Stephen Hunt

The In-Fightin' 37th: So Long To The Senate

Rumors are bouncing off the statues in Capitol Square and, for some Republicans, the inauguration bloom of its statewide sweep has come off before the big event Saturday. It all has to do with the loss of Stephen Hunt to Dave Marsden in the 37th Senate district special election Tuesday to fill the seat left vacant with the election of Ken Cuccinelli as attorney general. A 300 vote loss which may put some close votes out of reach of Republicans in a Virginia Senate with an expanded Democrat majority in the will do that.

Among the small talk in the GAB and Capitol Square is that Cuccinelli wanted to "run" the campaign since he has an extensive and dedicated grassroots network in place, while the McDonnell people said it was now their turf as head of the party. Others say the loss belongs solely to those responsible for the lack of an absentee ballot apparatus that lost those votes by more than 400, more than the margin of difference. Others blame the Fairfax GOP, that they were lethargic and/or overconfident: While Hunt did well in Dem precincts, even winning some Cuccinelli lost in 2007, he didn't have anywhere near Cuccinelli's margins in Republican precincts.

Adding to the frustration — and infighting — is the other hot rumor: That a Democrat senator would have retired if Hunt had one, apparently one who represents a conservative district, allowing for another special election which would've tipped the chamber back to the GOP. Instead, the Dems, despite their November shallacking, are as emboldened as ever in the Senate, and prepared to stifle the new governor's agenda.

Breaking: Marsden Wins 37th Senate District Special Election

It appears that a well run absentee ballot campaign was a crucial difference for Delegate Dave Marsden tonight in the Democrat's win to fill the 37th Senate district seat vacated by Attorney General-elect Ken Cuccinelli. Delegate Marsden defeated Republican Stephen Hunt by 11,943 to 11,626 with all 39 precincts reporting, according to the Fairfax County Registrar's office. Delegate Marsden beat Hunt by more than 2-1 in absentee ballots: 800-395. Delegate Marsden's win extends the Democrats' majority in the Virginia Senate to two seats, 22-18. It also will necessitate another special election to fill Marsden's delegate seat. Republican Kerry Bolognese, who barely lost to Marsden in November, would seem to be an early favorite to win the seat should he choose to run.

Hunt Attends Fairfax Candidate Forum, Marsden Blows It Off

Video became available over the weekend of Thursday night's Fairfax Family Forum candidate forum, held at Fair Oaks Church, for the candidates in the 37th Senate district special election. But an peculiar thing happened on the way to the forum. Only one candidate showed up — Republican Stephen Hunt. Democrat Dave Marsden apparently had another agenda and couldn't find time to talk to voters about family and traditional values. An interesting tactic coming from any candidate who wants to represent "all the people." It's one thing to respectfully disagree, and at least hear where certain constituents come from on their views. It's another to blow them off entirely. Even Barack Obama took questions from Pastor Rick Warren at his Saddleback Church. We'll see if this serves to further motivate values voters to turn out to the polls.

The election is tomorrow, January 12. The district is in Fairfax County and polls are open from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

The election is necessary because of the vacancy in the seat due to the election of Attorney General-elect Ken Cuccinelli. Here is a portion of the forum as provided by the Fairfax Family Forum via Viemo:

Republican Steve Hunt attended the Fairfax Family Forum candidate forum for the candidates in the 37th Senate district special election. His opponent, Democrat Dave Marsden, must have had something else to do, rather than discuss with voters issues regarding family and traditional values.

Virginia News Stand: January 7, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations Brit And Tiger, Lisa And Isabella

The News Stand had an unexpected return to hiatus the last two days because of a sudden illness. The News is dominated by Governor-elect Bob McDonnell's cabinet — who he picked, how much salary they'll make (his as well), and what they'll be allowed to do in their off-time.  

In political news, the Washington Post looks at the issue of Delegate Dave Marsden's residency in the 37th Senate district special election (January 12). Delegate Marsden, who is running against Republican Stephen Hunt, moved into the district only a few weeks ago and lives in a room in a friend's house. Hunt, meanwhile, is hoping to hold the seat vacated by Attorney General-elect Ken Cuccinelli, and is expected to be the only candidate to appear tonight at the Fairfax Family Forum candidate forum. Meanwhile, values and faith issues occupy the National News and Commentary sections: The Isabella Miller custody case has the attention of Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist Michael Paul Williams, who quotes our president, Victoria Cobb, and Fox News Channel's Brit Hume has raised the hackles of some with his comments on Tiger Woods . . . specifically, how he can save his spiritual life through Jesus.  

News

Va. state Senate candidate Marsden faces residency issue (Washington Post)

McDonnell announces three more Cabinet choices (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McDonnell picks N.Va. executive for technology post (Washington Post)

McDonnell, Cabinet to take unspecified pay cuts (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McDonnell will reduce salaries (The Daily Press)

McDonnell vows to cut his own pay (Roanoke Times)

McDonnell OK with secretary on boards (Roanoke Times/Norfolk Virginian-Pliot)

Sledd defends keeping corporate board seats (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McDonnell to let Va. Cabinet heads serve on corporate boards (Washington Post)

Public can weigh in on state budget today (The Daily Press)

Two GOP lobbyists switching firms (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Loudoun County's nondiscrimination policy expanded to protect gays (Washington Post)

Businessman Scott Rigell launches congressional campaign (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Contempt citation sought in same-sex custody case (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

National News

Comments on Buddhism, Tiger Woods upset faithful (AP/Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Gay-marriage foes slam plans to televise Prop 8 trial (Washington Times)

Commentary

*Custody case defies ideology in some ways (Michael Paul Williams/Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Persecution for the Brit Hume Witness (Peter Sprigg/FRC Blog)

Update: Winning Matters In The 37th Senate District Special Election

During the recent statewide campaign, we and our sister organization, TFF Action, ran an unprecedented — and massively successful — voter education campaign, Winning Matters. Although we anticipated a wind down after the election in November, Winning Matters remains in high gear for the crucial special election for the 37th district Virginia Senate seat (in Fairfax, January 12) vacated by Republican Attorney General-elect Ken Cuccinelli. Winning Matters retained a staff of three (two field reps in Fairfax and a project manager) which has produced, and is distributing, thousands of paper and online voter guides in English, Spanish and Korean to churches, civic groups and area businesses. It also is providing absentee ballot applications for people not be able to vote in person on the 12th. Winning Matters also is working with churches to announce the election and/or put it in their bulletins as a reminder to their members to go out and vote.

If you are interested in helping Winning Matters with this crucial special election, between Republican Stephen Hunt and Democrat Dave Marsden, especially within your church, please contact Roger Pogge at 804-343-0010 or e-mail him at roger@familyfoundation.org

Although the campaign is a short one, it has been hot for a while, probably because it is so crucial to the makeup of the Virginia Senate, which the Democrats currently control by one seat. Among the issues: Marsden now claims to be for lower taxes, despite his history of votes to raise them; the fact that he moved into a friend's house to be eligible to run for the seat; and, of course, it wouldn't be a campaign in Virginia if life and abortion weren't part of the (misleading) discussion. If Hunt wins for the GOP, it will remain within striking distance of winning crucial votes, with Lt. Governor Bill Bolling breaking ties. If Marsden pulls it out for the Dems, the left will have a little leeway with a second vote to spare. One seat might not sound like much, but whoever wins the election can change the dynamics of the entire Virginia Senate. Which is why winning matters.

Dave Marsden Now Is A Low Tax Guy?

It may be December, and it may be a one month campaign, but it's already a hot one in the 37th Senate District special election (to be held January 12) to fill the seat of Attorney General-elect Ken Cuccinelli. It was guaranteed to be so from the beginning: The Dems think the seat belongs to them because of they way Fairfax County has trended recently. As the number one targeted Republican in 2007, they thought they had Cuccinelli dead in their sights, but he escaped with a victory of less than 100 votes. (Now, he's attorney general, surely to endless liberal heartburn, mental anguish, knashing of teeth and sleepless nights.) But a Democrat victory now would be a welcome buttress to its current one seat firewall against GOP policy initiatives.

However, the climate is much different now. The GOP did very well in Fairfax in November and has momentum and the weight of landslide victors Governor-elect Bob McDonnell and re-elected Lt. Governor Bill Bolling as well as Cuccinelli behind its nominee, Stephen Hunt. Hunt has been elected county wide before (to the Fairfax County School Board), while the best the Demscould come up with is Delegate Dave Marsden (D-41, Fairfax), who barely won re-election in November to his House seat, which partially overlaps the Senate district.

But it's not only a matter of a changed political atmosphere, but also Marsden's residency, at least for now. He doesn't live in the district, but a couple of weeks ago took up in a room in a friend's house that is in the district (see Washington Times).

But political climate and residency aren't the only things that have changed. Now, Delegate Marsden claims to be a low-tax guy. Talk about reading political tea leaves, or at least election results. In a recent direct mail piece, Delegate Marsden stakes out the low-tax mantle, claiming he will  "Hold the line on taxes," although he has consistently voted for numerous tax increases in the House of Delegates, including this $2 billion increase (click here) in 2008. It would have raised taxes on car and home purchases (just what we need in a recession) and encouraged a Northern Virginia sales tax increase.

When voters ask for change, residency and glossing over voting records isn't what they have in mind. Virginia Democrats won several elections in Virginia prior to November by basically saying, "We're not Republicans." Now, facing a statewide catastrophe, they have to say who they are, for once. According to the mailer released by Delegate Marsden, they still aren't.

Virginia News Stand: December 2, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations The Hunt Is On

Stephen Hunt won the three-way Republican "fire house" primary last night to secure the 37th Senate District nomination in the January 12 special election to fill the term of Attorney General-elect Ken Cuccinelli. Hunt, a former member of the Fairfax County School Board, won the heavy turnout primary handily over his two opponents. He now takes on Delegate Dave Marsden (D-41, Fairfax) who, until several days ago, didn't live in the district. He is renting a room from a friend who does in order to be eligible. Meanwhile, Governor-elect Bob McDonnell continues his PR offensive. Following up his meeting with House Democrats, he now will meet with leaders of the Senate. More substantively, he's asked for detailed reports from all state agencies in order to find efficiencies in a deficit-ridden budget. A good start. But ideas, if not money, are in large supply, and the governor-elect is getting them from everyone, from within and outside of his cadre. We post two, from Pat Nolan and Mike Thompson, both of Bacon's Rebellion

Nationally, the left is losing it, and it doesn't get any better than that as far exposing who they are. Chris Matthews calls West Point cadets the "enemy" and the liberal mayor of Baltimore won't resign despite a theft conviction. Polls show independents fleeing the Obama/liberal camp, including young voters (ask soon-to-be-former Delegate Shannon Valentine) as Matt Friedeman of Rightly Concerned Blog notes.

But it's ClimateGate that continues to expose the left, particularly for putting ideology over science. Hmmm. Where have we heard that before? Now, look, it really is true, but it's the left that's been doing it all along. Just goes to show you . . . when the other side screams loud accusations at your side, it normally means it is they who are doing that which they accuse you. In other words, they're cracking up.

News:

McDonnell asks for detailed reports from state agencies (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McDonnell to meet with Senate leaders (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Republicans nominate Hunt in 37th senate district (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

'Firehouse primary' gets busy turnout (Washington Times)

Houck says localities will feel pinch (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)

Analysis:

Common Sense Prison Reforms Will Help McDonnell Close Budget Gap (Pat Nolan/Bacon's Rebellion)

Huge Opportunities for our Incoming Governor (Mike Thompson/Bacon's Rebellion)

National News:

'ClimateGate' deception continues to unfold (OneNewsNow.com)

Global warming e-mail scandal prompts resignation (AP/OneNewsNow.com)

Tempers flare as Senate debates healh care (AP/OneNewsNow.com)

After police killings, Huckabee defends clemency for suspect (Washington Post)

In D.C., a rift over plights for civil rights, gay rights (Washington Post)

Baltimore Mayor found guilty of stealing vows to stay on (AP/OneNewsNow.com)

Commentary:

All the president's Climategate deniers (Michelle Malkin/OneNewsNow.com)

Chris Matthews Calls West Point 'Enemy Camp' (Elijah Friedeman/The Millennial Perspective, Rightly Concerned Blog)

Young People Waking Up, Turning on Democrats (Matt Friedeman/Rightly Concerned Blog)

Polls Show Democrats Are in Trouble (Elijah Friedeman/The Millennial Perspective, Rightly Concerned Blog)