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Decorated War Vet Guns for 11th Congressional District Seat

Lorton resident Chris Perkins, 55, has raised $178,000 for U.S. House campaign

Republican Chris Perkins, 55, a retired U.S. Army officer who lives with his family in Lorton and is now a self-employed defense consultant, recently kicked off a campaign to represent Virginia's 11th Congressional District, the seat currently held by Democratic Congressman .

Perkins will compete in the Republican primary election June 12 against Ken Vaughn, the only other candidate currently in the GOP primary race for the 11th Congressional District. Perkins has raised $178,000, with Vaughn raising $120,000, according to the Federal Election Commission. There is no record of Yeh yet raising funds. 

Republican Keith Fimian, a businessman from Oakton, came , in his second attempt in 2010, but is now reportedly considering a run for lieutenant governor. Fimian lost to Connolly by less than 1,000 votes or .4 percent. 

In Perkins' military career, mainly as a Green Beret (a member of the U.S. Army Special Forces), he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his role in an attempt to rescue a downed aircrew during Operation Desert Storm. After retiring from the Army as a full Colonel in 2006, Perkins was hired by the U.S. Coast Guard to help establish a maritime quick reaction force to help secure the nation's coastline. He is currently self-employed as a defense consultant helping small businesses provide deployed troops with equipment and services.

A native of Vermont, Perkins lives in Lorton with wife Petra; the two are parents to daughter Alex, a graduate of Virginia Tech, and son Nick, a cadet at West Point.

Perkins answered some questions about his run for Congress from Patch this week:

Q: Why are you running for Congress?   

A: "I am running for Congress because the residents of Virginia's 11th District deserve more than what their current congressman is giving them in the way of representation.  We need real leadership, not simply 'business as usual' from a politician who many believe is more concerned about his political career than he is about serving his constituents.  The voters understand that this election will determine whether we continue down the path of government dependency, or whether we will reject the idea that government knows best and say 'Enough!  This is not just some game!  Our children's future is at stake!' 

"A survey released by a local radio station on Sept. 23rd noted that only 35 percent of the voters in this area have a favorable opinion of their elected officials, to include their current congressman. I intend to offer them a better alternative."

Q: Was there one event that made you decide that now was the right time to run?

A: "The answer is '981'—the number of votes that Gerry Connolly won re-election by.  That is less than one-half of 1 percent of the total votes cast, and it truly says a great deal. We obviously can't expect that our congressman will make everyone happy, but how can we possibly consider the District to be truly represented when more than half (50.7 percent) of his constituents voted against him?  We deserve a lot better than that.  We can do a lot better than that."

Q: What are your top three priorities if elected? 

A: "Simple. I want to 'serve, protect and restore.' My mission will be to get the country's fiscal house in order and protect the people's money through a combination of spending cuts and tax reform. I also plan to restore the vision of the country's Founding Fathers regarding the value of limited government by focusing on the few tasks set forth in the Constitution: Providing for the national defense, supporting free markets, and safeguarding our individual freedoms.  And as important a priority as any, I will serve the residents of this district—all of the residents of this district—with the political courage and unwavering integrity that the voters expect and deserve."

Q: Have you held or run for any other elected office? 

A: "No, I've never run for public office before, instead choosing to serve my country through military service. I'm running for a federal level office for the simple reason that we're doing relatively well in Richmond, but our representation in Washington can be much improved."

Q: What differentiates you from other Republicans in the field? 

A: "In a nutshell, with absolutely no disrespect intended toward any of these patriots, I would say 'proven leadership.' I have a long track record of making critical decisions under intense pressure. I know when to listen, and I know when to take action. And while my limited knowledge of their respective styles precludes comparison, I have a long and successful history of persuading friends and foes alike to do the right thing. Isn't that what politics and statesmanship are supposed to be about?"

Q: Are there any decisions Rep. Connolly has made that you disagree with and if so, name your top three and why you disagree. 

A: "I already mentioned his decision to align himself so closely with Nancy Pelosi and extreme brand of partisan politics, and his decision to serve as his freshman class president clearly indicated his willingness to disenfranchise almost half of his District constituency. 

"However, I think your question was probably in regards to his voting record, in which case several of his decisions stand out as not being in the best interests of the District. 

"First, despite our $1.3 trillion annual deficit, Connolly voted against a bill to establish discretionary spending limits, instead siding with his leadership who believe that the country's problems can be solved simply by raising taxes.  Refusing to accept reality, he then voted against a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution, at the same time declaring his belief that Congress could do the right thing on their own. I find this mind-numbingly naive in light of their history. 

"Next, at a time when the business community is crying out for regulatory reform in order to survive, Connolly voted against the bill that would require unelected government officials to get congressional approval before unilaterally establishing regulations that would have a significantly adverse effect on competition, employment, investment, productivity, or innovation. Recognizing these as the most important drivers of our economy, I would have voted differently. 

"Finally, and only because you limited me to three things, I'll point out that he voted against a proposed law that would prohibit the government from enacting regulations that would adversely impact on the competitiveness of U.S. companies without first acquiring congressional approval. Again, I would have put American businesses ahead of his partisan agenda."

Q: Do you have a hero or someone you look up to in public life? 

A: "Had you not qualified your question with 'in public life,' I would have said my parents who, above all, taught me the importance of personal responsibility. It also rules out a bunch of special ops guys who taught me what selfless-service is really about, more than one who offered that lesson in the most extreme manner possible. So despite the fact that it almost sounds like a cliché these days, but I am most impressed and influenced by President Reagan. I think he exemplified the American values of duty, honor and compassion, and he used his strength of character to inspire the entire country.  As importantly, he had the courage to do the right thing, even if that was politically inconvenient. Ronald Reagan should be a role model for everyone in public service today, regardless of their political affiliation."

Q: What career or life experience do you think would most influence your work in Congress and why?

A: "The almost 25 years I spent in uniform, most of them as a Green Beret traveling to some of the most god-forsaken places on the planet, have certainly given me a unique perspective regarding the role of government.  I've also had multiple opportunities to serve on Capitol Hill, to include a year as a Congressional Fellow, and I've seen up close and personal how the job can be done better."

Q: Where do you stand on social issues such as abortion, gay marriage and gun control? 

A: "As a constitutionalist, I generally believe that we are better off with the least amount of federal government involvement as possible when it comes to most so-called social issues.  That said, it is impossible to lump the three issues you mentioned into a single answer, so let me address each separately. 

"If elected, I would not support the use of taxpayer funding for abortions except in the very rare case of rape, incest, or the imminent loss of life to the mother, nor would I support federal funding for any organization that performs abortions. However, as much as I personally abhor the practice itself, I believe this decision should ultimately be left up to the woman, her family, and her doctor.

"On the issue of gay rights, I was raised to believe that the Republican Party is the party of 'equal rights for all,' and that equality has absolutely nothing to do with one's gender, the color of their skin, their religious faith, or even their sexual preference. I frankly could not care less about any of these things, but instead judge a man or a woman based upon the merit of their character and their actions. As to gay marriage, I admit that I am a traditionalist and personally see marriage as a commitment between a man and a woman in the eyes of God and sanctified by the Church. Legal rights pertaining to gay and lesbian relationships can be readily accommodated through civil unions.

"Finally, on the question of gun control, I would point out that I've spent most of my adult life around guns of all types and sizes, and I have come to appreciate them as simply tools to be used for sport and security. Like all tools, I believe they need to be handled competently and responsibly. I also believe that the individual states are well suited to determine their own policies regarding firearms, and that the federal government should allow them to do so."

Q: Do you have debates planned with your Republican opponents? If so do you know when? 

A: "While none have been scheduled to date, I would welcome the opportunity."

Q: What are you hearing in the way of support for your campaign?

A: "I have been overwhelmed by the positive reception my candidacy has received to date. I'm often not sure whether it is more because of me personally, or rather due to their frustration with the incumbent, but I suspect it is likely a bit of both. The campaign has been working very hard over the past few months to get the word out that there is a better alternative to the status quo. We've held eight old-fashioned townhalls throughout the district that were open to the public, and I've been given the opportunity to speak before 27 groups and organizations. We were joined during our tele-townhall meeting by 2,011 callers who were interested in the campaign, several of whom suggested that our forum was the first time anyone has solicited their opinions!  Finally, my Volunteer Coordinator reported just yesterday that we have 162 folks signed up to actively assist in the grassroots effort. To say that I have been humbled by this response is sincerely an understatement!"

Q: Do you have any public endorsements?

A: "While I have been offered the support of a significant number of elected officials at all levels of government, I've agreed that the fair approach is to wait until the primary election is completed before going public with their respective endorsements."

Q: How is fund-raising for the campaign going?

A: "I've raised $178,000 since declaring my candidacy. The campaign did not officially begin our fundraising effort within the 11th District until after last November's state and local elections in order to preclude competing against those candidates for the limited resources. I am now, however, absolutely committed to raising the requisite funds to run a first class campaign. Believing that self-financing is tantamount to 'buying the seat,' but also believing that I should never ask anyone to do what I haven't already done, my wife and I have intentionally limited our personal contributions to the maximum allowable for an individual."

Jim Daniels June 04, 2012 at 11:15 PM
Lets take one of your statements... "Why do you feel that you should decide for others how to live? " Lets say I start a business in your neighborhood...and that business releases toxic fumes into the air that drift over your property, causing you to get sick. How would you handle that situation? Or would you just decide that the business was exercising their God given right to live as they wished, and endure it?
Carole Sarkuti June 04, 2012 at 11:58 PM
Jim ... considering this last question you raise it's quite easy to see why you are having a problem . The example you use shows you cannot conduct a meaningful dialog. There are no issues with a business starting up in a neighborhood where it is allowed to do this... it is only when you bring in the added problem of issues which infringe on the health and well being of the residents does it become a problem. You bring in this additional issue just to muddy the waters on an argument you are losing! Typical liberal tactic!
T Ailshire June 05, 2012 at 12:12 AM
Jim Daniels - do you *honestly* believe GOVERNMENT is better at deciding whether air is clean enough or food is pure enough? I'm not sure which is worse, but at least businesses have a constraining factor -- profit. Government has no constraining factor, and in my experience, very little expertise.
BurkePatriot June 05, 2012 at 12:51 AM
Nobody has the right to hurt others. If a business does hurt people without there consent then they shall be compensated for the damages. It is in the rational self interest of the individuals who own the business to change for the better for there families. If there is no demand for their product they will cease to exist and a bad product will be out of the market. Individuals vote with there wallet. A dollar spent on a product is a vote for the product. Government can't regulate the market better than consumers. Government intervention restricts economic growth. The regulation on all businesses because of a few is an abuse to all. Government does not create wealth. Government can only consume it. Economics must be free from centralized government. In Liberty,
Uncle Smartypants June 05, 2012 at 02:34 AM
Oh My! If your tired, robotic dogma wasn't weary enough, you have to spew it with atrocious grammar, awkward syntax, and a complete inability to know when to use "their" instead of "there"; a skill most of us mastered around the age of ten. Business has proved again and again that profits are more important than consumer safety. Are you saying we'd be better off without the EPA and the SEC? Yikes. Your tedious posts reminded me of one of my favorite quotes: "I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it." - John Stuart Mill, in a Parliamentary debate with the Conservative MP, John Pakington (May 31, 1866); frequently paraphrased to "Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives."
BurkePatriot June 05, 2012 at 02:43 AM
Unregulated business leads to the complete opposite of what you said. More freedom in the market eliminates the monopolizes of cronyism. Small businesses can sell for less money and create more affordable prices which will force, the invisible hand, other companies to lower costs to compete or go out of business. The wealthy big companies lobby for regulations to prevent small companies to enter the market. The wealthy companies can afford increase in costs. The little guy can't and puts them out of business. This can only happen with the government putting there claws in the back pocket of bigger companies. That is why you don't want government involved in economics because the government can rot from within and rot all of us as it has. Read up on the facts of why the Great Depression became a depression. Socialist FDR went completely tyrannical with regulations and created longer economic problem than it should have been. He admired the National Socialist central government design and pushed hard for it. When leftist like the treacherous FDR implemented socialism we truly obtained a depression. In Liberty,
Frank Klimko June 05, 2012 at 02:50 AM
Jim: bravo. good point
BurkePatriot June 05, 2012 at 03:45 AM
Dear Leftypants, Your typical display of attack and hatred of people who value to be free to rule themselves is why leftest tyrants
BurkePatriot June 05, 2012 at 04:02 AM
...like yourself are thoughtless and care only for yourselves with the constant lies of being compassionate for others. The EPA doesn't protect our environment. It makes our living environment more difficult to live in. Destroying capitalism in the name of saving us creates unemployment. Open your eyes, your mind and see the truth. The Department of Energy doesn't produce energy. It controls it. The Department of Agricultural doesn't promote the development of agriculture it controls agriculture. The FCC,FDA,HUD etc... All the bureaucracies kill jobs, increase prices and makes it hard for people to live. You are a government bought robot and have no care for others. It is why you talk treachery. You and all of you America hating mentally ill communists will be back in the closest soon enough along with you dress wearing boyfriends. In Liberty,
Fizban June 05, 2012 at 12:34 PM
WoW JUST WHO IS RUNNING FOR OFFICE HERE BURKE OR CAROLE ??????
BurkePatriot June 05, 2012 at 01:51 PM
We need uncompromising conservatism. Americans who want liberty from government strangling unconstitutional,unelected,not voted for,job killing, laws from un-American valued,leftist bureaucrats. Constitutional Conservatism is the moral values that needs to be running. This represents Carole, myself and all other freedom loving Americans. Mr. Perkins is not a Constitutionalist. Part-time constitutionalist's, reaching across the isle, compromise, is no different than a leftist who compromise. The result is the same. Loss of individual liberty with the slow constant growth of tyranny from government that rules people rather than we the people ruling the government. A small letter describing the party affiliation next to a name doesn't explain what that individual thinks or believes. Yes. We are running. We are going to run all Democrats and oh yes Republicans out of office who don't strictly respect the rule of law, the constitution. In Liberty,
Jim Daniels June 05, 2012 at 02:41 PM
And Carole...why would they not be allowed to do this?
Jim Daniels June 05, 2012 at 02:53 PM
T Ailshire...it's not what I believe, it is what is fact. Profit motive is precisely why business cannot be trusted to insure the health of the environment. Fealty to the bottom line above all else precludes any motivation other than that. Every significant advance over the last century that helps clean up the environment or improve public safety has been opposed by big business. A cursory reading of history will show you quite clearly what happens to water, air, and food when business is left to their own devices
T Ailshire June 05, 2012 at 03:33 PM
You haven't answered. Can GOVERNMENT do a better job? I have over 30 years experience with various elements of government, and I've seen nothing that convinces me government's decisions (regulations) are based on scientific evidence or common sense. Therefore, I do not believe government can do a better job. The only constituency that CAN do better is WE THE PEOPLE - at the ballot box and at the point of sale.
Uncle Smartypants June 05, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Alert the media and notify the Willard Mitt Rmoney for President Campaign! We have found his Vice President candidate; our very own Burke Patriot! He/she/it combines the acumen of Sarah Palin, the eloquence of Rick Perry, and the tenuous grip on sanity of Michele Bachman. He/she/it’s Tea Bagger credentials are considerable: Misogynist? Check! Homophobe? Check! Uncompromising? Double Check! Thinks people with differing views than his/her/its own are all mentally ill? Check! Check! Check! He/she/it brings just the kind of right wing lunatic fringe cred that the Willard Mitt Rmoney ticket needs to shore up his support in rural Kansas. Congratulations and Good Luck in the campaign!
Jim Daniels June 05, 2012 at 04:13 PM
T Ailshire...as a matter of fact I did answer the question...not only can the government do a better job at protecting the environment...it HAS and DOES do a better job...demonstrably better. And history shows that quite clearly. Nearly every significant economic and man made environmental disaster this country has been subject to, has been the result of an unregulated business environment, with corporations not subject to appropriate oversight. Depressions, recessions, oil spills, stock market crashes, toxic waste dumps,...and the list goes on. To think that business will regulate itself to the betterment of society is a laughable joke. It never has, and there is no reason to believe it will in the future. If you think improvements in the quality of the air, the water and in the purity of our food is the result of business altruistically, or even based on profit motive, regulating itself, you are deluding yourself. Those improvements were the result of government intervention..indisputably so..and precisely the type of intervention envisioned by the founders...If there has been a failure in government it is in not exercising oversight when it should be, thus allowing disasters like these to occur.
Jim Daniels June 05, 2012 at 04:17 PM
T Ailshire...btw I agree the ballot box is an appropriate place to effect change...
BurkePatriot June 05, 2012 at 04:30 PM
Uncle Lefty Pants, Its not a debate whether we should honor the rule of law it's non negotiable. The constitution is the rule of law and it can be amended through the amendment process. No debate. If you have no concept of understanding consequences of laws that you feel helps people and yet can't understand that it hurts others at the same time then you and other liberals have no consequential intelligence. This is an illness that is produced in a liberal mind. People who have different views than mine I can tolerate. People who want to use force and violence upon individuals and use the gun of government to do it with are people I can't tolerate. People who want to inflict pain on others and themselves have a mental illness. That is not normal life sustaining behavior. Violence, verbal attack, and worse is the reaction when liberals like yourself become frustrated. The cure is coming. You will heal soon enough. The healing is liberty. In Liberty,
Jim Daniels June 05, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Well I shouldn't have laughed at this...but could not help myself. As you may have noticed I made an attempt to engage our friend in a fact based discussion...but he (assuming he is a he) has apparently immersed himself in his own narrative to such a degree any attempt at this is simply viewed as an attack, resulting in accusation of mental illness and/or lack of intelligence. it is probably too late. I actually feel bad for our friend...he is setting himself for a huge disappointment. in Delusion
BurkePatriot June 05, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Mr. Daniels, No where have you provided facts. The mental illness
BurkePatriot June 05, 2012 at 05:09 PM
...to clarify the mental illness and intelligence statement: I believe there are many intelligent, genius,and even the opposite. Part of your brains that rationalizes consequences doesn't work properly. I'm sure your very intelligent. My proof is that you believe that force and violence is humanitarian. Wow.Its ok. Healing is coming in every election coming up whether nationally or in Virginia. I can't wait. In Liberty,
Not You June 11, 2012 at 10:29 PM
You are truly an idiot.
Jeff Love June 13, 2012 at 06:06 AM
Yeh, he left the County with a $ 600,000 deficit when he went on to be a congressman. He is also an "anything Pres. Obama wants" congressman.
Jeff Love June 13, 2012 at 06:33 AM
Jim Daniels, et.al. - Epa regulations are going way to far. I am in the construction and now have to worry whether or not there was Lead in the paint or finishes in a home that I will work in. I lived in a home built in the early 70's and both of my children ( now grown men) are quite healthy. Never had a problem with Lead Poisoning while they were growing up. Now the new regulations put an additional financial burden on the consummer when we want to remodel their home. Just one of the things that shows that Government cann't do it better.
Generica Persona June 14, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Congratulations Col. CHRIS PERKINS! He believes in accomplishment, has been awarded for saving lives, encourages self responsibility and working to benefit the country as a whole ... not merely standing by, he has chosen to stand up, to work for us in regaining our founders vision. Thank you from all who appreciate lessons learned in history. CAREER POLITCIANS must go and take their corruption with them. Nay sayers often work for the government. Perhaps they are one the 49% who don't pay taxes or accept government handouts. Being "worker-bees" of the government known for menial tasks, offers no self initiatives thus declining self esteem and diminishing their spirit. ...very sad. Quality success takes hard work, risk and sacrifice, motivation and tenacity, in other words its really difficult. This type of success directly opposes Big Government. The "nannie pelosi" government style is burning down Europe, Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugal. China, Russia and Iran are challenging us aggressively. There is serious conflict ahead. WE NEED LEADERS with EXECUTIVE EXPERIENCE to curb our financial free fall. If we lose our military edge (budget) we become the prey, hunted on our shores.
BurkePatriot June 15, 2012 at 05:44 PM
I want an advocate for government to be the least influential in peoples lives. To protect us from government. A conservative Mr. Perkins is not. However he is the better alternative to Gerry Connolly. Liberal or liberal light? One hurts less than the other. As conservatives who have values that we honor we need to not necessarily campaign for Perkins but to campaign on how bad and destructive Connolly is. We must sell how bad the leftist product is and how it's broken and that it has never and it will never work. Even though the new product that we will put in is not what we wanted to buy it will work better. The next election, which will be by convention, a conservative will replace our current candidate and we will change our government back to constitutional restraints and shackle it to protect us from it. In Liberty,
Richard Holmquist June 15, 2012 at 06:31 PM
A glowing endorsement.
Jack July 28, 2012 at 01:30 AM
I am still looking for what you consider a very good job of representation. I haven't seen an iota of it yet.
Jack July 28, 2012 at 01:37 AM
Almost anyone is better than Gerry Connolly as an advocate. His nose up Pelosi's butt has been his biggest job since he took office. We need someone who will stand on their own two feet and make decisions that will fix the economy openly not in secret.
Jean Nichols October 03, 2012 at 05:04 AM
Got my money and support. Gerry is Scarey! At Halloweens & In betweens!

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