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Ian Lovejoy Crushes At Manassas Convention

By Greg L | 28 January 2012 | Manassas City | 20 Comments

Today’s Manassas City GOP convention was quite a bit different than the rise of the establishment that marked this exercise back in 2008.  Then, incumbents cruised towards a certain victory in the general election with a slate of GOP incumbents that changed nothing.  This time around, a challenger not only knocked off an incumbent but ended up as the top vote getter by a decisive margin.  This sets up a general election contest that’s going to be far more interesting to watch where incumbency is not anywhere near as powerful as it has been over the past few decades.

Andy Harrover’s bid for mayor against Hal Parrish had been characterized as an old-guard versus new-guard contest, but it really wasn’t.  It was a contest among two established candidates where the argument to kick Hal out wasn’t really driven home.  Parrish had the opportunity to somewhat uncharacteristically fire back with a strong broadside during his speech to seal the deal, and earn nearly two thirds of the weighted delegate votes as a result.  Unseating Parrish was going to be a longshot under the best of circumstances for Harrover, so this doesn’t really come as much of a surprise.

The surprise of the morning was Ian Lovejoy’s tremendous performance.  With the backing of Delegate Jackson Miller, conservative stalwart councilman Marc Aveni, and the unabashed support of the Tea Party, Lovejoy cruised to a huge victory with about 61% of the weighted vote.  I’d expected he’d do well, but coming out as the top vote getter is a vastly rare accomplishment for a convention candidate in this setting.  Ian has gone from contender to kingmaker in one day leaving the convention wisdom on Manassas election politics in complete ruins.  This outcome rocks the “establishment” and demonstrates at least for now there’s a power shift going on in Manassas politics with conservatives on the rise in a complete reversal of what happened in 2008.

The incumbents battled for the scraps, all running within about ten to fifteen votes of each other in an unusually weak performance for incumbents in the city.  Jonathan Way and Mark Wolfe squeaked by, leaving a visibly shocked Sheryl Bass slightly behind.  The difference here seemed to be the palpable anger of the convention delegates towards the school board, and Bass being a former member of that board she got caught in the crossfire as each candidate’s speech seemed to throw plenty of rocks at the school board and decry the underwhelming performance of the city’s schools and the effect that has on real estate values and the quality of life in the city.  Charles Patullo didn’t even register, even after having Xerk White (who has endorsed independent candidates over Republicans in the past) give his nomination speech.

Watch out incumbents on the school board.  There’s a freight train coming your way.  Fast.

With one conservative independent (Jerry Carman) and likely a Democrat competing against this slate of council candidates in May, the general election looks like it’s going to be a lot more interesting than the typical ticket punch for GOP candidates.  Way and Wolfe have some ground to make up in here before they can feel in any way comfortable, and if challengers from outside the party run strong campaigns they could quite easily come up short in the general election.  It’s up to conservatives to seal the deal here, and they might have one more surprise in store for us before this election is over.

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  1. Mai Bad said on 28 Jan 2012 at 5:25 pm:
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    Steve Chapman supporters out in force. Plunkering for Mr. Love.

  2. Mai Tai Li said on 28 Jan 2012 at 6:40 pm:
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    Pro-abortion Democrats (and a few Republicans too) out in enough numbers to get Wolfe into 3rd place and push out Bass.

  3. Becky Dee said on 28 Jan 2012 at 8:20 pm:
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    Ian Lovejoy is a class act, looking forward to what he’s going to do on council. The response to his speech today was huge, he really struck a chord. Congrats to Lovejoy, Way, and Parrish!

  4. G Man said on 28 Jan 2012 at 10:14 pm:
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    So what part did Balletgate have in today’s proceedings?

  5. Doug Brown said on 28 Jan 2012 at 10:58 pm:
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    G Man,

    It was a tough battle between Wolfe and Bass, but Wolfe managed to push his way on to the lifeboat first, I guess with the help of some pro-abortion democrats. Women?

    Too bad Sheryl didn’t think of tacking right.

  6. Chester said on 29 Jan 2012 at 7:31 am:
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    Ian Lovejoy’s et al success yesterday is another fine example of the firestorm brewing throught this country to finally rid the political docket of libtards and panty-waisted RINO’s at every level. Obama has destroyed this country to such a degree that people realize steps need to be taken NOW, no matter how small when compared to the big picture, to save the Republic.

    There is finally hope in Manassas, albeit we have a ways to go.

  7. Loudoun Insider said on 29 Jan 2012 at 7:43 am:
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    Sounds like a good time! Close conventions are always entertaining.

  8. Loudoun Insider said on 29 Jan 2012 at 7:44 am:
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    If only the same thing could take hold in Manassas Park!

    School Board turnover is absolutely essential to changing the spending dynamic, I hope there is reform there as well.

  9. Steve Thomas said on 29 Jan 2012 at 8:30 am:
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    What I find odd is with so much focus on the schools, where are the challengers for schoolboard? If there are folks out there considering a run, they’d better declare and get to it. We can have all the change we want at the council level, but their ability to fix things is limited. If schools are where the bulk of the challenges are, then schoolboard is where the most change needs to happen.

  10. Anonymous said on 29 Jan 2012 at 8:48 am:
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  11. Was There said on 29 Jan 2012 at 9:09 am:
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    Hal’s speech got my vote.

    I was undecided going in the convention but I love a good ‘ole convention speech with a knock out punch against the other (seemingly clueless) Vice-Mayor.

    Mr. Wolfe and Balletgate needs to continue as an issue in the City general election in May, brought up hopefully by Independent Mr. Jerry Carman and maybe even the Democrat (if they ever show up).

    Some explaining from Mr. Wolfe and the Manassas GOP leadership is needed now that they will place him on the Republican ballot. Does the Manassas GOP support accused law breakers, especially given the entire illegal immigration issue in Manassas?

    Finally, the Arts crowd in Manassas is shameless in their hunger for public money and I think it was that crowd that kept Mr. Wolfe alive, even if just barely.

  12. Doug Brown said on 29 Jan 2012 at 11:07 am:
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    Two School Board challengers were there.

  13. Casual Observer said on 29 Jan 2012 at 2:37 pm:
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    I, for one, am just so glad to know our Director of Community Development, Elizabeth Via-Gossman, is a Republican!

    More names to come . . .

  14. Doug Brown said on 29 Jan 2012 at 2:58 pm:
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    @Casual Observer

    Me too! I wonder if she had ever reported the vandalism (Obama sticker) done to that car she use to drive around in?

  15. Bud said on 29 Jan 2012 at 5:07 pm:
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    I was there yesterday as a delegate and was surprised at the number of people that came to support Hal with only two weeks notice to sign up after Mr. Harrovers announcement to run for Mayor.

    As a casual observer I have to wonder if the Harrover camp strategy was that there would only be a couple hundred delegates and the two week blitz to sign delegates would put him over the top?

    I believe Mr Harrover will be mayor eventually, If and when Hal decides to run for delegate when and if Jackson Miller goes for Sen. Colgans seat.

    They are both quality men in a community that needs them.

  16. Anonymous said on 29 Jan 2012 at 5:58 pm:
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    The Director is no Republican, not even close…

  17. Mai Bad said on 29 Jan 2012 at 8:00 pm:
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    Hey..Steve Chapman=Worst candidate EVER??…………What does that make Steve Chapman supporters?

  18. anonymous said on 30 Jan 2012 at 8:39 am:
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    Kermit Dance, Nancy Hersch - Ingram, Pam Kincelo are all Republicans now as well!

  19. Steve Thomas said on 30 Jan 2012 at 8:46 am:
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    My point is, everyone has been focused on the council/mayoral nominations. We have our nominees, there is an announced independent for council, as well as a rumored Democrat council candidate. If there’s folks out there planning to run for schoolboard, they have been awfully quiet. I would think they would want to announce publically, on blogs, in the paper, with a neghborhood lit drop, etc. Challenging long-time incumbents isn’t easy. I’m surprised that there hasn’t been more chatter about these races. If there’s folks who are considering a run, great. As a parent whose child enters public schools next fall, I’d like to meet these candidates soonest.

  20. Doug Brown said on 30 Jan 2012 at 11:37 am:
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    I hope to have some announcements on my blog soon. I’m sure they will use other media as well.

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