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Coal For Joe May

By Greg L | 5 December 2013 | Loudoun County, Virginia Politics, Virginia Senate | 10 Comments

Subject to a recount, Senator Mark Herring has been elected Attorney General of Virginia and Senator Ralph Northam has been elected as Lieutenant Governor.  That these “progressive” warriors will exercise executive and legislative power in Virginia is a sobering thing, but there’s a chance to limit the havoc they’ll be able to wreak by flipping at least one of the two senate seats they’ve vacated to the Republican side.  With a Republican majority in the Senate, the opportunity for Ralph Northam to cast a tie-breaking vote diminishes enormously and given Northam’s ardent support of gun control, abortion, growing government and other liberal causes the importance of putting this kind of muzzle on him cannot be overstated.

Herring has represented the 33rd Senate District which straddles Loudoun and Fairfax Counties in a carefully gerrymandered ink blot designed to pack in as many Democrats as possible.  In a general election this is probably somewhere around a D +5 district, but that’s naturally going to shift based on the candidates, the campaigns, the political environment at the time, and of course whether this is a special election happening around Christmas when plenty of voters have other things to do rather than take time to go to the polls.  Special elections like these can yield some pretty unusual results, and hard work pays off more than ever in one of these.  With a very short window from announcement to election it’s also a case where candidate recruitment is a bit chaotic.

Democrats quickly got their candidate picked and chose Leesburg attorney Jennifer Wexton, who isn’t a particularly strong candidate, but a reasonable one given how Democrats seem to be picking some real doozies lately in their local races.  10th District Chairman John Whitbeck was the first rumored to announce for this race on the Republican side, and Ron Meyer abandoned his bid for the 11th Congressional District to announce as well.  And then defeated Delegate Joe May announced, although he doesn’t actually live in the district, but Virginia’s election laws in regards to residency haven’t been enforced in years and are at this point irrelevant.  A three way race between a popular district chairman with a solid pedigree, a young political newcomer and a highly experienced delegate who’d gotten tossed out in a primary a couple of months earlier would have been quite an interesting race to watch.  

But it wasn’t to be.  The day after May announced the Republican 33rd District Committee met and decided that instead of a “firehouse primary” they’d have a “mass meeting” to select their candidate.  A “firehouse primary” is kind of like a normal election that’s run by the party in a few polling places over several hours on a designated day.  A “mass meeting” is like a convention, held in one spot with one vote for everybody who can qualify as a delegate and chooses to participate.  Democrats can’t easily participate in a “mass meeting” and as a result May backed out of the Republican nomination and announced his bid as an independent candidate citing in part his desire that Democrats should be able to vote for him as a Republican candidate.

May said it was “unacceptable” that only a handful of Republican committee members met privately Monday evening to determine the date, location and requirements of the “mass meeting” – including a provision that no one who has voted in a Democratic primary since March 1, 2004 be allowed to cast a vote.

I bet those folks that voted for Dave Larock have good reason to feel good about how they voted in the 33rd House District primary.  They just have no reason to think they’ve resolved all the local trouble someone like May can cause.

May’s entry as an independent is enormously troublesome for whichever Republican emerges from the mass meeting on December 16th as the nominee.  May isn’t going to win, but he’s going to handicap the Republican nominee and give them the kind of spiteful political sendoff that Bill Bolling came so close to delivering on Ken Cuccinelli until he contented himself with just sniping from the sidelines and giving an eager Washington Post plenty of quotables.  Despite the moral superiority “moderates” claim they posses, their actions certainly tell a different story.  The outcome of their efforts could well result in a tied Senate of Virginia with a candidate funded by Planned Parenthood and NARAL casting the deciding vote on contentious legislation and the organization of the chamber.

That makes what’s going on in the 6th Senate District that Ralph Northam is vacating all the more critical.  Delegate Lynwood Lewis is running against Republican Wayne Coleman in this bizarre swing district, drawn for Democrat advantage, that includes part of Norfolk, Mathews County and the Eastern Shore.  Republicans have to win at least one of these two and that job just got considerably more difficult because of Joe May.

If folks down in southside with extra coal the Obama Administration won’t let you sell need something to use it for, shipping it up to Joe May might be worth considering.  It’d make a perfect Christmas present for this “dedicated public servant.”

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  1. Steve Thomas said on 5 Dec 2013 at 12:13 pm:
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    Great analysis!

  2. MiddleWinger said on 5 Dec 2013 at 1:03 pm:
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    Who do you think drew up these districts that you describe as gerrymandered? Not the Democrats.

  3. Steve Thomas said on 5 Dec 2013 at 3:32 pm:
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    MiddleWinger…The Senate districts were drawn by the party that controlled the senate, at the time. I do believe this was the Democrat party:http://www.vpap.org/redistricting

  4. D. Bowman said on 5 Dec 2013 at 5:35 pm:
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    Isn’t it a forgone conclusion that Democrats have pretty much lied their way out of control of the Senate?

  5. James Young said on 5 Dec 2013 at 9:27 pm:
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    Lyn Lewis will make it tough to take the other district. I’ve known him for 30 years (he’s Hampden-Sydney ‘84, I graduated in ‘86), and he’s a pretty reasonable guy as that caucus goes.

  6. Not Harry F. Byrd said on 6 Dec 2013 at 12:26 am:
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    The exact numbers for the “new” 33rd are Romney 39%, McDonnell ~55%. But do note that 55 was around 3.6 points to the left of the statewide average that year. Still, that’s a huge swing. The district would have flipped in 2011 with a stronger nominee. Herring basically sleepwalked through that one.

    Unfortunately, none of the current nominees are “strong”. And if Joe May continues his suicide payback mission, it’s going to be practically impossible to win a plurality of the vote in the special.

    The Democrats, by hook or by crook, got their perfect nominee in the 6th. He can hold down the losses on the more conservative shore - which he represents - and count on the margin from Norfolk City, which will probably be enough even with low turnout.

    All in all, it ain’t looking good.

    Oh…and Steve’s right. The Dems drew the map. They own it. Which made it especially funny when they lost the majority in 2011 (yes it was by ~300 votes in the 17th, but no other D is going to win the 17th anyway, so it’s a moot point). I don’t beat up on the map too much, the Fovala-fied district aside, because redistricting is what it is and we play the same game in the House. We should be able to take one of these two districts. If we don’t, it’s on us.

  7. The Republican Brand said on 6 Dec 2013 at 9:32 am:
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    That’s right it aint looking good for Va Republicans.. jennifer wexton will be the winning “doozie”

  8. Anonymous said on 10 Dec 2013 at 12:49 pm:
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    Can anyone explain why they made the last minute switch from the fire-house primary over to a mass meeting?

  9. Greg L said on 10 Dec 2013 at 7:05 pm:
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    There wasn’t a switch. The means of nomination hadn’t been decided at all until the 33rd legislative District Committee met. They decided to have a mass meeting.

    I have no idea where Joe May go the idea there was going to be a firehouse primary. He of all people should darned well know how this process works.

  10. Anonymous said on 17 Dec 2013 at 1:53 pm:
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    Frank Wolf announces retirement.

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