Pete Snyder

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Pete Snyder
Pete Snyder.png
Former candidate for
Lieutenant Governor of Virginia
Elections and appointments
Last electionMay 18, 2013
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sCollege of William & Mary (1994)
Date of birthAugust 5, 1972
ProfessionFox News commentator, tech entrepreneur
Personal website
Campaign website
Pete Snyder (b. August 5, 1972) was a Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in the 2013 elections.[1] He lost in the Republican primary convention on May 18, 2013]</ref>


Snyder is a businessman and frequent contributor to Fox News. He is the founder and former twelve year CEO of New Media Strategies, a social media marketing agency. During his tenure as CEO of New Media Strategies, Snyder's management success earned him the title "Best Boss" by Fortune Small Business.[2] In 2012, Snyder helped found a Virginia-based venture capital company dedicated to cultivating innovations in technology and entrepreneurship.

Snyder is a 1994 graduate of the College of William and Mary. He now sits on the Board of Visitors for his alma mater, in addition to serving on the Marketing Board of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the Board of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.[2]


  • Bachelor's degree - College of William & Mary (1994)



See also: Virginia lieutenant gubernatorial election, 2013

Snyder ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia.[1] The GOP primary nominating convention took place on May 17-18, 2013.[3]

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.[4] 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.[5] Northam and Jackson faced off in the Nov. 5, 2013 general election, and Northam won by a margin of over 10 percentage points.[6]

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.[7] 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.[8]

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."[9]

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."[10]

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."[11][12]

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.[13][14]


Campaign themes

Snyder's campaign highlights include plans to "End Runaway Spending and Put Richmond on a Spending Diet," "Fire Up Virginia’s Economy," and make "VA #1 in Education Again." He outlines these plans as well as priorities for the office of the lieutenant governor on his official campaign website:

  • Economic freedom:

"Government spending, higher taxes, and punitive regulations have created an environment where entrepreneurship and risk taking are discouraged, and growth stalls...Pete opposes restrictions on the voluntary exchange of goods and services in the free market. Instead, Pete favors a low, fair tax code with spending priorities that focus on the essential functions of government."

  • Personal freedom:

"Pete understands that the Second Amendment clearly provides for an INDIVIDUAL right to keep and bear arms."

  • Pete’s Plan to Reform Education: Making VA #1 in Education Again:
  1. Virginia Needs to Promote More Competition and Excellence in our Education system.
  2. Eliminate Teacher Tenure as we know it.
  3. Fight for Legislation that Allows Us to Rescue our Students that are Trapped in Failing Schools.

Campaign donors

On January 15, 2013, Snyder announced he had raised $452,739 during the first five weeks of his campaign. Over half of that, some $235,000, came from Ending Spending, a group focused on stopping wasteful government spending. Snyder stated, "I’m grateful for the support of so many fellow conservatives who have embraced our campaign about Big Ideas and made an investment in our grassroots efforts."[15]


Snyder lives in Fairfax County, Virginia with his wife, Burson, and their dog Elvis.[2]

See also

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