RPV Convention Night One: Night Of RumorsJun 16, 2012
If Day One of the 2012 Republican Party of Virginia Convention was dominated by the party's central committee voting to change its 2013 nominating contest from a primary to a convention, then the subsequent nightfall was dedicated to the rumor mill (as noted here). As we were the first (or one of the first) to report, Senator Steve Martin of Chesterfield and his new bride Rebecca are seriously and prayerfully considering a run for the 2013 GOP nomination for Lt. Governor. Tonight, though, at convention hospitality suites for already announced candidates, that notion was gaining attraction. But it didn't stop there. Other names floated for the number two spot — whether it is wishful thinking by hopeful or would be supporters or whether there was at least a shred of merit to it — were as numerous as the clouds in the sky. Number one on many wish lists was former Delegate Bill Fralin from Roanoke. The easy going and bright conservative attorney would be, perhaps, the only candidate for any of the three spots currently running or rumored to be running from western Virginia. Also in his favor was the great rapport he established within the Republican caucus and activists as well as the fact that he term limited himself despite being a star on the rise.
Another name was one I alluded to in the previous post but did not name: Delegate Scott Lingamfelter from Prince WIlliam. A solid conservative and retired Army colonel — he led the tank expedition into Kuwait during the liberation of that country during the Persian Gulf War — he also is a Second Amendment leader, pro-marriage and pro-life. Several convention delegates brought up his name tonight with some authoritatively declaring it was a done deal and his papers had been filed to run.
There were whispers of another Western Virginian, though not to the extent of other potential candidates: Senator Steve Newman from the Lynchburg area. He has long served on the Education and Health Committee. He's had some role in education reform and a long-time vote for pro-life and pro-marriage legislation. He was a co-patron of the Marriage Amendment.
Lastly, former Senator Jean Marie Devolites-Davis, from Fairfax, the wife of former Congressman Tom Davis. Both were making the rounds tonight. While there is no doubt she could raise substantial amounts of campaign cash, she was trounced out of her seat in 2007 and is considered to be a "moderate" as per her husband's persona, and would have a very difficult time gaining support of grassroots conservatives.