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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Virginia Primary Post Mortem

Some thoughts on yesterday's Democrat and Republican Primary.  Two longtime GOP Delegates, Beverly Sherwood, and Joe May, lost.  Some may call them upsets but when you dig a little deeper in to the numbers, there were several problems each of them faced and neither seemed to completely respond.

Let's start with Sherwood, who lost by 78 votes.  This is the first election in which she has run after redistricting.  She acquired new parts in Warren County and she lost those by a total of 94 votes.  Clearly, she should have done more to introduce herself to these new voters.  Bev was a good friend to Virginia's gun owners, chairing the Militia, Police, and Public Safety Committee for a number of years.  Her opponent, Mark Berg has indicated he opposes infringements on our 2nd Amendment Rights.  This should be a wash in terms of our support in  the General Assembly.

Joe May too had new territory in his district as a result of redistricting and he too lost those precincts (in Frederick County) badly.  Delegate May was considered more or a moderate than Delegate Sherwood.  The insurgent nature of their opposition was helped by the fact they both voted for the tax increases in the new transportation bill this last session.  Some will likely say it resulted in their defeat, but three other incumbents who were challenged and won, also voted for the transportation bill, so it it played a roll in May and Sherwood's defeat, it was likely just one of several factors.  May was so so on our issue earning a "C" rating from the NRA in the 2011.  IT is interesting to note that of the two incumbents that lost, Joe may received the second largest number of votes of the incumbents (2200), but lost by the largest margin (15 points).

Both Delegate Todd Gilbert and Bobby Orrock won, Gilbert with 92% of the vote and received the largest number of votes of any of the incumbents (3655).  He also voted against the transportation plan.   Orrock defeated Dustin Price by 13% and received 1366 votes.  Speaker of the House Bill Howell was also challenged but like Gilbert, handily defeated his opponent with 92% of the vote.  Both Orrock and Howell voted for the transportation bill.

The take away from these incumbents is to never be complacent.  Elected officials aways have to be doing outreach for new supporters and new blood in their organizations.  Gilbert clearly did that based on the high number of votes he received.  Orrock may want to make sure he is doing that outreach.  While he won handily, he got half the votes of about a two thirds fewer votes than Gilbert.

As for the Democrats, they had two state wide offices up for primary voters yesterday.  They decided to go with known candidates - State Senator Ralph Northam for Lt. Governor and State Senator Mark Herring for AG.  Northam beat back an Indian-American, Aneesh Chopra, who ran on a strong platform of gun control.  While Northam is no friend to gun owners (he has a "D" rating from the NRA), he was fending off charges of being a shill for the NRA.  When a candidate tells you that his "D" rated opponent is a shill for the NRA, you get the idea just how anti-rights the guy making the charge is.

In the AG's race, State Senator Mark Herring (also an NRA "D" rated candidate) soundly defeated former Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Fairfax.  In choosing the known quantities,  state Democrats opted not to go with the "diverse" ticket many thought they would choose, and chose three white males for statewide office.  Not that that should make a difference but since Democrats are always pointing out how the GOP has no diversity on their national and Virginia statewide tickets, the irony is not lost on this writer.

Virginia gun owners have a clear choice this election.  Do we go with the candidates that have a solid record of supporting our rights (Ken Cuccinelli and Mark Obenshain) and their ticket mate who expresses strong support for our rights (E.W. Jackson) or do we opt for three candidates that for the first time in a number of years do not shy away from telling us just how they want to restrict our rights (McAuliffe, Northam, and Herring).

Now let's get to work and help the guys who stand with us.

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