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Lingamfelter Enters The Race

By Greg L | 18 June 2012 | RPV, 31st HOD District, Virginia Politics, Prince William County | 23 Comments

The WashPo reports that Delegate Scott Lingamfelter has filed paperwork to run for Lieutenant Governor in 2013 and setting up an interesting case where two candidates from the same locality are vying for the same statewide office.  This certainly invites other potential candidates from elsewhere around the state to enter the race, perhaps as many as three of them from what I’ve been hearing, and with a hotly contested statewide election getting thrown into complete chaos, this very could well be the most interesting race to watch next year.

Chairman Corey Stewart had the field to himself for several months as we learned that Keith Fimian was not going to run, saw Virginia Victory Chair Pete Snyder not say anything publicly this race, and heard rumors that Jeff McWaters wasn’t going to run.  For a while there it looked like Corey had scared off everyone else and had a clear field through the primary.  With a solid campaign finance account, a few years under his belt swinging across the state to boost his name ID, and an interesting story to tell about local immigration issues and fiscal discipline, Stewart was looking like a lock for quite a while.

Lingamfelter has served in the House of Delegates since 2002, representing a portion of eastern Prince William and Fauquier Counties.  His name ID probably isn’t as high as Stewart’s, but he’s had a solid tenure in the House and built some solid relationships there that should turn into endorsements, depending on who else enters the race.  While Stewart has a pretty strong base across Prince William County, one of the largest localities in the state, that base is going to split to some degree between him and Lingamfelter.  They key for both of them is who can expand their support beyond their districts, and Lingamfelter’s long association with the Family Foundation and the veteran’s community might suggest he has a better opportunity here.

These two recently butted heads over Prince William County’s practices with magisterial district funds, that many called (and I believe rightly so) political slush funds.  After no action was taken by the Board of Supervisors, Lingamfelter announced he would sponsor legislation to ban their use, which was soon followed by Supervisor Peter Candland’s initiative to ban these at the local level.  I know Stewart was interested in doing the same, but his delay in acting gave an opening for Lingamfelter to define an issue that separates them and Stewart’s actions since the ban in supporting amendments by Supervisor John Jenkins to exact political revenge upon Candland has increased the apparent contrast.  I fully expect to see this issue to be front-and-center as these two debate which one of them should be Lieutenant Governor.

Since politics abhors a vacuum even more than nature does, the prospect of two Prince William County-based elected officials running for Lieutenant Governor begs for additional entrants in this race.  Senators Jeff McWaters (Virginia Beach) and Steve Martin (Chesterfield County) are the two most likely to do so, as I don’t see RPV funding Pete Snyder’s travels across the Commonwealth for the Romney campaign only to see him leverage the name ID he’s gotten from it to run for office himself.  JeanneMarie Davis, who seems to be testing the waters, would be demolished as a RINO in a convention, and the otherwise outstanding E. W. Jackson (who is not running, but is getting pushed by some quarters) needs to build a pedigree as an elected official and establish a more effective campaign operation in order to have much of a chance here.  None of these potential candidates are particularly compelling in this race for various reasons, but opportunities like this don’t come very often and some or most of them could decide to give it a shot regardless.

If for some reason this became a straight-up Stewart v. Lingamfelter contest, about the only thing that’s certain is that it would improve both of them.  Stewart is contagiously affable, politically savvy, and very good at sticking to a message and driving it home.  Lingamfelter is one of the very best political orators in the state, a man of heartfelt convictions and solid conservative principle who doesn’t shy from tough policy fights.  If you can judge someone by the quality of their opposition, both of these men earn some very high marks and whoever comes out on top is going to be more than ready to win in a general election against a unknown, untested, and inexperienced liberal like Aneesh Chopra.

This is going to be very interesting to watch.

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  1. Chris said on 18 Jun 2012 at 9:24 pm:
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    I honestly think Corey blew it by not following up on his rhetoric by challenging George Allen. Something was weird about it, the complete and utter 180 he did make me wonder about his political core. I think Corey is very sharp, like you said, but lately he seems to be having trouble finding firm ideological footing. He was against Allen the became one of his foremost cheerleaders. He says he’s now against these slush funds for supervisors, but he seems to be forced into that position.

    There is definitely a vacuum here. I *really* like Lingamfelter personally, but I think this race is McWaters’s for the taking at this point. Running as a county official is very hard to and McWaters will have gobs and gobs of money to build an organization across the state. He’s close to the governor, as well. His political base will not be divided. Northern Virginia could have three candidates (Lingamfelter, Stewart, and Davis). A convention will help blunt some of that money advantage, but the careful cultivation of delegates needed to win a Convention does carry a price-tag.

    I think your right about EW . . . he would light things up but ultimately his lack of a coherent organization will hurt.

    Steve Martin will carry the banner of social conservatism, but I can’t fathom supporting him given his actions in his 2000 race for Congress where he basically Jew-baited Eric Cantor (or allowed others to do so for him).

    If this comes down to Stewart, McWaters, and Lingamfelter I think McWaters wins and does so fairly easily to be honest. Martin and Jackson would further dilute the conservative vote and McWaters would roll.

  2. Riley said on 18 Jun 2012 at 10:44 pm:
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    Corey was smart to get in early. I’ve been a big fan of Lingamfelter’s since he was running in that contested primary back in ‘01 that no one gave him a chance in. I didn’t even live in his district, but I had one of his bumper stickers on my car (back then, Jack Rollison was my delegate, the cycle before Jeff Frederick knocked him off in the primary.)

    If Corey wasn’t running or hadn’t gotten into the race yet, I would have jumped on with Lingamfelter. I committed early to Corey (I still believe that he will make an outstanding LG) and stand by that decision. If Scott were to emerge as our standard bearer after the convention, he could count on me to be just as strong a supporter of his as I am of Corey’s.

    (This makes me feel the way I did last week when I had George Allen and Bob Marshall to choose from, both men I respect and admire.)

  3. Maureen said on 19 Jun 2012 at 4:28 am:
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    I had a conversation with ligamfelter when Corey started his rule of law campaign. I didn’t like the way he cried fowl about that.

  4. Loan Arranger said on 19 Jun 2012 at 7:18 am:
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    Chairman Stewart’s recent antics re Candland has a lot of folks re-thinking his run for LTG. Would we really want to see that kind of behavior in Richmond? He fought a true fiscal conservative’s attempts to reduce taxes and advance reform in Prince William County Government, and did not lose graciously.

  5. Bruce Baxter said on 19 Jun 2012 at 10:11 am:
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    Candland has effectively taken out Stewart. That should be obvious to any observer.

  6. Badger said on 19 Jun 2012 at 11:32 am:
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    I disagree, Bruce. Stewart had choices. He took himself out.

  7. James said on 19 Jun 2012 at 12:45 pm:
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    This was the first place I came to after hearing about Mr. Lingamfelter’s entry into the race and I was not disappointed. Excellent analysis as always Greg! Thank you!

  8. Wineplz said on 19 Jun 2012 at 2:34 pm:
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    Very pleased to hear that Lingamfelter has entered the race; I don’t know a whole lot about him yet, but like what little I have heard. I like Stewart alright, but he sometimes comes across as a bit impulsive, so I will be leaning towards Lingamfelter unless something crazy about him comes to light.

  9. Ghost of Cal Coolidge said on 19 Jun 2012 at 3:28 pm:
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    I am thankful that Scott Lingamfelter decided to enter this race. Lingamfelter earns my support for three simple reasons: First, he has a record of results. Second, he is a consistent conservative voice in Richmond. Third, he is a reliable and successful fighter for families, veterans, and taxpayers.

    In a famous 1975 speech Ronald Reagan argued that “Our people look for a cause to believe in.” He said that the Republican Party must rally around “a banner of no pale pastels, but bold colors which make it unmistakably clear where we stand on all of the issues troubling the people.” Do the colors Reagan spoke so eloquently of get any bolder than Scott Lingamfelter? Is there any doubt that he’s on our side through thick and thin?

    While I have supported Corey Stewart in the past, I can think of no good reason why any conservative or any Republican who believes in limited government, common sense fiscal conservatism, life, liberty, and property could back anyone other than Lingamfelter for Lieutenant Governor. He stands with us every single day and now we should stand by him.

  10. Bruce Baxter said on 19 Jun 2012 at 5:10 pm:
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    The way you put it sounds a lot better.

  11. PugHenry said on 19 Jun 2012 at 6:58 pm:
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    Ghost of Cal Coolidge,

    You said it so well I will not add to the discourse other than to say I totally agree. Corey still has a chance to turn this around but I know Scott and he is a great choice.

  12. Loudoun Insider said on 19 Jun 2012 at 7:17 pm:
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    Stewart absolutely blew it with the Candland episode, siding with Jenkins over Candland.

  13. Anonymous said on 19 Jun 2012 at 9:21 pm:
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    Stewart goes which ever way the wind blows. He can’t be trusted.Lingamfelter is constant

  14. From afar said on 19 Jun 2012 at 10:16 pm:
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    Lingamfelter is a pandering conservative. When the tough votes come up you can’t see him leading. Where was he on HB 3202–he only showed up at the end when the public revolt was in full force. After Stewart has lead on the rule of law he complained that Stewart took his issue. He has vote for numerous “fee” increases–which are really tax increases. Sadly, he is at his best when he leads from the rear. The only time he leads, from the front, is when leading doesn’t cost him political capital. At least Stewart has risked all for the policy/principle. People really need to do their homework on Lingamfelter as he isn’t the conservative leader he portrays himself. Stewart is perfect, far from it, but I would take him over Lingamfelter any day of the week.

  15. Gnarly said on 20 Jun 2012 at 12:50 am:
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    This race may turn into another 1981 Lt. Governor’s race……with the social conservatives (supporting Guy Farley) and establishment types (supporting Herb Bateman) cancelling each other out….while a State Senator who was everyone’s second choice (Nathan Miller) walks out as the compromise candidate. That puts McWaters in the best position with this very likely scenario to repeat itself. The only difference in 2013 is that there will be multiple candidates in the social conservative and establishment categories, with 1 or 2 maybe even trying to straddle both factions.

    The likely result of a Cuccinelli-McWaters-Obenshain ticket, while very conservative leaning, may finally give the GOP a ticket that not only satisfies most factions within the party, but also has perfect geographic balance.

  16. Richmond start up said on 20 Jun 2012 at 4:58 pm:
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    Gnarly, why so quick to pick Obenshain over Bell?

    The way I see it, Bell has raised far more money (I know, not as imprtant in a convention. But it’s still important), works twice as hard, and has a better legislative record in Richmond.

    If you want a much harder worker who will raise more money for the ticket in the fall of 2013, Bell should be your choice for AG.

  17. Stephen Spiker said on 20 Jun 2012 at 9:48 pm:
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    If we’re to judge the race on which side has better pseudonymous commenters, then Lingamfelter thus far has a leg up on Corey. The attacks from Corey Stewart supporters had better be a whole lot more cogent than the weaksauce offered by “From afar”.

    *Disclosure, I worked for Lingamfelter in the past and am supporting him in the race.

  18. Harry said on 21 Jun 2012 at 5:45 am:
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    Lingamfelter will drop out as soon as Stewart makes nice with Candland.

  19. Citizen-Veteran said on 21 Jun 2012 at 8:02 am:
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    Scott Lingamfelter is an outstanding representative for the people in the House of Delegates. His candidacy for Lt. Governor needs serious attention by all voters interested in Virginia’s future. Virginians are lucky that such an outstanding leader is willing to step up.

    Corey Stewart has done yeoman service for PWC families and demonstrated leadership beyond Virginia through a commitment to the Rule of Law. Of late, Corey’s conservative values have become less focused - which may only be a temporary development. Corey’s slow recognition of Supervisor Pete Cardland’s call for reconsidering PWC budget tax increases and reducing the supervisors’ discretionary slush funds is disturbing. In addition, any move to support Supervisor Jenkins is a move to the dark side. Stick with conservative core values.

    Any drifting to the Left, by design or miscalculation, is ill-advised in 2012. The national ground swell, including the NOVA population, against the Left will leave GOP moderates disappointed at the 2013 RPV Convention.

  20. Badger said on 21 Jun 2012 at 8:27 am:
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    Citizen-Veteran is on the right track. Candland should be Stewart’s “new best friend”.

    If Stewart wants to win back the trust of Prince William County residents, he will take leadership of the reforms proposed by Candland, adopt the new boy as his protege, and end the years of abuse of taxpayer dollars by supervisors as (something I saw on the Sheriff’s website) “voter-retention funds.” All he can do is hope we “forget”. I’m not so sure some of us will.

    If he drags his feet on this and remains on the “wrong side of this issue”, keeping the seat he has on the Board now will be an issue. Even appointment to anything significant at the State level (ala Connaughton) will be out of the question.

    He better start dumping baggage quickly.

  21. Robert L. Duecaster said on 21 Jun 2012 at 12:00 pm:
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    Well-said, C-V and Badger.

  22. Loan Arranger said on 22 Jun 2012 at 8:40 pm:
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    Well…. this doesn’t look good. http://sheriffofnottinghampwc.blogspot.com/2012/06/fbi-investigating-prince-william-board.html

  23. Robert L. Duecaster said on 25 Jun 2012 at 12:30 pm:
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    SCOTUS has just ruled on AZ’s SB 1070. The portion of that law that was upheld is virtually the same as PWC’s “Rule of Law” Resolution requiring police to check immigration status when they have probable cause to believe a detainee is in the country illegally. It’s time this law was adopted by the entire Commonwealth. I know Corey believes it should be. I’d like to hear from Scott on the subject.

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