The Virginia Tea Party Alliance is an umbrella for many of the Tea Party movement organizations that have sprouted up across the commonwealth, and includes as member organizations the Prince William Tea Party and the Manassas Tea Party. They announced today that they’re focusing on a number of key Senate races this election cycle, some of which are right in our back yard. If you’re not sure where to spend your spare time during this critical election year, this is an excellent list showing where your donations and efforts will make the biggest difference.
Northern Virginia “Beyond 21 Candidates”:
Dick Black (SD-13)
Dick is running in a pretty strong Republican district that includes part of Prince William and Loudoun Counties and seems to be in pretty good shape so far. I’m pretty sure that this race was picked because it was moved from Southside where a Republican held the seat. Winning this wouldn’t be a “pick up” for Republicans, but in order to win a majority, this seat has to be held. Not sure why it’s on this list, but since it’s a must-hold seat it kinda makes sense.
Patricia Phillips (SD-33)
This would be a big “pick up” for Republicans, so targeting here makes some sense. Mark Herring currently holds this seat and currently has a pretty strong cash advantage, but he’s not very well liked in the district and potentially vulnerable. A smart campaign with adequate resources for this excellent candidate could make for a critical upset in November.
Miller Baker (SD-39)
This is a very competitive race and Miller Baker has turned into an incredible candidate this election cycle. Having to push through a tough primary has turned out to be a huge blessing for this campaign which ended up scoring the biggest margin in the primaries in NOVA. Miller Baker is working very hard to unseat the architect of the despised Senate redistricting, making this race an excellent pick for VATPA to target.
Northern Virginia “Beyond 21 Watch List”:
Caren Merrick (SD-31)
Caren is running in what might usually be thought of as a tough district for Republicans that stretches from Arlington to Loudoun, but she has Democrats on the defensive. Barbara Favola is the Dem in this race, someone who really has little more to run on other than her party affiliation. Caren, a co-founder of WebMethods is smart, classy, and utterly dynamic and has been neck-and-neck with Favola in fundraising while focusing on a jobs and economy message that is utterly authentic. I think VATPA should have made this a targeted race, as this one is entirely winnable for Caren and a little more support could easily put her over the top.
Jeff Frederick (SD-36)
Jeff is taking on Toddy Puller and driving Puller’s campaign to utter distraction. Opponents consistently underestimate Jeff, who is a tireless and dogged campaigner that absolutely crushed a George Allen supported establishment candidate in the primary. Puller, due to health issues, can’t campaign in this district very hard and depends on surrogates and paid staff to try to make up the difference in the field while Jeff is running circles around her. The only way Puller can survive is to go very negative with mailers, and there’s a definite limit to how nasty you can be in this district. This one is very winnable, and a particularly good race to volunteer in.
Gerarda Culipher (SD-34)
I really like Gerarda, but I don’t understand why she’s on this list instead of Jason Flanary in the 37th District. Flanary is pretty competitive with the rather unlikable Dave Marsden, got some good experience in a hard-fought primary race and has a shot at winning. Gerarda is way behind and faces Chap Peterson who is pretty well liked in a tough district for Republicans. Maybe the VATPA is just trying to poke a liberal in the eye here by putting this race on a watch list, but unless someone is going to dump about $600k into Culipher’s race her chance of beating Peterson are vanishingly unlikely.
I suppose I can quibble a little bit with the targets here, but overall this is a good list of candidates deserving of your support. If we take the Senate this year we will have a lot of opportunities to combat illegal immigration, get exploding entitlement spending under control, reduce the size of government, and improve our economy. Democrats in the Senate have been an enraging roadblock in many ways and this is a great opportunity to get that roadblock cleared by kicking Dick Saslaw out of the majority leader position in the State Senate.
The opinions expressed here are solely the views of the author, and not representative of the position of any organization, political party, doughnut shop, knitting guild, or waste recycling facility, but may be correctly attributed to the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. If anything in the above article has offended you, please click here to receive an immediate apology.
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