Home Staunton City Council candidate Wilson Fauber: Central casting MAGA Republican fake tough guy
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Staunton City Council candidate Wilson Fauber: Central casting MAGA Republican fake tough guy

Chris Graham
political muscle
(© Adriana – stock.adobe.com)

Wilson Fauber, flexing his political muscles on his Wilson Fauber for Staunton City Council Facebook page, isn’t afraid to tell you what he thinks.

His MAGA red meat posts highlight his position on abortion – “those willing to kill the unborn shouldn’t be allowed to govern the living,” one meme he posted tells us – in addition to “radical liberals,” and of course, guns.

“The first line of defense is guns,” Fauber wrote on one post, above a stock-image photo of the preamble to the Constitution juxtaposed with an American flag, gun and three shiny, gold-colored bullets; in another post, using the same stock image, he makes the case for Staunton to become a so-called “Second Amendment sanctuary.”

The picture painted in the messaging is central casting MAGA Republican tough guy.

Funny, then, that the self-styled internet tough guy backed out of an Oct. 10 candidates forum because the organizers wouldn’t allow him to have private armed security or armed police on hand to protect him.

“Mr. Fauber and the campaign did everything possible to negotiate a safe option for participating in this event. Unfortunately, all reasonable requests for safety were denied,” Fauber’s campaign manager, Kevin Linhares, wrote on the Facebook page on Oct. 13, in a post explaining why Fauber decided to skip the event, which was sponsored by the nonpartisan Staunton West End Business Association.

The concerns about safety were raised by the Fauber camp in the aftermath of the firestorm that resulted from the revelation on another local Facebook page that highlighted anti-LGBTQ+ posts made by Fauber, a real-estate agent and non-denominational Christian minister who serves as the vice chair of the Staunton Economic Development Authority.

Allison Profeta, who runs the Facebook page Local and Vocal in Staunton, VA, flagged the posts, which date back to 2015.

In the post, Fauber wrote, “The Bible is CLEAR that homosexuality — an attraction to the same sex, having sexual relations with the same sex — IS AN ABOMINATION TO GOD. IT IS SIN, AND SIN SEPARATES US FROM GOD,” and wrote that God’s power “is greater than Satan, and his demons. Jesus Christ can set ANY PERSON FREE FROM homosexuality, lesbianism, fornication, and EVERY sin that enslaves mankind.”

AFP staff writer Rebecca Barnabi reached out to Fauber to get his side of all of this – the political controversy over his 2015 and 2020 Facebook posts, and the subsequent pushback over his decision to skip the candidates forum.

Linhares responded on behalf of Fauber.

“Good morning, Ms. Barnabi. Thank you for your interest, however, Mr. Wilson will not be granting any further interviews at this time. All of the information on these topics and his campaign can be found on his campaign Facebook page,” Linhares wrote back.

With Fauber’s Facebook page as our guide, then, it’s clear at this point that the Fauber campaign is now effectively a referendum on his position on LGBTQ+ civil rights, which may not be the best political fight to wage in Staunton, where Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump by a 10-point margin in 2020, Terry McAuliffe defeated Glenn Youngkin by four points in 2021, and progressive candidates swept all three seats in the 2022 Staunton City Council elections.

Fauber seems to understand that he has backed himself into a corner politically. Evidence of this includes the “shout-out” that he gave in an Oct. 14 Facebook post to “those in the LGBTQ community in Staunton who have generously donated to my campaign and those who have my campaign sign firmly planted in their yard. They understand I don’t hate them, or anyone for that matter.”

When pressed by a commenter to identify who those supporters are, Fauber responded that he “would never out someone,” which is, of course, awfully convenient.

Fauber also defended himself on the LGBTQ+ issue in a lengthy Oct. 7 Facebook post.

Hate is an extreme emotion.

I do not hate anyone or any group of people. Every person has a right to exist and be respected. Just because I do not agree with everything you do, say, or your lifestyle does not mean I despise, reject, or hate you. It also does not mean I am biased against others.

I would like to challenge anyone to provide any post or comment stating I hated anyone or any group. You won’t find it because I have not said it.

The Bible teaches readers how we should live and conduct our lives in a manner that is pleasing to God. I believe the Bible is God’s Word; I did not write it. I have a right to believe in the Bible and quote the Bible. In doing so, that does not make me a hater, homophobe, or a bad person. Studies show that most Americans, (and I believe most Stauntonians), agree with my positions of faith and trust in God.

There is room in Staunton for diversity, but no one should demand I or anyone else accept or agree with a lifestyle my/our faith teaches is sin. Yes, the Bible uses the word “abomination.” That is God’s word, not mine. I have rights, too. I have the right to free speech and to my spiritual beliefs.

I still love the human race and look for the good in people. Just because some call me names does not make their words accurate. I know who I am, and regardless of what some say, I still love people with and through the love of God that dwells in me.

Words will not destroy me or cause me to stumble. I am the right choice for Staunton City Council.

wilson fauber
Screenshot: Wilson Fauber/Facebook

Of note here is that after Fauber played the “do not hate” card on his candidate Facebook page, he posted an anti-LGBTQ+ meme – “Discussing a minor’s gender or sexual confusion without parent’s consent is grooming. Stop Grooming” – on his personal Facebook page on Oct. 13.

One commenter on that post, Jen Stamer, called attention to the conflicting positions.

“You claim to have had generous donations from the LGBTQ+ community, and yet you post this extremely offensive meme about that very community? You have a strange way of doing things. I’m guessing that there have been 0 donations from anyone in the LGBTQ+ community. Hmmm,” Stamer wrote on Oct. 14, referencing the post that Fauber made to his campaign page earlier that day, with no response from Fauber.

Fauber’s approach to try to get beyond the ongoing controversy over the anti-LGBTQ+ posts at this point appears to be to borrow from the Donald Trump playbook, with one post on the candidate Facebook page from Linhares accusing Fauber’s opponent, Adam Campbell, of “dirty politics,” and another making Fauber out to be something of a martyr.

“Let me be very clear. Because of all the vitriol and hate towards me being spewed on my site, there have been additional direct threats and even verbal assaults in public,” Fauber wrote in a post to his candidate page on Wednesday. “We are choosing when and if to contact authorities about these incidents, and we do not intend to share with the public when they occur. We have put in place private security measures to get us through to the election. I will not be bullied or intimidated into submission by these radical groups and individuals. I stand firm on my decisions, my direction and fully intend to win this election.”

It’s important to point out here that Profeta, on her Local and Vocal in Staunton, VA, Facebook page, has reported that she had made Freedom of Information Act requests to the Staunton Police Department and the Staunton’s Sheriff’s Office, and found that Fauber had not filed any reports of direct threats with local authorities, though he did ask both the PD and the sheriff’s office to investigate a comment posted on one Facebook thread in which a man named Dusty Gregory observed that the Constitution protects one’s right to free speech, “but it doesn’t protect you from the consequences of that speech. You’re no different than a Neo Nazi that thinks they won’t get hit,” and then sent a screenshot of another comment to Staunton Sheriff Chris Hartless.

That comment:

“Wilson Fauber: I don’t think you’re important enough for most people to want to harm you. Instead, the message is that you are a dangerous extremist full of hate for some members of the community. On top of that, you are doubling down and using your poor understanding of scripture to confirm your hate. I’m sure you consider yourself a good person, but there are lots of good people who are not cut out for positions of leadership. Staunton can do much better.”

“Neither he nor the (s)heriff responds to that screenshot, so I cannot for the life of me figure out why he sent it. But Jesus take the wheel if he thinks that is even remotely threatening,” Profeta wrote.

We tried to meet with Fauber to ask about the contacts with the PD and the sheriff’s office, among the many other issues that have come up with Fauber’s campaign in recent weeks, but typical for a Donald Trump clone, just as he skipped the candidates forum last week, Fauber didn’t want to take our questions.

It’s no doubt easier to sit behind a computer and accuse your opponent of “dirty politics” and cherry-pick passages from a 2,000-year-old book to buttress your narrow-minded world view while playing the victim card than it is to subject yourself to any level of accountability.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].