When Congressman Mick Mulvaney was appointed director of the Office of the Management of the Budget by President Trump, as always happens, a gap was created in the South Carolina congressional delegation. Mulvaney, a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus, had been a leading conservative voice in the House whose shoes will be hard to fill in the upcoming special election. However, a conservative voice has stepped up there who deserves your attention.
Chad Connelly, an Army and National Guard veteran who has spent the last twenty years running his own small businesses in South Carolina, says that one day he took a look around him and wondered what was happening to his country. Motivated in part by the late Jerry Falwell’s call to arms for the values voter, he began to feel that he had to get involved somehow, and start to come to grips with the creeping secular humanism that was coming to infect every facet of modern American life. This inevitably led him to the state Republican Party, whose chairman he became in 2011. He was re-elected overwhelmingly in 2013 to a second term, and he helped elect a record number of Republicans to the state legislature and to statewide offices.
As chairman of the state party, Chad came to the attention of Reince Priebus when Priebus was elected head of the Republican National Committee. Reince appointed him the party’s first ever national director of faith engagement, tasked with organizing and encouraging people who subscribe to biblical morality to become involved in the political process. In that position, Chad proceeded to devote his considerable energy and charm to the defense of religious liberty everywhere. By his own count, he has addressed over 80,000 faith leaders of all Christian denominations, as well as Orthodox Jews, in 40 of the 50 states. I first met him when he came to address such a group in Wisconsin two years ago.
Chad sees the major issues in this election to be precisely those he has been working to defend throughout his career as a Republican volunteer: the issues of religious liberty and biblical morality in general, as well as those which were winning points for President Trump. He too wishes to stanch the flow of illegal immigrants and to restore America’s military capacity in the very dangerous world bequeathed us by President Obama’s disastrous and precipitous withdrawal from world affairs. Chad also shares his ideas for the restoration and resuscitation of the American economy, for which the first step has to be the repeal of ObamaCare, after which, with due deliberation, something can be done about replacing it.
To the same end, Connelly is in favor of slashing the regulatory red tape which chokes free enterprise. For years he has been involved in helping young entrepreneurs in his state launch and grow their businesses as a consultant and coach. Connelly is also a firm advocate of term limits as a major part of the solution to the problem of the Washington “swamp.”
A proud Christian, Chad also has a redemptive story to tell which is well-nigh incredible, and would have broken many people less rooted in their faith.
It began one fateful day when he and his two boys came home from church and found their mother and Chad’s wife of 18 ½ years lying in a pool of her own blood. She had taken her own life after a bout of severe depression.
To say that the three of them were devastated would not be at all sufficient. They blamed themselves, they sought active counseling, but the depression lifted only very slowly. Numerous friends and relatives sought to introduce Chad to other young ladies on the well-founded theory that the boys, after all, did need a mother, but Chad generally turned them down; he wasn’t interested.
Until one day, one of those friends insisted that he meet a young widow with two daughters named Dana. Chad tried to turn him down in his usual gentle manner, too, but the friend was very insistent. He thought that he had found the perfect solution to the problem; you see, Dana’s first husband had committed suicide as well.
They understood each other and hit it off, and have now been married for 9 ½ years; the four children are now teenagers.
Chad is not running unopposed in the special election to represent the Fifth District, but he is the only solid conservative. As an example, one of his Republican opponents is on record as having donated to the campaigns of Debbie Stabenow, Democrat senator from Michigan, and James Clyburn, the veteran Democrat representing the Sixth District; the icing on the cake is that the fellow worked for a time as a lobbyist for Al Gore.
After years as a grassroots activist, Connelly enters the May 2 primary with some powerful endorsements: Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family and conservative pundit Erick Erickson have both come out for him, as have an impressive 89 GOP and grassroots leaders (and growing). Congressman Jeff Duncan, who has been named numerous times as “The Most Conservative Congressman in the House of Representatives,” has endorsed him as well.
If you live in the Fifth Congressional District and you care about core conservative values, then Chad Connelly’s your man.