primaries

Primary Thoughts

Now that the dust has settled — not from the earthquake (another aftershock of 4.5 magnitude at 1:00 a.m. with possibly more in the offing) — but from Virginia's General Assembly primary season, some thoughts. First, although my prediction on Monday concerned the general election, it already has taken an embryonic form. It was an exceptional night for conservatives in numerous Republican Senate primaries, yet barely a whisper emanated from the mainstream media about this revolution. Throw in a previously held nomination contest in Hampton Roads as well as some conservatives who were unopposed. it's almost a lock that whether the GOP wins the Senate or not, its caucus, already trending to the right, may become nearly aligned with its House counterparts. But not all media are ignoring this trend or letting it slip them by. John Gizzi at Human Events recognizes it and is one of the few national columnists to trumpet the results.

If the GOP does win control of the Virginia Senate, not only will the caucus have a decidedly different philosophical bent from its past leaders, the likes of Ben Loyola, Jeff Frederick, Dick Black, Bill Carrico and Tom Garrett, among others, joining Mark Obenshain, Steve Martin, Jill Vogel and company, will create a dynamic not ever seen in Virginia history. The possibilities should jump start all ends of the conservative coalition, from social conservatives to limited government advocates, into a turbocharged grassroots effort this fall for an unprecedented opportunity — delivering both chambers of the General Assembly into conservative stewardship.

As for specific highlights: Turnout wasn't great, and there was the earthquake to deal with, but 10 percent turnout was not unexpected. What was shockingly appalling was the 2.5 percent turnout in the Southwestern 21st district. Delegate Dave Nutter took a late gamble by forsaking his safe House seat very late in the process (Roanoke Times), after denying he was interested, and jumped into the Senate race, defeating Tea Party backed Tripp Godsey. He will have to not only gain the Tea Party's enthusiastic backing, but energize a slew of activists to work hard for him to defeat entrenched liberal incumbent John Edwards. In what is still a blue district, Delegate Nutter now has even more work cut out for him.

Speaking of blue districts, now that he's won the 30th district Democrat primary, say hello to Senator Adam Ebbin. More reason than ever to turn the Senate conservative: As left as there is this side of Europe, Mr. Ebbin in the Senate majority will be able to advance every left-wing cause he advocated for in the House, but which met merciful deaths there.

In the hotly contested, newly drawn very red 22nd Senate district, where five Republicans went at it, Louisa County Commonwealth's Attorney Tom Garrett won. Some have asked whether it's a coincidence or irony that the 22nd was the epicenter of Tuesday's earthquake, as hard fought as it was. Bryan Rhode proved good looks, youth and a lot of money can't overcome among GOP voters a perceived slight to then-Attorney General Candidate Ken Cuccinelli (Lynchburg News & Advance).

Meanwhile, the Republican Party of Virginia establishment got crushed by the former state party chairman it ousted. Despite former U.S. Senator George Allen and other establishment Republicans endorsing opponent Tito Munoz, Jeff Frederick won the 36th district easily (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star). Lesson for the party royalty: Opposing Jeff Frederick typically leads to his success. He is the supremo at channeling establishment opposition into intense grassroots insurgencies that make said opposition look clueless.

Another loser — Bearing Drift. Perhaps the most influential and most read Virginia conservative political blog, and very dear friends, its endorsed candidates in the four highest profile and contested primaries took a beating — five if you consider the fact that it endorsed Rhode and Mark Peake in the 22nd, hedging its bets. The winner: Social and grassroots conservatives. In many races, all candidates had certified conservative bona fides and other factors came into play, notably, experience and electability. The latter taking in many considerations, such as residence and community involvement and name identification in the most populous portions of the district, for example.

What about the Tea Party? A surprise during the filing period was that the expected shoe did not drop on many GOP incumbents. Only one, caucus leader Tommy Norment of the 3rd district, received a challenge. Instead, Tea Party backed candidates (really, the old-line movement/grassroots conservatives) went another route, gunning instead for newly redistricted and open seats. By and large, they were successful.

Tomorrow Is Primary Day!

Tomorrow is primary day in Virginia.  There are only a few, but these elections will determine several of the nominees from both parties to run for the Virginia House of Delegates and Senate in November. Primaries normally are held in June in Virginia, but because this is a redistricting year, primary day was pushed back to give the General Assembly time to draw new districts (and for Governor Bob McDonnell to sign into law after he vetoed a blatantly partisan Democrat Senate plan first sent to him), as well as wait on Justice Department approval as per The Voting Rights Act. We encourage all Virginians who live in a district with a primary to make an informed decision and vote tomorrow. With more and more decisions made at the state level to combat the increasing encroachment of the federal government, as well as the perennially important issues such as life, marriage, school choice, parental authority, property rights, religious liberty, transparency and government reforms, having principled conservative leadership at Mr. Jefferson's capitol is more important than ever. Turnout is expected to be very light — less than 10 percent — so each vote will carry more weight and be more decisive.

There are several hotly contested primaries, especially for various Senate seats around the commonwealth, particularly on the Republican side — most likely due to the perceived momentum it has after the last two elections cycles where it cleaned up statewide offices and congressional seats. The political atmosphere is not unlike four years ago when Democrats came out of the woodwork to seek nominations to run against a wounded Republican brand, itself having been manhandled in the 2005 and 2006 elections. Democrats subsequently won the Virginia Senate from the Republicans as well as the state for Barack Obama and a U.S. Senate Seat in 2008. 

Are we in for  symmetrical reversal? It all starts tomorrow. 

If you are not yet aware if you have been redistricted into a new House or Senate district and if there is a primary where you live, below are links to today's primaries.  If you are unsure of which district you live in, click here and fill out the required information or call your local registrar. Polls are open from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Voting is at your regular precinct polling station.

Democrat Primaries – House and Senate

Democrat Primaries – Local

Republican Primaries – House and Senate

Republican Primaries - Local

We make no predictions about tomorrow or even November, except for this: If the Democrats retain control of the Virginia Senate, it will mean, according to the Mainstream Media, that President Obama is well on his way to reelection. If the Republicans win, it won't gain a headline outside the Commonwealth's borders.