general name recognition that when a special election was called in his state for a U.S. Senate seat vacated under allegations of the current senator’s corruption, the moment was just enough right for a political badass like H.F. Valentine to step in and make history – again.
Lonnie Ray Atkinson:
A writer born in East Nashville (back when that shit meant something), Lonnie Ray Atkinson was just slick enough to come up with the crazy-ass idea of running a lefty progressive in a red-district Republican Primary. When asked shortly after to join the Valentine for Congress campaign team, his verbatim response was, “Heeeeeeeell Yeah!.”
In addition to writing the original essay and foreword for Don’t Think Of A Republican, he is the author of A Good Kid and His Ghosts and Tough Guys, Bad Dudes, And Other Men My Father Knew.