For Delaware’s Valenzuela, national spotlight brings positives and negatives

Delaware Republican Sher Valenzuela will take the stage in prime time at the Republican National Convention on Tuesday night, but her turn in the spotlight is also attracting criticism.

“All’s fair in love and politics.”  That’s a phrase Delaware’s Republican Lieutenant Governor candidate may be learning the hard way this week.

Her speech at the convention will be the highest profile appearance for a Lieutenant Governor candidate in Delaware from either party.  Sher Valenzuela will talk about small business and draw on her experience with the company she runs with her husband, First State Manufacturing.  

She is expected to rally the Republican faithful against President Obama’s comments about how government has been instrumental in helping businesses grow.  “Make no mistake, it’s the entrepreneur’s blood, sweat and tears that’s the key to any small business succeeding.  That’s why the President’s exact quote – ‘you didn’t build it – someone else did’ – rings hollow with me,” Valenzuela stated in a news release.  In fact, much of the convention will be centered around the theme “We Built This.”

But opponents are using Valenzuela’s appearance as an opportunity to go on the offensive against the Milford resident.  They say because Valenzuela has received help from the U.S. Small Business Administration with her company, her message is the one that rings hollow.  That’s why someone has set up a website mocking Valenzuela’s stance, using her own company’s name as the web address.  FirstStateManufacturing.com calls itself a “parody of an American small business.”  

The spoof includes bullet points demonstrating the ways “that government has helped our start-up, sustenance, expansion, and the bottom line.”  The faux site is getting a lot of attention on social media sites including Reddit.com, with more than 1,000 comments on an article introducing Valenzuela and the bogus web page.

The web page may not be the warm welcome to the national stage Valenzuela may have wanted, but it’s much tamer than the greeting former Delaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell received just two years ago.

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