As families across North Carolina headed to the beach, festivals, and family celebrations for Memorial Day, Rep. Virginia Foxx, R- N.C, is on the move. On Sunday, the nine-term congresswoman who calls Banner Elk in Watauga County home is traveling an hour and 15 minutes via mountainous and windy N.C. Highway 105 and 221 to the Ashe County Cemetery for the annual Memorial Day event, which she attends nearly every year.
On Memorial Day she will head an hour and a half east to Wilkes County, to visit with the Veterans of Foreign Wars. She will then motor up north over an hour to Allegheny County to attend a memorial remembrance there.
“When it comes to Memorial Day, I attend all the events I can and all I am invited to, to remember those who sacrificed so much for us to be free,” said Foxx.
Foxx did miss some of the Memorial Day events back home in 2006, but for good reason. She joined President Bush in the Oval Office as he signed the Heroes Earned Retirement Opportunities Act into law. The bill, authored by Foxx, amended the IRS Code of 1986 to allow members of the Armed Forces earning hazard pay to make Individual Retirement Account contributions.
“If anyone has earned the opportunity to save for their retirement, it is our military heroes who risk their lives daily to protect our freedoms,” said Foxx at the time.
Winning every U.S. House election since 2004 with no recent general election closer than 14%, and no recent Republican primary closer than 35%, Foxx recently sought and received the endorsement of former President Trump. One might think that Foxx, now well into her seventh decade, might slow down.
But her friends and former staff say that’s not Foxx.
“She is like the energizer bunny and needs very little sleep,” says Todd Poole, who served as Foxx’s chief of staff for five years. “She outworks all her much younger staffers and always looks to better serve her district. As her longest-serving chief-of-staff, I saw firsthand that her work ethic is unmatched and her ability to connect and serve her constituents are exactly what the framer of our constitution has in mind when they sought servant leaders.”
Her pace is not just the Memorial Day weekend and high-profile holidays. It is every weekend.
On a beautiful early May spring Saturday, with temperatures in the 60s, with the pinkshell azaleas, mountain laurel, and red rhododendron, all blooming on Grandfather Mountain and throughout the high country, Foxx is not taking time to smell the roses.
She is holed up in her home office, making calls and raising money for the National Republican Congressional Committee work to recapture the U.S. House in 2022, an effort she sees as critical to slowing down the Biden administration march to a massive expansion of government.
For the past 17 years, Foxx has represented North Carolina’s 5th District in the U.S. House of Representatives. She is in a class by herself when it comes to retail politics. She knows every store owner, shopkeeper, and small businessperson in the rural parts of her district. She is known for occasionally dropping by, just to say hello to her constituents. She is the living definition of “shoe-leather politics.”
“No one will ever outwork Virginia Foxx, not one day, not ever,” says Poole. “Her story is one of the American Dream. She came from humble beginnings and had the work ethic, drive, and determination to overcome the challenges life threw her way Unlike many who enter the political arena, she has no silver spoon in her mouth. Any success her family has enjoyed is through hard work and intelligence.”
“I do have tremendous stamina; I work 18 hours a day, because that is what the job requires, and what the people of my district deserve,” Foxx told Carolina Journal.
Foxx sees the Biden, Pelosi, Schumer regime and the “shocking” sprint to the left as a threat to ideals and principles that make North Carolina and America great.
“It is a nightmare to see where they are going right now,” Foxx says. “It’s depressing, but we have to keep plugging away. We are working so hard to get back into the majority.”
In Congress, Foxx has established herself as a champion of conservative values and has helped lead the movements to reduce wasteful federal government spending while attempting to hold the government accountable and make it more transparent, and she sees Biden and the democrats racing the other direction.
“The administration is determined to get people hooked on taxpayer dollars coming from the federal government,” said Foxx. “Their arrogance is unbelievable. They are hell-bent and organized.”
Foxx says recent job reports should send up alarm bells.
“Unemployment is going up, but there a lot of jobs to fill,” she said. “Recently, the McDonald’s in Boone had to close because they could not find enough people to work, and Boone is a college town? How crazy is that!?”
Foxx says America is heading for a tipping point.
“I think they may want to create some counter-revolution, a real uproar when the checks are cut-off, but the current path is not only bad, it is simply unsustainable,” she said.
Despite huge victories in the past, Foxx expects the “fight of her life” in running for her 10th term, although a challenger has not been announced.
She draws her conversation with CJ to a quick end. “I have people to call and constituents to go visit,” said Foxx.