Alexandra Salsman has been a very busy woman.
In addition to winning reelection as a committeewoman in Bedford Township during the Republican primary on Aug. 4 – and being voted in as vice chairman of the Lincoln County Republican Central Committee – she has also worked to successfully run Rick Harrell’s bid as Lincoln County Sheriff as a campaign consultant.
Salsman said being a campaign consultant was clearly harder, especially when trying to help run an election during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic that has gripped the nation for months. The virus led to cancel fundraisers, and made it impossible to utilize the door-to-door interactions with potential voters most candidates rely on for victory.
“It very much made the strategy different for sure,” Salsman said. “I normally have a very hearty field plan that we weren’t able to do (because of the novel coronavirus).
“We utilized social media, direct mail, digital advertising and radio ads.”
In the end, the hard work and effort paid off, in the primary election, as Harrell was able to unseat incumbent Sheriff John Cottle despite the obstacles.
“We had to keep working,” Salsman said. “Constant determined effort sweeps away all obstacles.”
Salsman also said that, though Harrell could entering a tough situation at the Sheriff’s Office, it won’t be any different from what another candidate whose campaign she successfully worked on had to go through, so she is confident Harrell will succeed in his new role.
“I have every confidence he will right the ship,” she said. “I was also the campaign consultant when Mike Wood won the county prosecutor’s race – and he walked into the same situation.
“It’ll take about six months, but he’ll get the people he needs to right the ship.”
Salsman’s role in Harrell’s victory hasn’t gone unnoticed. Through her connections at the Foundation of Applied Conservative Leadership, she's been called to Michigan to assist with the U.S. House campaign of David Dudenhoefer, who is challenging Democratic incumbent Rashida Tlaib in the state’s 13th Congressional District, which represents the Detroit area.
Tlaib is a member of “The Squad,” a group of female progressive House Democrats who were elected during the 2018 midterms, and coasted to a win in her primary.
Salsman said the GOP is running a great candidate in Dudenhoefer, who is the chairman of the district’s party committee. She said that, though the area is solid blue, she took the role as a challenge to fight socialism wherever it might take hold.
“I have walked into the belly of the beast. The (13th Congressional District) is one of the most blue districts in the country,” Salsman said. “I don’t believe socialism should ever go unchallenged, and if it’s doing that much, it means we’re already behind.”
One of the biggest differences she’s seen in Detroit is how closed off the area – and the state – is due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Salsman said Dudenhoefer’s campaign has been unable to hold fundraisers because of the heavy restrictions the state has placed on its citizens to contain the virus.
“I’m glad we’re living free in Missouri, compared to Michigan. They’re not living free in Michigan,” she said. “The amount of restrictions they have here are alarming, and I’m glad we have the choice to decide what’s best for us.”
Salsman added though Dudenhoefer is in an uphill battle to unseat Tlaib, conservatives need to “push back,” and keep seats from becoming progressive – even if they are solidly blue, and cited a major congressional upset in St. Louis as a prime example.
“If we don’t hold the line with Rashida Tlaib, it’ll eventually end up at our door,” she said. “People in Lincoln County should understand that because Cori Bush pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the country (by defeating longtime congressman Lacy Clay) – and that happened just 40 miles from us.”
Salsman calls herself a “dedicated conservative activist.” The Troy Buchanan High School graduate said she loves helping to elect good candidates that represent the values the people of her area believe in.
“Lincoln County is near and dear to my heart,” she said. “I’m raising my children here, and I work hard to elect good candidates here.”
Despite that, she is well aware of the fact Detroit is not Lincoln County. Michigan’s 13th Congressional District is located in an urban area which is nearly 80% minority, while Lincoln County is a rural area which is almost exclusively White. Nevertheless, Salsman said that doesn’t mean conservatives can’t make inroads in the district.
“I do see that disparity, but it’s not a big thing to me. It’s about liberty,” she said. “People in Detroit aren’t that different from people in Lincoln County.
“We’re all concerned about good schools, affordable healthcare and safe neighborhoods.”
Salsman also continued to say all people have felt left behind by politicians who “have sold them down the river,” regardless of race.
“Nobody owns anybody’s vote,” she said. “Nobody said only Whites can vote Republican and only Blacks can vote Democrat – and that frustrates me about the Republican Party.
“It has abandoned cities like Detroit and other urban areas.”
Salsman is also concerned the Republican Party, while still very strong in rural areas like Lincoln County, isn’t as strong in other areas because younger generations, such as Generation Z, have become more progressive – threatening the future of the party. Yet, she feels confident as these voters get older, they will start adapting conservative beliefs.
“That has always been a concern for me, and the Republican Party,” she said. “The younger you are, you’re more liberal – but you get more conservative as you get older.”
Nevertheless, Salsman believes the party can still draw younger members by getting them to show their conservatism. She understands the country currently resides in a “cancel culture,” where people who hold certain beliefs, she said, are rendered outcasts.
“To be a young conservative in the Donald Trump era is tough because we’re in a shaming culture,” Salsman said. “I teach my children to be proud of their conservative beliefs.”