Ethan Wingfield: Conservative or fraud?

Twenty-six-year-old Ethan Wingfield is running for the GOP nod for the 11th Congressional District as a conservative businessman. Since he has not held office before, one can only judge the depth of Wingfield’s conservatism on his political activism as a young man in college. Unfortunately for Western North Carolina conservatives, Ethan’s record is one any RINO or Democrat could appreciate.

During his tenure at Brown University, Wingfield was involved in the 2006 re-election campaign for liberal Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee, serving as Brown’s co-founder of “Students for Chafee.” Chafee was best known to conservatives for his support of abortion, federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research, amnesty for illegal aliens, opposition to Supreme Court Justice Sam Alito’s confirmation, as well as opposition to the Second Amendment. Chafee even opposed a bipartisan effort to ban partial birth abortion. Such a record would normally preclude any conservative, especially one with WNC values, from supporting such a candidate. Instead Ethan Wingfield supported Chafee with gusto when he was challenged by conservative Steve Laffey in 2006.

When questioned on his support for Chafee, Wingfield was quoted that he supported “‘Rhode Island Republican values,’ as represented by Chafee, from the moral conservatism backed by Laffey and many Southern Republicans.” One might ask when did Wingfield shed these Rhode Island Republican values for WNC conservatism? Chafee went on to defeat the more-conservative Steve Laffey in the primary but lose the general election that year. Chafee soon after abandoned the GOP and was elected as a liberal independent to the Governor’s Mansion in Rhode Island. This latest stint in elected office saw Chafee refuse to dedicate a Christmas tree, instead opting for the more benign label of holiday tree.

Whether it is his lack of a record of principled conservatism, his support of a liberal Northeastern RINO or his moderate approach to issues, Ethan Wingfield is clearly not the man to represent western North Carolina in Congress. I invite everyone else to research Lincoln Chafee, Steve Laffey and Wingfield’s tenure at Brown University to see if they are comforted or horrified at the prospect of Ethan Wingfield standing for you in Washington.

— Christine Gates

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