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What Happened In Woodbridge

By Greg L | 10 November 2011 | Prince William County | 18 Comments

My good friend Chris Royse lost in his election bid for Woodbridge Supervisor last evening, a tough blow in what was an incredible opportunity to build new leadership in Woodbridge that would cooperate with the other major transportation corridor in the county (Gainesville, the I-66 corridor) and deliver a long-term strategy for the county to transition from a bedroom into a major regional employment center.  With half of that needed leadership now missing, the Woodbridge District will likely continue to be an anchor that drags the county’s economic performance as Principi pushes it to become a high-rise, residentially-focused area that will drain county tax revenues while the western side of the county will be the only economic engine that actually moves ahead.

So how did this happen?

That question forebodes a tough reckoning for Republicans in the county, who have for a long time given up on the district and failed to establish the political consensus to promote economic recovery and jobs, dismissing it as a stronghold for the far left that couldn’t be economically cracked from a political standpoint.  Republican holdouts in the district still exist — for now — but fractured efforts to motivate and unify this block haven’t been undertaken for so long that hardly anyone seems to know how to do that.  Lists of Republicans in Woodbridge that could change the equation are a closely guarded secret by campaigns, leaving challengers little if anything to work with, and delivering some wildly differing results between candidate performance in the same precinct.

Of course it’s campaigns and candidates that make the difference in any district, and some work more effectively than others.  In Woodbridge Corey Stewart didn’t back off from his aggressive positions on immigration and hammered Babur Lateef, allowing him to carry seven of the nine precinct with a net +305 votes in this district dominated by Democrats.  Jeff Frederick also carried three precincts (out of 7 that were in the 36th) with a campaign that criticized Puller’s record pretty strongly and came within 50 votes of winning in Woodbridge.  Chris Royse’s almost entirely positive campaign failed to carry any precincts, including absentee ballots, and ended up coming short by over 1,200 votes.

The adage that you don’t hire challengers in Virginia, you fire incumbents, is no more proven than by these numbers.  As much as people might complain about negative campaigning, you can’t take out an incumbent without some significant degree of it.  You might be the greatest visionary ever to arrive on the political scene, but unless voters decide the incumbent needs to go, you’re not getting the job.  That was proven across the state on Tuesday, and the election before that, and countless elections before that.  Challenger candidates might sleep well at night knowing they ran the kind of campaign their grandmother would absolutely approve of, but it doesn’t give them the win.

Within the results out of Woodbridge there are some opportunities that could offer a path forward for Republicans to effectively compete in what they have written off for so long and allowed someone like former Tenants and Worker’s United neo-communist Esteban Garces to carry the precincts within the 2nd House District with a net 378 votes.  Corey Stewart’s strong performance hinged on his aggressive platform that not only included jobs and the economy, but cracking down on illegal immigration.  Instead of the conventional wisdom that suggests that minority communities don’t support such policies, the results demonstrate it’s a winner there just as anywhere else as minority communities probably suffer even more from employment and public safety issues that illegal aliens cause.  Candidates for House of Delegates got a net vote total of -818 and Senate candidates got a net total of -859 despite taking this conventionally “safer” course of shying away from the topic.   Chris Royse, running his positive campaign mentioned it hardly at all.

Where Royse did comparatively well compared to the average Republican performance was in the precincts with significant Route 1 frontage, such as Freedom, Lynn and River Oaks, and apparently the economic message started to resonate there but didn’t have enough time to fully develop in this very short campaign.  Belmont and Library offer similar opportunities for conservatives in Woodbridge to start developing some grass-roots counterweights to fight Principi’s “vision” of planting high-rise residential units with “affordable housing” in the area where Metro is supposedly going to show up in about 20 years.  Since that base of voters and activists hasn’t been identified and developed yet in any real sense all we have is the indication there’s an opportunity here rather than an ability to actually start turning elections.  But that can come with time.

Turnout in Woodbridge, despite the activity in overlapping House and Senate races that drove turnout elsewhere in the county, was pathetic.  It ranged from an abysmal 14% to an underperforming 26% when contested races elsewhere were typically seeing precinct turnouts in the 25-30% range and higher.  Too many voters are sitting on their hands in Woodbridge allowing the better organized left to control the outcome of elections, and undoubtedly a number of those absent voters would vote Republican.  If that could change, so would the outcome of elections like this.

If that is to happen, and Woodbridge become more of a swing district than a relatively safe district for Democrats, the effort better begin soon.  The next elections for supervisor are in four years, and the next elections for House are in two, and it’ll take all that time to make this happen.  It’s not as far away as it seems.

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  1. Chris Royse said on 10 Nov 2011 at 5:54 am:
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  2. Badger said on 10 Nov 2011 at 7:21 am:
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  3. VA_Magoo said on 10 Nov 2011 at 8:42 am:
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    I am now contemplating moving out of Woodbridge, I can not fight these Demoncrats any more, it is a losing battle. This last redistricting really favored the Demons. I have my eye on some nice property in Frederick County.

  4. Greg L said on 10 Nov 2011 at 8:46 am:
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    RoysePAC is Chris Royse’s political action committee that he set up to start developing and supporting conservative candidates and causes in Woodbridge. I’m sure you’ll be hearing more about it in the future.

  5. Lee Jones said on 10 Nov 2011 at 8:53 am:
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    Maybe Royse lost because no one saw him between elections. He never came to a cleanup, Civic Association meeting, townhall meeting or public event….wait he was at the skateboard ground breaking ceremony. Of couse this occured close to election.

  6. Riley said on 10 Nov 2011 at 10:30 am:
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    Look for Del.-elect Mark Dudenhefer to begin working on the communities within the 2nd Dist. Even before Election Day he was planning ahead.

  7. Anonymous said on 10 Nov 2011 at 2:54 pm:
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    Principi was just one of the BOCS taking money for that development they over-ruled the planning commission on. Why did that get so little play? IMO neither side is willing to clean their own house but they want to help the other side clean theirs. While that happens the same people keep getting elected.

  8. Anonymous said on 10 Nov 2011 at 7:56 pm:
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    No serious employer is ever going to come here since their workers cant get here due to gridlocked traffic in the area. Wow, 10 a.m. meeting at the pentagon from pwc? lol. The fbi out in manassas uses helicopters to their people to court in alexandria! This area is nothing but second rate with transients who will dump the area once the kids are grown. Look at what happend to westgate!

  9. Oscar said on 10 Nov 2011 at 8:09 pm:
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    Prinpissonpi is a spineless liberal Democrap hack that stays in office merely on the ongoing cycle of Hilda Barg’s perpetual menstrual cramps that John Jenkins ascertains coincide with election day.

    Again, liberalism as a mental disorder that depends on stupid people to keep on ticking.

  10. The_REAL_Elvis said on 11 Nov 2011 at 6:23 am:
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    Principi is an A$$ and is essentially a dirt-ball. it’s sad that woodbridge has turned into a hole that no one wants to live in. It’s essentially a hot-bed of illegal alien activity, which is why they love barg and her alter-ego principi so much. wonder if he had his victory celebration at Rico’s Taco’s Moya ???

  11. Anonymous said on 12 Nov 2011 at 8:40 pm:
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    So now that we have the majority, can we gerrymander it back- or are they pussies?

  12. Anonymous said on 13 Nov 2011 at 11:28 am:
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    Was it gerrymandering when the House Republicans did it last year? To the victor go the spoils. The Republican Senate will get to determine the Congressional Redistricting and hopeful drawn Gerry Connley out of a job.

    Tom Gordy’s Thank You letter is a disgrace, he lacks character.

  13. Anonymous said on 13 Nov 2011 at 1:25 pm:
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    Republican top issues that will come up first in the state senate.

    .) 1 School prayer legislation

    .) 2 The unfunding of birth controll for low income women

    .) 3 The sacking of VDOT funds to build the coalfields Pkway while we sit on I66 and I95 with commuters from outside of NOVA.

    .) 4 The realocation of state school funding from “rich” areas to “poor” areas of the state

    .) 5 The tax breaks for industries in Virginia that dont exist while ignoreing the plight of the shutterd mills in Danville VA in the most buiseness freindly state in the nation.

    The Nova voteing block was gerrymanderd out of existance. We will continue to have a liberal reading of the dillon rule concerning developers building townhouse tracts on unimproved state highways, the overturn of local bocs getting proffers from developers, the continued meaning of family member to include your entire village from mexico of 4th and 5th cousins and there inlaws as it occures to residency of households, and the ill conceived notion of privatiseing ABC stores based on an ideological sence instead of factual fiscal evidence on how to replace the revenue!

    Higher fees(taxes) less service from the state with no reduction from Nova paying the state and increased local taxes on realestate to make up the difference.

    I so love republican liberal fiscal policy of fleacing the urban areas of the state to fund “groth” in the rural “deprived” districts such as Eric Cantors!

  14. Anonymous said on 13 Nov 2011 at 1:31 pm:
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    Cant wait for route1 to look like good hope road with neon “Discount liquer signs” in every other strip mall! Way to go Republicans!!! Yooohoooo! Groth baby groth!

  15. Anonymous said on 13 Nov 2011 at 4:43 pm:
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    Don’t you have a police car to shit on?

  16. Leisure Suit Larry said on 14 Nov 2011 at 5:23 pm:
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    FYI, even Barg can’t stand Principi and was telling all her old business donors to give to Royse. In fact, Barg probably did more for Royse than Caddigan did.

  17. GOP said on 16 Nov 2011 at 4:48 pm:
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    Or maybe it was the emails, robo-calls and text messages to minorities from Barack Hussein Obama to get out that day and vote Democrat. He IS the one who’s always whining about wanting bi-partisan support. November 2012 cannot come soon enough!

  18. Harry said on 28 Nov 2011 at 12:50 pm:
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    The Rural Republicans control the House of Delegates, they love funnelling the northern Virginia tax money to the rural parts of the state and actually give nothing back. Nothing will happen in transporation in terms of funding until northern Virginia means something to the rural nut cases. Northern Virginia is the sugar daddy for the rest of the state without the sugar daddy benefits.

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