E.W. Jackson

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E.W. Jackson
Ew Jackson.jpeg
Lieutenant Governor of Virginia
Former Candidate
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 5, 2013
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sUniversity of Massachusetts-Boston
J.D.Harvard Law School
Place of birthPennsylvania
ProfessionMinister, lawyer
Personal website
Campaign website
E.W. Jackson campaign logo
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E.W. Jackson was the Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in the 2013 elections.[1] He won the Republican nomination at the party's primary convention on May 18, 2013, marking the first time in a quarter century that Virginia Republicans nominated an African-American candidate for a statewide post. He lost to Democratic nominee Ralph Northam in the Nov. 5 general election.[2][3]

Jackson is a minister at Exodus Faith Ministries, a nondenominational church in Chesapeake, Virginia, which he founded. A former Democrat, Jackson changed his party affiliation after realizing that his religious beliefs aligned more with the traditional values supported by the Republican party. In 2012, Jackson made his first run for public office on the Republican ticket for U.S. Senate. He lost the GOP primary nomination to ex-Sen. George Allen.[4]


Jackson was born in Pennsylvania, but, as noted in his official campaign biography, he has strong familial ties to Virginia that can be traced back to the Revolutionary War.[5] He holds a B.A. from the University of Massachusetts at Boston and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. During his tenure at Harvard, he joined the Baptist ministry, meanwhile advancing his theological education at the institution's Divinity School.

His service in the U.S. Marine Corps brought Jackson and his wife to Boston, Massachusetts. There, he earned both his undergraduate and law degrees, and spent the first 15 years of his legal career. Jackson worked primarily as a small business lawyer, but also taught regulatory law at Northeastern University as an adjunct professor. Eventually "returning to his ancestral home," of Virginia, he continued practicing law and working as an adjunct professor of Business and Commercial Law at Strayer University until 1997, when he entered the ministry full time. The following year, Jackson became a consecrated Bishop.[5]

Jackson's multimedia communications credits include several years experience as a radio station manager, host and commentator. He also authored a book entitled “Ten Commandments to an Extraordinary Life," which was published in 2008.[5]

He is the founder of the nondenominational Exodus Faith Ministries, with locations in Chesapeake and Boston.[5]


  • B.A. - University of Massachusetts at Boston (Summa Cum Laude with a Phi Beta Kappa Key)
  • J.D. - Harvard School of Law



See also: Virginia lieutenant gubernatorial election, 2013

Jackson ran for election to the office of Lieutenant Governor. He defeated six other candidates to win the Republican nomination at the statewide primary convention on May 18, 2013, the first time the Virginia GOP nominated a black candidate for statewide office since Maurice Dawkins in 1988.[4][3]

The Republican Party of Virginia held a closed primary convention on May 17-18, 2013 to nominate its candidates for governor, lt. governor and attorney general. The candidate in each field who received the highest number of delegate votes at the convention advanced to the November 5, 2013 general election.

Race background

Incumbent Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling (R) did not seek re-election in 2013. Nine candidates filed to fill the imminently-open executive seat, including two Democrats and seven Republicans. State Sen. Ralph Northam defeated Aneesh Chopra for the Democratic Party's nomination for lieutenant governor in the June 11 primary election.[6] Northam's general election opponent was Republican E.W. Jackson. Jackson was nominated by delegates of the Virginia Republican Party at the party-funded statewide primary convention on May 17-18.[7] Northam and Jackson faced off in the Nov. 5, 2013 general election, and Northam won by a margin of over 10 percentage points.[8]

When Virginia voters elected Democrat L. Douglas Wilder, the grandson of slaves, as its 66th Governor in 1989, it was the first time an African-American was elected to the office in the nation's history.[9] Given the state's heritage of trailblazing, it is notable that until Jackson's convention victory, Virginia Republicans had not nominated an African-American for any statewide office since backing Maurice Dawkins' a quarter of a century ago.[4]

A minister at a non-denominational church and relatively new member of the Republican Party, Jackson edged out six primary opponents by emphasizing his commitment to hallmark conservative issues such as smaller government, gun rights and traditional family values. He appealed to the delegation with the promise, "We will not only win an election in November, we will open the hearts and minds of our people and save this commonwealth and save this country."[10]

Regardless of his post-convention promise, Jackson was an unwelcome choice for the state's Republican establishment from the start, thanks to his refusal to divert from, or soften the rhetoric of, his "liberty agenda." The agenda contained the issues mentioned above, none of which were earth-shattering stances for a conservative; Jackson was anti-Obamacare, pro-Second Amendment and anti-federal overreach. His approach to delivering these messages, however, rose more concerns - as well as eyebrows - from the party than was originally anticipated. In August, Jackson referred to the Democratic Party as the "anti-God party" because of its supportive position on same-sex marriage and abortion, cementing his reputation for being impermeable to warnings about how his often inflammatory rhetoric might alienate swing voters or more moderate Republican voters heading into the general election. Then on Sept. 4, The Washington Post reported that his independent streak also extended to his behind the scenes campaign style. After securing the nomination in May, Jackson had not taken advantage of the Virginia Republican Party's massive pool of campaign resources. He declined offers to utilize the party's voter databases and related logistical tools in addition to field office venues across the state- a "virtually unheard-of forfeiture of resources for a statewide candidate."[11]

On the Democratic end, Northam, a pediatric neurologist who was first elected to the state legislature's upper chamber in 2008, wanted to win the lt. governor's office in order to restore Democratic control over the state senate. His campaign focused on improving education and creating jobs in energy efficiency, in addition to reversing the direction the Republican leadership had taken the state on women's health issues. "Their crusades to shut down reproductive health centers and to mandate costly and invasive medical procedures for women seeking abortions have embarrassed the Commonwealth, and have inserted government between doctors and their patients."[12][13]

The final campaign finance reporting cycle prior to the general election showed Northam maintaining an ample fundraising lead over Jackson, adding to the consistent edge he had shown in the polls. Jackson's remarkable refusal to accept assistance from the Republican Party had no doubt hindered him from overtaking Northam in money and/or voter support. His proven difficulties adhering to the state board of elections' filing protocols, having twice needed to amend his documentation of loans or donations, likewise boded unfavorably for the GOP nominee heading into the home stretch of what was an ultimately unsuccessful campaign.[14][15]

  • General election - 2013 Lt. Governor Race
Virginia Lieutenant Gubernatorial General Election, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngRalph Northam 55.1% 1,213,155
     Republican E.W. Jackson 44.5% 980,257
     N/A Write-in 0.3% 7,472
Total Votes 2,200,884
Election Results via Virginia State Board of Elections.

Campaign themes


At the Republican primary convention, Jackson won the delegate vote by emphasizing his commitment to conservative issues such as smaller government, Second Amendment protection, and traditional family values. He appealed to the GOP activists comprising the statewide delegation with the promise, "We will not only win an election in November, we will open the hearts and minds of our people and save this commonwealth and save this country."[16]


Jackson's candidacy in the 2013 general election for lieutenant governor was endorsed by former U.S. Rep. Allen West. West had previously endorsed Scott Lingamfelter in the race, but redirected his support after Jackson edged out Lingamfelter and several other Republican hopefuls at the GOP primary nominating convention.[17]


Lieutenant Governor of Virginia
Poll Ralph Northam (D) E.W. Jackson (R)Not sureMargin of ErrorSample Size
Public Policy Poll
(May 24-26, 2013)
Roanoke University Poll
(July 8-14, 2013)
Public Policy Poll
(July 11-14, 2013)
Christopher Newport Poll
(October 1-6, 2013)
Roanoke University Poll
(September 30 - October 5, 2013)
NBC4/NBC News/Marist Poll
(October 13-15, 2013)
Washington Post/Abt-SRBI Poll
(October 24-27, 2013)
Christopher Newport University Poll of Likely Voters
(October 25-30, 2013)
AVERAGES 43.13% 35% 21.5% +/-3.71 765.75
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

Campaign media

"Parental Choice" - Released March 13, 2013

"Defy Not Comply" - Released March 6, 2013

Money in the race

E.W. Jackson[18] Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
Post-Primary ReportJuly 19, 2013$37,830.14$141,823.20$(298,285.50)$92,398.46
8 Day Pre-General ReportOctober 28, 2013$209,457.59$233,249.74$(265,254.94)$177,452.39
Running totals


See also: United States Senate elections in Virginia, 2012

Jackson ran in the 2012 election for the U.S. Senate, representing Virginia. Jackson was defeated by George Allen in the Republican primary on June 12, 2012.[19]

  • Primary - 2012 U.S. Senate Republican Primary Race
U.S. Senate Virginia Representative Republican Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngGeorge F. Allen 65.5% 167,452
Jamie L. Radtke 23.1% 58,980
Bob Marshall 6.8% 17,308
E. W. Jackson 4.7% 12,086
Total Votes 255,826


Jackson currently resides in Chesapeake, Virginia. He and his wife of forty-two years, Theodora, have three children together.[5]

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  1. Republican Party of Virginia, "Meet Our Candidates," accessed February 7, 2013
  2. The Washington Post, "Va. GOP settles on Cuccinelli, Obenshain and Jackson for November ballot," May 19, 2013
  3. 3.0 3.1 Politico, Election results 2013: Ralph Northam defeats E.W. Jackson, November 5, 2013
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Afro.com, "Virginia GOP Nominates Conservative Black Minister for Lt. Gov.," May 19, 2013
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 E.W. Jackson for Lt. Governor 2014 Official campaign website, "About E.W. Jackson," accessed September 30, 2013
  6. Blue Virginia, "Virginia Primary Election Results Live Blog," June 11, 2013
  7. The Washington Post, "Va. GOP settles on Cuccinelli, Obenshain and Jackson for November ballot," May 19, 2013
  8. Virginia State Board of Elections, "2013 Statewide Unofficial Results," accessed November 6, 2013
  9. Encyclopedia Virginia, “L. Douglas Wilder (1931- ), accessed August 7, 2013
  10. The Washington Post, "Virginia GOP picks staunch conservatives as statewide candidates," May 18, 2013
  11. The Washington Post, "Jackson keeps GOP establishment at arm's length in Va. lieutenant governor campaign," September 4, 2013
  12. Official Campaign Website, "Issues," accessed March 20, 2013
  13. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named demprim
  14. The Washington Post, "McAuliffe tops Cuccinelli in fundraising race for Virginia governor," September 17, 2013
  15. The Richmond Times-Dispatch, "McAuliffe maintains cash edge over Cuccineli," September 17, 2013
  16. The Washington Post, "Virginia GOP picks staunch conservatives as statewide candidates," May 18, 2013
  17. PilotOnline.com, "Allen West to headline fundraiser for LG candidate Jackson," September 26, 2013
  18. Virginia State Board of Elections, "Campaign Finance Report: E.W. Jackson for Lt. Governor," July 19, 2013
  19. Virginia State Board of Elections "Election Results" Accessed June 12, 2012