Iraq vet Jackson joins race to unseat Goode
Chatham businessman and Iraq War veteran Brydon Jackson tells the Hook today that he is "at the very beginning" of his campaign for the Democratic nomination to run against Rep. Virgil Goode (R) in for his Congressional seat 2008. He is the second Democrat to declare his interest in the nomination to the Fifth District Democratic Committee along with UVA history professor David Shreve.
"I'm finding that our current representative has lost touch with the average person out there," says Jackson, "I don't feel the average guy in Southside is being adequately represented."
Specifically, Jackson doesn't believe the lower and middle classes are getting a fair shake in the rural parts of the district. "I'm an average middle class guy, and I've been feeling the economic pressures in the region," says Jackson. "I'm talking about our tax situation, our education situation, health care is another big issue, it's all really good for the wealthier part of the country. But the poor seem to get poorer, and the middle class just seems to get squeezed."
Jackson's experience as a major in the Army Reserve and five-month tour of duty in Iraq has informed his candidacy. Before he was sent home with a non-combat back injury, Jackson was embedded with a battalion of the Iraqi Army as a a "military transition leader" and says it gave him an on-the-ground perspective on what's being debated in Washington. "The problem I saw over there is that if the Americans are there to do the job for Iraqis, then Iraqis will continue to let Americans do that job," he says, "But if you somehow force the Iraqis to take the lead on something, they'll do it. It may not be the exact way you want, it won't be a Western solution, it'll be an Iraqi solution, but that's the way we need to go with it. Get the Western world out of their affairs until they can stabilize their government."
Goode has soundly defeated Charlottesville-area Democrats in each of the last three elections he's run as a Republican. Should he win the nomination, Jackson would be the first Southside Democrat to run against Goode. Of his rural roots, Jackson says, "I believe I am a fair representative of the type of people living in this district," adding, "the Democratic candidate will have to connect with the people in Southside in order to defeat the incumbent."
Currently, Jackson is the Director of Operations for the new Danville branch of NSR Solutions, an IT services company, but has a local connection in a past career. Jackson was a Virginia State Trooper from 1996 through 2002, including a stint based in Charlottesville.