By Lynn R. Mitchell
What many have considered a sideshow in the 24th Senate District is finally settled. With the inconvenient but obviously planned timing of the legislative committee bringing a lawsuit against the Commonwealth of Virginia demanding only conventions behind them, candidates can now move forward as they approach the June 9th primary (see Primary, or convention for 24th senate district?).
What transpired resulted in a colossal waste of time and money for those in the district … the pre-planning for a “convention,” the mass meetings to elect “delegates,” and the uncertainty for the four candidates who have filed (see Augusta County calls mass meeting for faux 24th Senate District convention and Rockingham GOP calls mass meeting for faux convention). All of the proceedings appear to have been for the benefit of tea partier Dan Moxley who, interestingly enough, hedged his bets on the convention route and filed petitions for a primary. He had all but declared himself the winner of that non-existent event that was to take place in Elkton in three weeks.
Meanwhile, Senator Emmett Hanger and Supervisor Marshall Pattie did not file by the faux convention deadline but instead turned in petitions to run in the primary. That leaves one other candidate who did not file for a primary but believed he was to participate in a convention and filed for that. What becomes of him?
In the end, U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Dillon ruled that the Republican Party of Virginia’s Plan of Organization said that a legislative district committee must follow Virginia state law. In this case, state law says incumbents can choose their method of nomination (see Hanger gets to have a primary, judge rejects local bid for a convention by Dave Ress in the Daily Press):
“The Party’s voluntary decision to limit the authority of the (committee) in its Plan and to allow the incumbent to decide upon the method of selecting a nominee is a decision the Party is permitted to make and is the cause of any alleged injury to the plaintiffs … this court cannot redress any injury caused by the Party’s governing Plan,” Dillon ruled.
Next stop: June 9th primary. See also ‘First they came for the volunteers, and I did not speak out.’