- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 24, 2020

Aja Smith, a Black Republican candidate for California’s 41st Congressional District, is a force to be reckoned with.

A U.S. Air Force veteran who served in Qatar in 2007 during Operation Enduring Freedom, Ms. Smith has named national defense and veterans’ causes among her priority issues and has earned the endorsement of multiple pro-law enforcement organizations.

“This is truly a grassroots effort. Our campaign is fueled by over 20,000 small donors that have joined together to fight for our country and take on entrenched special interests,” Ms. Smith told The Washington Times, adding that draws inspiration from family members who have, like her, served in uniform.

“I am driven everyday by the sacrifice of those that came before me. My grandfather was a veteran of WWII, Korea, and Vietnam and my great uncle was a Tuskegee Airman pilot,” Ms. Smith said.

Photos of the aforementioned, George W. Hawkins and Rhohelia “Bob” Webb, are are proudly displayed on her campaign page.

If elected, Ms. Smith would unseat the district’s Democratic incumbent, Rep. Mark Takano, and become the first Black Republican woman to serve in Congress from California.

But it’s Silicon Valley, as much as Mr. Takano, that Ms. Smith is contending with this election season.

Ms. Smith filed a complaint on Sept. 28 with the U.S. Justice Department, concerned that she was being “shadow-banned” by major social media companies.

“On Twitter, I have over 41,000 followers and I am specifically followed by over 10,000 users, but many of my posts receive minimal interaction, in the single digits,” she said.

“My campaign has the highest percentage of small donors of any campaign nationally,” said Ms. Smith. “My campaign depends on me being able to communicate to my supporters freely. The illegal behavior by the companies has real consequences, limiting my ability while providing a boost to my opponent,” the candidate explained.

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