Brandon Michon became a YouTube sensation for excoriating the Loudon County School Board over its COVID-19 shut down and is now tapping that notoriety for a congressional run to take on a vulnerable Democrat in Northern Virginia.
Mr. Michon, 35, joins a crowded Republican primary race to challenge two-term incumbent Rep. Jennifer Wexton in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District.
He told The Washington Times that he is ready to overcome enormous odds against a political neophyte because his story resonates with voters.
“We raised a very strong amount of money in the last 48 hours that’s gonna put us in very good standing out of the gate and that comes from over a thousand people,” he said last week, soon after launching the campaign. “When you think about it, how many campaigns within 48 hours on a local race have 1200 plus people and have never been in politics?”
“This is a moment where the impact of Brandon Michon with regards to being a voice for so many and I believe there’s gonna be a groundswell of support… that’s growing by the moment. We are gonna win,” he said.
His rivals for the GOP nomination include Prince William County Supervisor Jeanine Lawson who is leading what so far is an eight-candidate race in contributions. She has over $330,000 raised and almost $265,000 cash on hand.
Ms. Wexton has almost $2.5 million banked as the campaigns kick off this month.
Mr. Michon grew up in Hamilton, just outside of Leesburg in Northern Virginia. He graduated from Brigham Young University with a business management degree, married his high school girlfriend and moved to New York City, where he worked in the investment banking division at JP Morgan.
When the pandemic hit, Mr. Michon left his banking job and moved with his family back to Loudoun County. He currently runs his own business dealing with commercial real estate transactions.
However, he and his wife found themselves frustrated by their local school board after their children’s grade school shut down in-person instruction because of COVID-19.
The same issue animated parents across the commonwealth and helped fuel Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s successful 2021 gubernatorial campaign.
During the campaign, Mr. Michon was one of several parents the Youngkin campaign contacted to speak about their run-ins with the school boards. It was that experience that motivated Mr. Michon to run for office, boosted by his viral video moment confronting the board.
“We elected from Day One to be hybrid and they really never let that kickoff. And for various reasons was there were all these mitigations that had to happen, which millions of dollars went into,” he said. “Then there was everyone had to be vaccinated from the teachers’ side and administrations’ side, which eventually happened, but there was no plan.”
Mr. Michon said they went numerous times to talk to the school board and ask what the plan to reopen the school would entail. He soon discovered that many other parents had the same concerns and frustrations.
“You should all be fired from your day jobs,” Mr. Michon tells the school board in the video clip that went viral last year. “Because if your employers knew you were more inefficient than the DMV you would be replaced in a heartbeat.”
“You’re a bunch of cowards, hiding behind our children as an excuse for keeping schools closed,” he continued. “You think you’re some sort of martyrs for the decisions you’re making.”
“Figure it out! Or get off the podium, because you know what? There are people like me and a lot of other people out there who will gladly take your seat and figure it out,” he screamed. “It’s not a high bar. Raise the freakin’ bar!”
“We are booting up as we speak … but the decision to do this was not baked six months ago,” he said. “There is plenty of support. The support will continue to come. We will continue to raise the bar.”