Jimmy LaSalvia is a political commentator, consultant and speaker based in Washington, DC. In 2009, Jimmy founded GOProud to represent gay conservatives and their allies; he served as its full-time executive director until 2013. Under his leadership, GOProud became one of the highest profile gay political organizations in the country. Jimmy helped to build the organization across the country and lobbied to pass legislation in numerous state capitols and in Washington, DC. A long- time conservative activist, Jimmy has held volunteer and professional staff positions in Republican campaigns and Party organizations in South Dakota and Kentucky. Jimmy has appeared on the FOX News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Post, and other media outlets. His public speaking engagements have included speeches at Columbia University, Princeton University, Tufts University, George Washington University, Smith College, and other colleges and universities. He is also a frequent speaker and panelist at conservative conferences and programs.
KW: You grew up as a Gen-Xer in Kentucky and came from a Military family. Can you tell us about how your upbringing influenced you into becoming involved in politics? How did you come to be a Republican?
JL: I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s in an Air Force family during the height of the Cold War. My dad’s job was to drop bombs out of B-52s, and then B-1’s. So that era and my proximity to the reality of it certainly influenced my opinions foreign affairs and national security. We moved to Ellsworth AFB in western South Dakota when I was 15, and I ended up spending about 10 years there. The mountain west libertarian conservatism – the pioneer spirit of individual liberty – really resonated with me and helped to shape my political thought. I got involved in local Republican politics there, and ended up working on campaigns, and for the governor.
KW: Why are you a Conservative? Where do you see the Conservative Movement headed in the coming years?
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