CARMEL CHURCH—E.W. Jackson, the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, had breakfast with a small gathering of locals at Denny’s Restaurant in Caroline County on Oct. 4.
Jackson, a former U.S. Marine and graduate of Harvard Law School, is a minister in Chesapeake. While sitting at a table with a half-dozen supporters, he chose to talk to them rather than finish all of the toast and eggs on his plate.
When asked what he would do for Caroline County if elected, he said, “I think Caroline is struggling with economic problems, as we are facing across Virginia. My approach is to get regulations off the backs of businesses and to provide quality education. Then we’ll see Caroline becoming a more economically viable place.”
He said he is a “big proponent of choice of schools.” If a parent is unhappy with the school that his or her child is attending, then the parent should be able to send a child elsewhere, he explained.
If a Caroline parent wanted his or her child to go to Hanover schools, Jackson said, then the child should be able to go without the family having to pay Hanover County Public Schools the annual fee, which is over $4,000. “You shouldn’t be charged for that,” he emphasized. “I have a passion for education.
“We’ve got to look at long-distance education,” he said. “There’s got to be more and more emphasis on on-line education. This will be the wave of the future. We’ve got to be sure fewer dollars are spent on administration and more on the classroom and teachers.”
As Jackson left Denny’s, Dean Russum, a truck driver from Prince George County, stood and shook Jackson’s hand. They talked for a moment, with Russum voicing his support for Jackson.
After Jackson left, the trucker driver said, “We need a man of the cloth in there. Republicans are allowing the liberal Democrats to dictate the language of issues. At the beginning of the government shutdown, non-essential personnel were sent home. Then the media said those workers must be called furloughed employees, rather than non-essential.
“I will vote for Mr. Jackson. He knows the word (the Bible). He’s a man of God, and he can communicate values.”
Russum said the average Virginian gets most of his or her information on issues facing the nation and state from a few minutes of TV viewing each day. Russum, however, listens to satellite radio talk shows all day long while driving a truck, he said.
Jackson graduated with a bachelor’s degree, Summa Cum Laude with a Phi Beta Kappa Key, from the University of Massachusetts at Boston, according to his website. Three years later he graduated from Harvard Law School. While in law school, he was accepted into the Baptist ministry and studied theology at Harvard Divinity School.
Jackson practiced small business law for 15 years in Boston, and taught regulatory law as an adjunct professor at the graduate level at Northeastern University in Boston. Since returning to his ancestral home of Virginia, he has also taught graduate courses in business and commercial law at Strayer University in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake.
In 1997, he retired from his private law practice in order to devote full time to ministry. However, he still taught law and maintained both his avid interest in – and commitment to – civic and political responsibility. His first book, “Ten Commandments to an Extraordinary Life” was published in 2008.
Jackson’s family history in Virginia dates back to the time of the Revolutionary War. According to the 1880 census, his great grandparents (Gabriel and Eliza) were a sharecropper family in Orange County. His grandfather, Frank Jackson, moved to Richmond and then to Pennsylvania where Jackson was born.
Jackson and his wife, Theodora, were sent to Boston on orders from the United States Marine Corps in 1971. Motivated by their desire for an environment more compatible with their conservative and Christian values and inspired by the knowledge that it is his ancestral home, Jackson moved back to Virginia 1998.
He is the founder of Exodus Faith Ministries, a nondenominational Christian church in Chesapeake. On July 4, 2009, he launched S.T.A.N.D. – Staying True to America’s National Destiny (www.standamerica.us), a national organization dedicated to restoring America’s founding values which were informed by the principles found within the Jewish and Christian faiths.
In recognition of his national ministry leadership, Jackson was consecrated a bishop in 1998. He and his wife, Theodora, have been married for 42 years, have three children and live in Chesapeake.