Dear Fellow Patriot,
Please read my letter in its entirety as you are being lied to by Tara Durant. My name is Matt Strickland, and I’m running to represent you in the State Senate in Richmond.
As you no doubt realize by now, you are being subjected to an expensive and desperate smear campaign from politician Tara Durant. I want to set the record straight because you deserve the truth.
THE SMEAR: Tara Durant falsely claims I supported an organization in support of transgender ideology in schools. That’s a lie.
THE TRUTH: In 2016, my wife and I opened our restaurant Gourmeltz as a food truck, achieving our dream of owning and operating a small business. One of our first opportunities was at a brewery in Arlington. The standard arrangement for such opportunities usually requires vendors to pay a setup fee to the venue.
The brewery instructed all vendors that day to direct the usual fee to a gay pride non-profit the brewery was hosting, rather than paying the brewery. I paid the set up fee like the rest of the vendors. That's it.
Tara Durant claims that since it was a gay pride group that the brewery hosted that day, and since my food truck was there, that I support radical transgender ideology in schools. As the father of four children, I am appalled by this blatant lie and attack on my character and our family’s values.
I have been a strong opponent of radical transgender ideology and extreme far-left policies in our schools at school board meetings time and time again.
Where was Tara Durant? On the sidelines, where she always is. She has yet to go to ONE school board meeting to fight for our children's or parents' rights.
THE SMEAR: Tara Durant also says I don't support Glenn Youngkin.
THE TRUTH: I proudly supported Glenn Youngkin, Winsome Sears, and Jason Miyares – the entire Republican ticket – on the campaign trail. My wife and I hosted campaign events for each of them at our restaurant. At each of those events, they railed against unconstitutional COVID mandates. They claimed they would abolish far-left progessive Ralph Northam’s mandates if they won and businesses would no longer be prosecuted for those mandates under their administration.
Virginia’s tyrannical bureaucrats revoked my health department and ABC licenses in 2021 for standing up to the COVID lockdown. I took the health department to court – and WON! -- proving the COVID mandates were unconstitutional. The health department was forced to restore my license.
I then took the fight to the ABC board – a far-left committee installed by Ralph Northam – to restore my ABC license. They refused to restore my license, even though I had already proven the mandates were unconstitutional in court.
I didn't panic. Glenn Youngkin and Jason Miyares had just won their elections, and I was confident that they would follow through with their campaign promise and stop the unconstitutional COVID mandate prosecutions.
Glenn Youngkin and Jason Miyares were sworn in and allowed the ABC to continue to persecute me for fighting COVID mandates – the same mandates they said were unconstitutional when they campaigned at my restaurant.
To add insult to injury, Attorney General Jason Miyares was the one who prosecuted me in court for not following the COVID mandates.
For not following COVID mandates 2 ½ years earlier, my restaurant was raided by the Virginia ABC in December 2022, and they took thousands of dollars in inventory as well as equipment I must use to operate my restaurant. Restaurants often survive on razor-thin margins, and unaccountable ABC goons stole my ability to provide for my family.
I was devastated. I was betrayed by politicians I voted for and supported. I was already financially strapped because of the enormous legal fees fighting these mandates for years. I wasn't sure if we would survive.
But I fought back. I exposed what was happening, and unfortunately, that involved calling out Governor Youngkin and Attorney General Miyares for breaking their campaign promise to us, the voters who elected them.
With your support and no help from the Governor or Attorney General’s office, I won my case again, and all of my products and licenses were returned to me.
Although I reached out to her for help, Tara Durant stayed on the sidelines, watching our families and my small business, along with others, be destroyed by these unconstitutional mandates.
I will gladly work with Governor Youngkin, Lieutenant Governor Sears, and Attorney General Miyares – and anyone in Richmond who will stand up for the Constitution and our civil liberties.
But my allegiance at the end of the day is to the U.S. & Virginia Constitutions and to YOU, The People. I will fight tooth-and-nail to protect and defend your rights against anyone who would trample them in Richmond.
Unlike Tara Durant, I have proven I will fight for you – even if that means holding our own party accountable.
Tara Durant is a typical politician, and she is resorting to dirty politics because she is flailing in the polls. She claims to be conservative, but she's using the same lying & cheating tactics of the Democrat party.
If she will intentionally lie to you now to get elected, what will she say or do in Richmond? She will do whatever it takes. Truth be damned.
I'm fighting to represent YOU. Unlike Tara, 100% of my campaign contributions have come from The People. That means I'm only beholden to YOU.
If you have any questions or want clarification on any issues, please call me directly. My cell phone number is (540) 200-8184. I stand by my character and principles and am ready to fight for you and our shared conservative principles in the Virginia Senate.
I ask for your support and for your vote on June 20th. Let's avoid sending another career politician with no backbone to Richmond.
P.S. Early voting is open now, Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm. You can find your voting locations here: https://www.mattforva.com/voter-info