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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Morning After

Yesterday's primaries included one surprise (Amanda Chase's win in the 11th Senate District - more about this one in a moment) but for the most part it was a good night for incumbents beating back challenges.  Speaker of the House Bill Howell, who was challenged by former Stafford County Supervisor Susan Stimpson, cruised to victory and did so by being the classy individual that we have come to know and by staying positive.  State Senator Emmett Hanger, who was in a three way race won big too.  In the Virginia Beach area, State Senator John Cosgrove also won.

In the 11th Senate District that includes Amelia, part of Chesterfield and Colonial Heights, Amanda Chase ran a positive campaign (as did Martin) and was able to use her life story as a married mom of four and small business owner to her advantage in generating grassroots support. The third candidate in this race, Barry Moore, ran a very negative campaign and was never a factor.  In the end, the voters decided it was time for a change and Chase ended up winning by a little over five points  While Martin was endorsed by NRA and VSSA, Chase scored an "AQ" rating from the NRA-PVF so Chase's win is a wash with gun owners.  There is no reason to believe that she will not protect our rights as strongly as Martin.  Should she go on to win the general election, VSSA looks forward to working with her.

The one race that should give gun owners some reason for concern was in the 12th Senate District.  This was the race that featured four candidates,  Ed Whitlock, Dr. Siobhan S. Dunnavant, Tea Party favorite Vince Haley, and former Delegate Bill Janis (endorsed by NRA-PVF and VSSA).  While Haley had the support of such national names as former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (for whom Haley once worked) and Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, he finished 3rd with a little over 22% of the vote.  The battle came down to Dunnavant and Janis, and in the end, Dunnavant won with 38.19% of the vote - a margin of 7 points over Janis' 30.25%.  While Janis had the NRA-PVF and VSSA endorsements Dunnavant had a ? from NRA-PVF.  There is also the fact she first considered running as a Democrat, having spoken with none other than the State Senate's most anti-rights member, Senator Don McEachin, among others about running. Finally, there were some charges that Dunnavant's campaign was less then honest with voters in the final days.  This from the Richmond Times Dispatch:
Dunnavant’s camp later went after Janis, inaccurately charging on television ads and in mailers that he supported in-state tuition benefits for illegal immigrants.

After it was revealed that a House vote on which the ads were based had been mistakenly cast, and later corrected, by Janis, Dunnavant’s campaign promised to take down the ads, but they continued to run and the charge was repeated in a subsequent mailer.
So,  if after being shown the facts that her ad was false and she promised to take them down but didn't, just how can we trust her to protect our rights when she would not even let primary voters know where she stands?  In their primary post mortem, Bearing Drift summed up her tactics like this:
...The candidates who ran the cleaner campaigns, for the most part, won yesterday. PACs that are trying to make a name for themselves, particularly the National Association of Gun Rights, who ran vile tripe against good conservatives, were overwhelmingly rejected. One caveat is the Stosch-like tactics that seemed to work for Dunnavant – they were disturbing and wrong. While we are glad to see, potentially, more female representation in the senate, how she went about it remains deplorable.
Gun owners are encouraged to contact Mrs. Dunnavant and ask her to complete the NRA Candidate Survey so we know where she stands on our issue.

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