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PWC Voters Guide: State Legislative Races

By Greg L | 1 November 2015 | Virginia House, Virginia Senate, Prince William County | 3 Comments

These are the races that are bombarding you with radio and TV ads, stuffing your mailboxes with fliers, and generally doing more to confuse you about the facts with their campaigns than enlightening you on anything.  Don’t worry, I’ll sort out this mess for you without subjecting you to sheer partisanship and even if you disagree with my policy outlook, you’ll probably find some useful information to consider.

13th Senate District: Incumbent Senator Dick Black faces an utterly unqualified Jill McCabe in a race that out of state liberals have been pouring money into.  While Black has been particularly focused on quality of life issues in the district such as opposing Governor McAuliffe’s plan to make Interstate 66 into an HOV-3/ toll road and reducing the number of open travel lanes, and also putting a stop to the bi-county parkway plan that would shut down the intersection of Routes 29 and 234, McCabe is singularly focused on promoting abortion and “GLBTQ” politics.  If you care about getting back and forth to work without spending half your life stuck in traffic, Black is your guy.  If the biggest concern in your life is whether your teenage daughter can have a school nurse drive her to an abortion clinic unencumbered by basic heath and safety oversight without the discomfort of talking to you beforehand, then by all means vote for McCabe, because that’s what she talks about the most.

29th Senate District: Manassas Mayor Hal Parrish is facing off against Jeremy McPike to fill the seat of the (finally) retiring Chuck Colgan in what is probably the most expensive race in Virginia this cycle.  McPike’s outrageous history of seeking vengeance on government whistleblowers is a huge concern here and should be an absolute disqualification, but to “sweeten” the pot New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has dumped about $1.5 million in this race making it about leftist gun control.  Parrish is not really a poster child of conservatives, but it is utterly enraging that McPike has gotten in bed with Bloomberg to push New York-style anti-Second Amendment policies in Virginia making this a particularly interesting election for anyone who values these constitutionally-protected liberties.  Let’s help show guys like Bloomberg to stick to making their own backyards into big government cesspools of failed liberal policies and leave us the hell alone here in Virginia by making this a blowout for Parrish.

36th Senate District: With the long-awaited retirement of Toddy Puller you can choose from Dumfries Mayor Jerry Foreman or Delegate Scott Surovell to replace her.  Foreman is a right-of-center Republican, and Surovell is a dyed in the wool “progressive.”  Neither of them are particularly notable outside of their rather obvious policy alignments, so pick the one that you feel whose policy outlook feels most comfortable to you.  Most readers here will probably feel vastly more comfortable with Foreman, and since control of the Senate of Virginia is in play if you’d like to make sure that Ralph Northan’s ability to cast tie-breaking votes is revoked that’s even more reason.  If Surovell wins this, which the conventional wisdom suggests is likely, at least he might drive up enough turnout in Maureen Caddigan’s district among Dems to retire her, so there’s the potential for a useful outcome either way.

39th Senate District: Incumbent George Barker faces challenger Joe Murray, which probably should be a more notable race than it has turned out to be as Barker has been little more than a lapdog to Democrat minority leader Dick Saslaw and largely ignored the needs of this district.  It’s pretty clear that a lot of the voters in this district are fine with “progressive” social issue agendas that ignore Virginia’s languishing-at-best position as a business-friendly economic powerhouse, but even a workforce as heavily involved in the federal government should at some point discover that economic realities which are hampering the rest of the Commonwealth are showing up even there.  Murray gets this, and hopefully the voters will wake up from their slumber here and give him an opportunity to show them just how much better things can get if someone actually worked to make this district work for people not drawing six-figure salaries from the federal government instead of giving lip service to the struggles they’re facing. Murray might be in striking distance in this one, but this is a tough district to predict.

2nd House of Delegates District: In the wake of Michael Futrell abandoning this district after a single lackluster term, Mark Dudenhefer roars back to reclaim this seat against Joshua King, another one of the no-accomplishment, unqualified candidates ponied up by Democrats this season.  If the Woodbridge area is ever going to find the opportunity to grab onto the kind of economic lightning bolt that Stafford County has become, it’s likely by someone who had a part in creating the conditions that made such tremendous performance possible further south in Dudenhefer’s stomping grounds.  Goodness knows, Frank Principi isn’t ever going to wander into it by accident.  Woodbridge remains a mess, a dumping ground of neglect that has enormous potential to be something other than the retail job-focused subsistence-wage desert that the current crop of elected officials mismanaging it have allowed it to become.  Dudenhefer showed tremendous promise to turn things around during his single previous term and could start delivering on it in the next, which he is likely to have the opportunity to do.

13th House District: Conservative stalwart Bob Marshall faces off against political neophyte Don Shaw.  This is a conservative-right vs. hard left choice once again, but Marshall’s focus over the past two years on transportation issues in particular gives lie to the tired, usual claims that the only thing Marshall cares about is being pro-life and pro-traditional marriage.  Meanwhile about the only thing Shaw actually talks about is “LGBTQ” issues and repeating talking points from NARAL and Equality Virginia.  If you’re seeing a pattern develop here of Democrat candidates with no community stature obsessed with social issues running for office, you’re not making a mistake.  The fringe left absolutely despises Marshall and every cycle recruits a Marxist to challenge him, throws a ton of money at the race to support that challenger, and the challenger always loses.  Rinse and repeat.

31st House of Delegates District: Delegate Scott Lingamfelter defends this seat against yet another lefty with no community stature, but without the distraction this cycle of mounting a candidacy for Lieutenant Governor that allowed the Democrat challenger to get uncomfortably close to winning, Scott should be in good shape this year.  One of his notable achievements has been the “Boneta Bill” that defends the property rights of Virginia farmers from unconstitutional government intrusion and gained national attention, a cause that should unite those across the political spectrum.  Scott has always been a terrific defender of constitutional liberties and the military community which makes him an excellent legislator for this district which has a significant veteran community.

40th House of Delegates District: Delegate Tim Hugo is being challenged by the “progressive” Jerry Foltz, whose strange campaign centers on rights for illegal aliens, homosexuals and gun control.  While Hugo is a reliable conservative, his focus on transportation improvements that aren’t stupid and the economy makes him a strange target for such a hard-left campaign.  Hugo took center stage in the fight against the terrible impacts of the bi-county parkway and is among the very best in engaging the concerns of constituents, especially when it involves state government agencies like VDOT and the State Corporation Commission that try to do stupid things without listening to the people.  If you don’t like huge power lines tearing through the rural crescent, massive tolls being imposed on I-66 commuters or having roads through the Manassas Battlefield shut down to commuters this is an easy pick.

50th House of Delegates District: Delegate Jackson Miller takes on a nobody by the name of Kyle McCullough who can’t seem to even bother getting a domain name for his campaign website, much less actually campaign in the district.  While Miller has been at the front of every issue that affects Manassas and the rest of this district, McCullough doesn’t even put enough effort into this race to even demonstrate he actually wants the job, much less show any understanding that he might know what to do with it in the incredibly unlikely possibility that he actually wins.  A real no-brainer here.  McCullough is nothing but a placeholder candidate.

51st House of Delegates District: Delegate Richard Anderson is running unopposed.  There’s a reason for this.  Finding a sacrificial lamb to waste their time running against Anderson is simply beyond the capabilities of the Prince William County Democratic Committee, and that’s not intended to be spiteful.  It’s just reality.  Anderson is just that good for this district.

52nd House of Delegates District: Delegate Luke Torian, despite accomplishing nearly nothing during his terms as delegate in this district, does not have an opponent.  If you’re not a Democrat and want to run for office in this area you’re either a masochist or have some amazingly brilliant plan to rescue the people in this district from poor representation that hasn’t occurred to anyone else.  So far such brilliance has eluded us.  Write-in Jeff Frederick here, as that would be brilliant.

87th House of Delegates District: We lost a great public servant when David Ramadan decided not to run for re-election, but pulled a perfect hat trick when Chong Nguyen decided to run.  This is one of the smartest, most insightful candidates for office I’ve seen in a while and his experience as a prosecutor would be a tremendous as the potential for some long-overdue reforms in Virginia’s criminal justice system would get a highly competent champion.  Something like this should attract bipartisan interest because when done right it’s not about what is in the interest of any political agenda, but what works best to reduce crime, make the justice system more fair and efficient, and deliver the best chance of reforming offenders and returning them to society as productive, law-abiding individuals whenever possible.  While the issue hasn’t gotten much discussion this cycle, it really is something worthy of more discussion, and thoughtful discussion at that.  Nguyen’s opponent, a perennial lefty candidate heavily funded by the abortion industry doesn’t come close here.

Yes, you might have noticed there are no Democrat endorsements on this list.  That’s actually somewhat unusual for me but with the current state of the Prince William County Democratic Committee the only candidates they recruited this cycle appeal to a narrow constituency of “social justice” addicts designed to attract campaign funding from the gay rights lobby, out-of-state gun control advocates and the abortion industry.  The days when a Democrat who might appeal to the political middle in this county seem now to be long gone. My next installments will demonstrate when there’s a bad Republican I’ll even endorse an independent, or even a pretty lefty Democrat when it comes time to take out the elected office trash, but in this slew of races there’s no trash among the Republicans in the county’s Richmond delegation and little else but that on the other side.

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  1. James Young said on 1 Nov 2015 at 10:47 pm:
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    Jeff doesn’t live in the 52d, either. He lives in Scott’s district.

  2. Greg L said on 1 Nov 2015 at 11:01 pm:
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    Does it matter?

  3. James Young said on 2 Nov 2015 at 5:32 pm:
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    Well, not for some people. Jack Rollison once told me that he knew of two legislators — one in each party — who didn’t reside in the districts they represented.

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