The Washington Post

Conservative activist Ron Meyer eyes challenge to Gerry Connolly

A young Republican activist is considering a challenge next year to Rep. Gerald Connolly (D), marking an early start to campaign season in a Northern Virginia seat that few observers view as competitive.

Ron Meyer — a self-described “communications professional and youth spokesperson” best known for having helped foment a mini-rebellion against House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) — said in a statement that he was “exploring a run for Congress because I believe it is unjust, immoral, and unfair to leave an unsustainable, debt-ridden government to younger generations.”

Meyer, who lives in Herndon, will turn 25 in September 2014, barely meeting the Constitution’s age threshold to serve in Congress. “Who better to advocate for young Americans in Congress than a young American? I want to help break the gridlock at the Capitol by making a personal, powerful, and moral case for sustainable government,” Meyer said.

Meyer’s statement says he has worked as a spokesman for the conservative Young America’s Foundation and American Majority Action, and he has made frequent media appearances. He first drew real attention in December and January by helping to stir up trouble against Boehner, initally by using the hashtag “#FireBoehner” on Twitter.

Despite Meyer’s public claims that a larger mutiny was brewing, only 10 House Republicans ended up voting against Boehner’s reelection as House speaker, while two more abstained. But the effort brought Meyer a brief burst of fame in the conservative media and grassroots orbits.

“Look, I’m a 23-year-old activist who’s just starting,” Meyer told National Review for a detailed account of his involvement in the anti-Boehner movement. “Did I learn a lot of lessons? Yeah, I did. I learned a lot about politics and the media, and about trusting people.”

Meyer also told the magazine: “Maybe I’ll run for office. My outrage about these guys flaking out has actually inspired me.”

Connolly’s 11th district, which includes most of Fairfax and Prince William counties, is no longer viewed as particularly competitive by either party, since the most recent round of redistricting made it safer for Democrats.

Though Connolly beat businessman Keith Fimian (R) by fewer than 1,000 votes in 2010, the incumbent Democrat trounced retired Army Col. Chris Perkins (R) by 25 points in 2012 under the new district lines.

Meyer’s statement says he will make a final decision whether to run next month.



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