The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports on its Web site this afternoon something we reported Wednesday: That Republican Ernesto Sampson will run for the 69th House of Delegates seat. Sampson, a financial services advisor and VMI grad, will make it official at a campaign kickoff event tomorrow. Interesting headline, however, from the T-D: "Republican expected to seek Hall's House seat," as if Democrat former Delegate Frank Hall owned it. But that's the mainstream media for you.
Sampson, who is originally from Suffolk, is black, and favors charter schools. Whichever one of the three Democrats he faces will create an interesting match-up: Antione M. Green, president of the Richmond Crusade for Voters; Betsy Carr, a Richmond School Board member; and Carlos Brown, a corporate finance lawyer. Green is only 30; Brown either doesn't live in the district yet, or has only moved into it recently; and Carr is white (as is Hall), while the district is majority black.
Depending on how bruising that battle is, and who the eventual nominee is, it may give Sampson an opening, based on race, experience or carpetbagging. Interesting issue note here: Carr was one of the five school board votes that barely approved Virginia's first charter elementary school last year, while Green was a tireless supporter for it. That can't make the powerful teachers union, which plays a big role in Democrat nomination fights, happy. That may cause a further rift. Sampson has made charter schools a major plank in his platform.