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FairfaxBlack conservative touts values to GOP gathering

Black conservative touts values to GOP gathering

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Democrats rack up most of the African-American vote each election cycle, but former NFL safety and Chesapeake City Council member Don Carey III thinks that outcome is not inevitable.

“There is no divide between being a Republican and being a black man,” said Carey, who spoke at the Northern Virginia Republican Business Forum’s Feb. 17 breakfast at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner.

Carey, who turned 35 in January, in May 2020 won one of three available at-large seats on the Chesapeake City Council, earning the most votes among seven candidates in the non-partisan election.

According to a Detroit Free Press article, Carey geared up for the campaign like a professional football player: by doing extensive preparatory work.


He obtained the requisite signatures early and was the first to file, gaining top placement on the ballot – which he said often gives candidates a 5-percent voting boost.

Carey also had campaign signs printed early, so as to take full advantage of the 60-day window for displaying them, and scheduled his advertising for strategic points in the campaign, the article read.

Not many black Republicans live in the Hampton Roads area, and residents there have cultural, religious and socio-economic differences, Carey said.
“But the binding agent that keeps us together to work for the common cause is conservatism,” Carey said.

Carey likened that political philosophy to a football team’s playbook, which sets forth goals and unites people. Football teams are microcosms of society in which people from all walks of life band together and work toward a particular goal, he said.

Born in Grand Rapids, Mich., Carey graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in Norfolk and played football at Norfolk State University before graduating in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in building-construction technology.

The Cleveland Browns drafted Carey in the sixth-round of the 2009 NFL draft. He played safety and other positions for 10 years in the National Football League, also doing stints with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Detroit Lions before retiring and moving to Chesapeake in 2019.

The Lions in 2016 gave him the team’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Award for his work in implementing youth-literacy programs at two Detroit high schools.

Carey and his wife, Lakeisha, have three children. While he was still in the NFL, the couple established the Don Carey REECH (Reaching, Educating and Empowering Our Children) Foundation, which now operates out of Tidewater. The foundation focuses on STEM education, physical and mental health, college and vocational preparation, and social and moral responsibility.

Carey has retained his athletic build and gives the impression he still can dust people in the 40-yard dash. He published a book in 2017, “It’s Not Because I’m Better Than You,” and according to his campaign’s Website was studying for a master’s degree in theological studies with a focus on the Old Testament.

The U.S. is unlike any other country in history, Carey told the audience at the Tysons breakfast.

“The framework of America has given all people the ability to live that American dream,” said Carey, who has formed a group called Conservative Reformation to protect that prospect.

The political left now controls many levels of American society, including the White House, news media, educational institutions and Silicon Valley, Carey said. Some voters have rejected the left’s ideology and moved to the Republican side.

“The vast majority of people who are leaving [the Democratic Party] are saying, ‘They’re crazy,’” Carey said.

But those moves are not necessarily permanent unless the GOP cements its relationship with the electorate.

“We have not done a great job being evangelists for conservatism,” Carey said.

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