John Brownlee

What Do You Expect? It's The Washington Post

A Saturday morning headline in the Washington Post, regarding the Virginia State Republican Party Convention:

3-Way GOP Rivalry Presents Tough Choice for Convention

The article elaborated on how difficult the decision would be for delegates and how close the Republican attorney general nomination contest was. But of the three candidates, the eventual winner, Senator Ken Cuccinelli, received the loudest — thunderous, in fact — applause of the day; louder even than what conservative radio and television talk show star Sean Hannity received. He obviously had the most delegates and only if delegate voting proportions were way out of whack would he lose (or if those applauding were strictly the 3,000 guests and not the 7,100 delegates that made up an attendance greater than 10-large).

After the balloting, and even before runners-up John Brownlee and Dave Foster jointly, and classfully, conceded and moved to nominate Senator Cuccinelli by acclimation, there were rumors Cuccinelli had won by a slight majority or received in the high 40-percentile, making a second ballot fruitless. However, although official numbers weren't released, a high-ranking official told me Senator Cuccinelli blew the doors off with a very large majority, even carrying Alexandria, thought to be a more moderate locale of Republicanism.

As for the lieutenant governor nomination, a very high-ranking member of the Patrick Muldoon campaign told me two months ago the former Congressional candidate would pull between 20-30 percent of the delegate vote. Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, in fact, received 84 percent, the highest percentage ever for a contested Republican nomination.

Poll: Who's Your Candidate For The Republican Attorney General Nomination?

Virginia Republicans will gather in Richmond Friday and Saturday for its state convention to nominate candidates for the statewide campaign this fall. The nomination campaign for attorney general is very competitive. Who's your choice? Vote here between now and 10:00 a.m. Saturday and click on the headline to leave us your comments as to why you support your candidate.

Fred Thompson Endorses Cuccinelli

Today, former United States Senator, and former presidential candidate, Fred Thompson, endorsed Virginia Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-37, Fairfax) for the Republican nomination for attorney general. Previously, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckaby, who also ran for president in 2008, endorsed Cuccinelli. Interestingly, it was the Tennessean, Thompson, who harshly went after Huckabee when the latter first gained traction as an upper tier candidate early in the 2008 Republican presidential primary season. An excerpt from Thompson's statement:

 "...one candidate stands out as the person dedicated to the First Principles on which our nation was founded. That candidate, Ken Cuccinelli, is the best choice for all citizens of Virginia to serve as the chief legal authority for the coming four years.

"At a time in our nation when fundamental, Constitutional rights and protections are often ignored and twisted theories are contrived to circumvent the clear mandates of our founding documents, Virginia needs an Attorney General grounded in his faith and adherence to the core principles.  Ken Cuccinelli is the person best suited to accomplish this for Virginia.

"We at FredPAC strongly endorse Ken Cuccinelli for Attorney General and urge all Virginians, regardless of Party or political persuasion, who value individual liberty and constitutional government to support his campaign."

Former U.S. Attorney for Virginia's Western District John Brownlee and former Arlington School Board member Dave Foster also are seeking the Republican 2009 nomination for attorney general. Last week, former Virginia Attorney General Jerry Kilgore endorsed Brownlee, while former Bush Administration Solicitor General Ted Olson has endorsed Foster.

Bracket Busted

Looks like former Attorney General and Republican Gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell has more than party infighting to soothe on his plate: A Democrat busted his NCAA brackets.  The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports tonight that his NCAA Basketball Tournament pool, which attracted 787 participants, was won by Greg Scanlon, a researcher for the Democrat state party. An omen or a funny irony? Of course, the T-D is billing it as an embarrassment, as if it's possible to keep out political opponents from an Internet contest or that time wasted studying the athletic strengths and weaknesses of 18-22 year-olds prepping for NBA careers is somehow meaningful. 

Earlier this week, Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-37, Fairfax) claimed to have clinched the highest bracket score among his rivals for the Republican nomination for attorney general, Dave Foster and John Brownlee

Scanlon's win might not be the bracket buster along the lines of George Mason's Final Four run a few years ago. But who knows? Maybe in the future, whichever candidates, staffers, etc., get the most brackets correct in basketball pools will replace for pundits who wins the Shad Planking sign battle as the early signal of electoral strength.

GOP AG Straw Poll Results

Virginia Republican activists Saturday voted in the first straw poll of the 2009 nomination campaign for attorney general. The poll was conducted at the annual Republican Advance, this year at The Homestead in Hot Springs, after a Saturday morning debate among the three candidates. The results: Ken Cuccinelli 47.8% (153 votes) John Brownlee 38.4% (123) David Foster 13.8% (44)

According to the Brownlee campaign, Republican Party of Virginia staff registered 530 Advance participants, translating into 210 undecideds. If one was to factor that into the calculus, the vote was:

Undecided 39.6% Cuccinelli 28.9% Brownlee 23.2% Foster 8.3%

Of course, there could be any number of reasons the 200-plus didn't attend the debate or vote in the poll. Straw polls are about as reliable as straw is sturdy. Still, it does show the GOP has a depth of qualified candidates and that despite the party's recent defeats, it hasn't discouraged good people from running for office or seeing the value in the party's nomination.