By Lynn R. Mitchell
At the 2014 Virginia Republican State Convention in Roanoke, Ed Gillespie soundly defeated Shak Hill for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate, and then went on to come within a whisker of toppling incumbent senator Mark Warner. Final results were Warner 49.2 percent; Gillespie 48.4 percent; Sarvis 2.5 percent (see How Gillespie nearly slayed Warner).
Monday after Ed Gillespie’s name began circulating for governor after Mark Obenshain announced he was not running, radio host John Fredericks wrote the following false comment on his Facebook page:
Gillespie barely beat back a woefully underfunded convention challenge for U.S. Senate in Roanoke in 2014 by Shack Hill — who raised a little over $20,000 and ran what amounted to a Mail-Chimp campaign.
Wrong, wrong, and wrong. Here are the facts with the numbers to back them up. Ed Gillespie won by a landslide over Shak Hill (and the other two candidates), as noted at the time by blogger Justin Higgins who attended the convention and asked, “Just how badly did Gillespie beat Hill?”
Short answer: Pretty damn badly.
Despite Saturday’s convention (which more resembled a firehouse primary) being an incredibly low turnout affair, the final numbers show a massive win for Gillespie in a nominating contest that favors quixotic flamethrowers like Shak Hill.
Let’s run through some highlights of the final results:
– Gillespie won both the raw vote and the weighted vote by over 20%. The discrepancy between the two was only 1%, and Gillespie was over 60% in both categories.
– Gillespie won 10 out of 11 Congressional Districts. Only the 5th District went to Shak Hill.
– The two “closest” districts, the 7th and 10th, weren’t actually as close as they appear. The results posted for the 7th do not include Chesterfield voters, who were lumped into the 4th since a majority of the county is in that district. Chesterfield went overwhelmingly for Gillespie. An even more dramatic story is in the 10th, where Fairfax was included in the 11th and Prince William in the 1st. Both of those counties went heavily for Ed.
– DeTora and Moss, the two other candidates, combined for less than 1.5% of both the weighted vote and the raw vote. This was a two man race.
If I were PolitiFact, I would have to rate Mr. Fredericks’ claim as Pants On Fire!
More on former RPV Chairman Ed Gillespie:
– My thoughts: Gillespie concedes but close race damaged Warner during Va U.S. Senate race
– Bill Bolling: Will GOP learn from Gillespie campaign?
– Election Day 2014 … Ed Gillespie for U.S. Senate
– LynnRMitchell.com endorses Ed Gillespie for U.S. Senate
– Ed Gillespie takes message of religious freedom to Liberty University
– #1: Ed Gillespie at RPV Convention
– Ed Gillespie wins nomination at GOP convention in Roanoke
– Photos and observations: 2014 VBA Warner-Gilespie Debate at Greenbrier Resort