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Spirit of VMI PAC Endorses Suetterlein, 16 Others For General Assembly

In the crucial elections for the Virgina House and Senate the Spirit of VMI is endorsing seventeen candidates. This election is seen as one of the most important elections in the history of the Commonwealth and a referendum on the work of the Youngkin administration. With a goal of capturing both Houses, Governor Youngkin has worked hard to support candidates and encourage the vote.

The goal of the Spirit VMI is to support candidates that understand the value of the Virginia Military Institute and its great worth and unique experience. We believe that value is derived from these five pillars:

  • VMI Honor Code: clear, fair, firm – our bulwark

  • Educating young men and women: without social or political bias

  • The Regimental system (VMI’s military leadership system): equal opportunity for merit-based advancement for all cadets

  • The Class system: camaraderie and lifelong friendships

  • The VMI Ratline: the crucible that is the foundation of the Brother Rat spirit

The VMI PAC endorsement states: David Suetterlein is a candidate for SD 4. He is a realtor in Roanoke County and was elected to the Senate in 2015. He has established himself as a conservative leader who has helped to build successful bipartisan coalitions on tax relief, fair electric rates, and increased education opportunities.

Profiles of the other 16 candidates the VMI PAC has endorsed can be found here.


In a Nov. 4 statement, Spirit of VMI PAC Chairman Matt Daniel ’85 wrote this to supporters, explaining what brought VMI and his organization to this point:

Most storms begin with a light rain.

The light rain started when Virginia Governor Ralph Northam found himself in trouble after the public exposure of his racist past. A group of politicians saw his exposure as an opportunity to gain political yardage in their assault to indoctrinate Americans into Critical Race Theory and its accompanying ideologies.

The rain picked up and the winds began when the rabid passel demanded Northam turn on his alma mater and his brother rats. Already recognized as a weak man, Northam reinforced it as he buckled to pressure and publicly condemned VMI as a backwards, unfair, discriminatory, racist enterprise at its core.

The heavy stuff started when the accusations became demands to remove history, to change policy, to absorb harmful and divisive ideologies.

Incredibly, VMI, her Board of Visitors and the Alumni Association, on the advice of their counsel and lobbyists acquiesced. Caved. Totally BOHICA’d. The leftist political class in Richmond had drawn blood and they were thirsty for more.

Of note: the voice for pushback and support from the General Assembly was predictably muffled. Predictably, the party in power of all 3 chambers was the same party that strong armed their weak-chinned governor and they have never walked it back.

A healthy storm was underway and there was not a raincape or even an umbrella in sight.

Lightning was flashing and thunder was booming when OUT went the superintendent and much of his staff. DOWN came statues and memorials, AWAY WENT names and historical references, UPENDED were policies and mainstay VMI pillars, ZEROED were traditions, story and lore. Then, ADDED was an unnecessary and awkward office that called for oppressed/oppressor admission, shaming for ancestry and upbringing, over-zealotry in forcing non-traditional sexual identity, behavior and alignment. Physical fitness and academic and admissions standards decayed and in the making was a roadmap for the time-lapse-photography of institutional disintegration, all in the name of righting wrongs that were inaccurately asserted.

Where the Northam-appointed VMI BoV failed, Smith Hall made the problem worse, and much, though not all, of the cocktail party class of VMI donors had called the situation incorrectly and had become complicit.

When good and fair and courageous people pay attention and get involved, good things happen, and things begin to move back to equilibrium.

Luckily, a handful of VMI alumni cared and were motivated enough to build shelters, issue raincapes and umbrellas, and help bring VMI in from the storm. And they recruited others, teams of these alumni, friends and family members, loosely aligned, addressed the situation and built semi-permanent structures for when the next political storm threatens.

The Spirit of VMI is one of these alumni groups trying to create those semi-permanent storm shelters. Taking the form of relationships and connections with candidates who agree to stand up for and support VMI in the face of future troubles, the Spirit of VMI has helped candidates with their campaigns in all three branches of Virginia state-wide politics. We have financially supported 17 candidates in this election cycle where the entire Virginia General Assembly is standing for election.

We are proud of our work and urge you to follow the candidates we support. They are good people. We ask you to connect and communicate with them. Support them at the ballot box and when they win their seats.

Thank you for following us and please donate so we can continue our important work. These are the final days of our friends’ campaigns. The funds you donate will support them, in the name of defending VMI.

— Matt Daniel

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