Republican Governor Candidate Pete Snyder Has a Plan for Virginia Schools: ‘Open Them Now’

Pete Snyder
Pete Snyder for Governor

Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Pete Snyder discussed reopening schools and saving small businesses as his state recovers from coronavirus lockdowns, providing his remarks on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Sunday show with host Matthew Boyle.

Snyder, a businessman vying for his state’s Republican nomination for governor to replace outgoing Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam in November, is making restoring in-person education in the Old Dominion a centerpiece of his campaign.

Schools have been conducting their teaching either fully or partially virtually for close to a year in large part over the claim that coronavirus poses too much of a risk to teachers, a claim that contradicts the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“I have a very simple plan for our schools, which is open them. Open them now, five days a week, every single week, with a teacher in every classroom, period. That’s why we’re gonna win,” Snyder said, contending that Virginians are “angry” over the lack of Democrats’ leadership in helping children back into the classrooms.

Republicans have struggled for representation in Virginia in recent years as they are the minority party in both the state House and Senate as of January 2020 and have not seen a Republican governor take office since Bob McDonnell, whose term ended in January 2014.

Boyle pointed out the “leftward shift” the state has seen, to which Snyder replied that political control operates as a pendulum and that Virginia is in a position to swing back toward the GOP.

“Whether it’s life or politics or sports … it’s all a pendulum, and it eventually swings back, and it is swinging in our direction in a major way, because even folks that haven’t given Republicans the time of day in the past ten years — since Bob McDonnell was elected — independents and lean-Democrats are red-hot mad that they’re working jobs and they’re paying a million and a half dollars for a nothing house in a good school district in Arlington or Alexandria or Fairfax County, Virginia, and the freaking schools are still closed after nearly a year,” Snyder said. “It is insane, and people are angry, and we are providing solutions.”

Snyder, 48, started his first business, New Media Strategies, from his Capitol Hill apartment in D.C. in 1999, and built up the company for several years before selling it to a publicly traded corporation. He now runs Disruptor Capital, a business that invests in startups, and touts himself as a political outsider.

“I am not a career politician. I’ve never held elective office in my life. I am a businessman and a small business champion,” Snyder said. He vowed on day one that, if elected, he would not only open up schools but “open up our economy and save the backbone of our economy and heartbeat of our community, which is small business.”

Snyder and his wife, upon watching the adverse impacts of coronavirus lockdowns take shape over small businesses, started what they dubbed the Virginia 30 Day Fund last April as a job-saving mechanism for the state. He said he and his wife realized the federal government’s CARES Act, the $2.2. trillion economic relief package passed in March, would not be sufficient.

“The average small business isn’t sitting on a year’s worth of cash reserves,” Snyder explained. “The average small business has two weeks of cash reserves and that’s it. So we gave $3,000 fully forgivable grants to small businesses to keep people on payroll, keep the lights on, pay the rent, and what started as a small little idea in Charlottesville, Virginia, ballooned into all across the nation. In Virginia we’ve saved nearly a thousand small businesses in every single corner of the state.”

Boyle drew a comparison to Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy’s Barstool Fund that has raised more than $30 million to support struggling small businesses nationwide being crushed by coronavirus mandates, to which Snyder explained that he in fact had a role in collaborating with Portnoy on the operation.

“Well, out of all things, when Dave went on Tucker Carlson and said he had enough — he was gonna start a fund — he got flooded immediately by applications for help and money, and within 24 hours, Barstool’s parent company called us up and asked to partner. So we are working with Barstool on the Barstool Fund, so my charity, it’s all falling under that umbrella of the 30-Day Foundation, and we have together helped raise $46 million for small business, and every single cent goes to those in need.” In total, the foundation has saved 2,600 small businesses, he said.

Snyder added, “So that’s the type of ingenuity and hustle that I’m going to bring to Virginia to save our economy and save small business here. We’re going to continue to work.”

The Republican candidate for governor will be nominated at a convention in May this year, and contenders alongside Snyder include state Sen. Amanda Chase, who calls herself “Trump in heels”; former Virginia House Speaker Kirk Cox, a state delegate since 1990; Glenn Youngkin, a former co-CEO of the Carlyle Group; and Sergio de la Peña, a retired Army colonel and former Department of Defense official.

Write to Ashley Oliver at [email protected].


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