Now that Russ Potts is has come to the realization that his re-election was a longshot and has retired, the hot-topic Republican primary for this season is in the 28th District where a clearly embattled John Chichester is all but certain to face off against a Republican challenger in a primary. Rumors have been flying about different potential challengers, and one name I’ve heard mentioned really seems to be a credible challenger who really would have a good shot at winning. He hasn’t announced that he’s running, but I hope he will soon.
John Van Hoy, of Fredericksburg, is a former chairman of the Stafford Republican Committee, serves as a member of the Republican State Central Committee for the 1st Congressional District, and is a successful businessman who has served as president of Van’s Construction Co. since 1994. Van Hoy is vice president of Rappahannock Geological Products Inc., vice chairman of the Stafford County Utility Commission, and a member of the State Water Commission. He also has held numerous leadership positions in the community, including chairman of Friends of the Rappahannock, of which he has been a member since 1993, and co-founder of the White Oak Volunteer Rescue Squad.
He has strong ties with conservative presidential candidate Jim Gilmore, which would help to rally those outraged with Chichester’s antics to his cause. He’s commented on Chichester before, and said all the right things. By all accounts he’s well regarded, experienced in local politics, and will have strong support from the Republican establishment. Just about anyone who will run in a primary against Chichester will do well, but it certainly helps if they’d have been a credible candidate absent the Chichester factor.
To add to the mix, there was a meeting last Monday of the 28th District Republican committee which had an opportunity to “disassociate” Chichester from his membership in the local Republican party. Given that we’ve heard nothing on this, I expect that it didn’t happen, although the fact that they’d even be considering this would be powerful ammunition in a primary contest. If it did happen, Chichester is out from consideration as the Republican nominee.
Chichester might as well retire. There’s nothing but bad news for him this election season.
UPDATE: Jim Riley has started a “Draft Van Hoy” effort. Readers would probably want to head on over and support this if they want to ensure that Chichester is sent into retirement.
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