Category Archives: Virginia Politics

Siobhan Dunnavant Withdraws Reeves Endorsement for LG

With less than a month until the June 13th Republican Primary, State Senator Siobhan Dunnavant has withdrawn her endorsement of fellow Senator Bryce Reeves in his run for Lieutenant Governor.

Published late Friday night on Facebook, Senator Dunnavant explained how she came to that conclusion:

Several weeks ago, the Reeves campaign for LG released an online ad featuring me and five other Republican members of the General Assembly — all female legislators. I had significant concerns about the message of the ad. Concerns about my endorsement, my name and my reputation being used in this way without my consent. My endorsement of Senator Reeves was intended as a positive affirmation of my belief that he would make a good Lieutenant Governor.
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BREAKING: Incumbent Will Morefield Overcomes Challenger, Wins HOD-3 in Mass Meeting

Delegate Will Morefield fought off an eleventh-hour challenge to win the Republican mass meeting for the House of Delegates 3rd District on Saturday.

The meeting, held at Richlands High School in the 9th Congressional District, was a loss for area Trump organizers who had recruited the challenger and turned Trump supporters against one another in the battle that began brewing a few weeks ago. I guess they don’t call it the Fightin’ Ninth for nothing, except I thought it meant Republicans fighting their Democratic opponents, not each other.

The snipes and crossfire on Facebook had even lowered to the point of what degree of support was provided for Trump and whether someone was fully on the Trump Train while making no mention of whose yardstick would be used to measure that support, nor how much was enough.

Long-time Republican leader Jerry Lester wrote an op-ed Friday stating his support of Morefield, and noted the Morefield was the first to win against decades of Democratic public officials but was soon followed by other local offices that flipped to the GOP.

Developing…

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Guest Post: I Support Del. Will Morefield

By Jerry Lester

Jerry Lester (left) and Delegate Will Morefield

I support Delegate Will Morefield.

I exercised my constitutional right in last year’s Republican primary and supported Ted Cruz. However, after President Trump received the nomination, I supported him in the General Election.

What happened to people who don’t support others’ rights to choose the candidate they support? It is very disturbing to be labeled “against coal” for not supporting a certain candidate.

I earned the right to vote for the candidate of my choice through many ways such as serving my country for three years in the military from 1962 to 1965. I can speak as a coal miner as I actually DID work in the coal mines and crawled on my knees working between two pieces of a rock.

For 10 years I served as the Buchanan County Republican Party Chairman, plus 10 years on the Republican State Central Committee, and 10 years as the Third Legislative District Republican Chairman that Will Morefield represents.

I do support Delegate Will Morefield because I remember that, while Chairman of the Buchanan County Republican Party and the 3rd Legislative District, Delegate Morefield was elected after 25 years or longer of Democratic rule. We had no voice as the Democrats did what they wanted to get votes and elect others to many different positions.

In Buchanan County we finally elected a Republican sheriff for the first time in 25 years, and along the way we also elected a Commonwealth’s Attorney for the first time in 40 years, and we elected the first Republican Commissioner of Revenue in 60 years, all while Will Morefield was in office.

Do we want to go back and give the General Election to the Democrats after all this hard work from so many Republican Party loyalists? I for one will not, and you can bet if we have a new person running for this position then Democrats could regain control.

I urge all my friends in Buchanan County to vote for Delegate Will Morefield and stop listening to outside people who have not earned that right.

The House of Delegates 3rd District mass meeting will be held Saturday, April 29, at 10:30 a.m. at Richlands High School. The district consists of the counties of Bland, Buchanan, Russell (part), and Tazewell in Virginia’s 9th Congressional District.

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Former Lt. Gov. John Hager Honored by Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership

Photo courtesy of Del. Richard Anderson.

Former Lieutenant Governor John Hager. Photo courtesy of UVa Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership.

The University of Virginia’s Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership dedicated its Spring Gala earlier this month to honoring former Lieutenant Governor John Hager for his services to Sorensen and to the Commonwealth. The Gala, an annual fundraiser dinner held in Richmond that brought in Sorensen alumni and friends, also included a silent auction and a jazz band.

John Hager, who has worked closely with Sorensen and is the immediate past Chairman of the Sorensen Institute Statewide Advisory Board, is a pillar in the ranks of Virginia Republicans and a supporter of the party for decades who served as Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth from 1998-2002 during Governor Jim Gilmore’s administration.  Throughout the years, John Hager was Director of Homeland Security for Virginia, Assistant U.S. Secretary of Education, Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, and served on numerous other boards and organizations. He also served as Assistant Secretary of the Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services from 2004-07, nominated by President George W. Bush in the years before Hager’s son, Henry, met and married the president’s daughter, Jenna, in 2008.

During the program that included remarks from notable leaders, the Lieutenant Governor was presented with an award that was inscribed with the Sorensen Institute logo and the following words:

John H. Hager

In recognition

of extraordinary service to the

Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership

and to the Commonwealth of Virginia

April 3, 2017

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Republican John Adams Seasoned and Ready For November

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Look out, Mark Herring … there’s a new guy in town, and he has a name every American should recognize.

Republican John Adams is coming on strong in his campaign for Virginia Attorney General, and he has the “it” factor that political types are always looking for in a candidate: Qualified, good looks, beautiful all-American family that includes a supportive wife and four sons, VMI grad, UVa Law School, and military veteran, clerked in D.C., and hometown boy who never forgot his roots and eventually moved back home ready to serve Virginia. Indeed, on his website he says, “I am a Virginian, not a politician.”

And, yes, he is related to that John Adams.

For Richmonders who remember Dr. Theodore F. Adams, the longtime, very well-known pastor at Richmond’s First Baptist Church … well, he was John’s grandfather. John Adams’ roots go deep in the Richmond community. He practices at McGuireWoods where he leads the firm’s Government Investigations department, managing more than fifty lawyers worldwide. He and his wife Lisa met in high school, and their four sons attend the same Chesterfield County public schools their parents did.

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Del. Dave Albo Will Not Seek Re-election to HOD-42

Brian Schoeneman (left) and Delegate Dave Albo.

Republican Delegate Dave Albo (HOD-42) announced to his colleagues Wednesday that, after 24 years serving the citizens of his district, he will not seek re-election to the Virginia General Assembly.

That was not the news expected out of the Veto Session taking place in Richmond. His announcement was also posted on his website along with  a highlight of his accomplishments. It’s a list that is worth a look.

As news of Albo’s retirement spread, political reporter Graham Moomaw with the Richmond Times-Dispatch noted the blue-leaning district created the potential for a Democratic pickup, and added:

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General Assembly Convenes Veto Session Wednesday

Virginia’s General Assembly will reconvene in Richmond on Wednesday, April 5, for this year’s veto session. Legislators will take a look at bills that were struck down by Governor Terry McAuliffe on his way to setting a record for the most vetoes ever by a Virginia governor.

An email from Delegate Rob Bell touched on some of his legislation including the Tebow Bill that McAuliffe vetoed for the third year in a row. Bell concluded:

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Elevate YRFV Sweeps Young Republican Elections

Saturday’s Young Republican For Virginia Convention (YRFV) in downtown Richmond saw a slate of YRFV candidates headed by Kishore Thota sweep the event, winning every position and picking up three seats on State Central Committee.

In a pull between the tea party Fellowship faction of the Republican Party of Virginia, and mainstream Republicans, this one was a win for mainstream Republicans.

 

A straw poll held during the convention saw Ed Gillespie for Governor with a convincing win (84 percent) followed by Corey Stewart (9 percent), and Frank Wagner (6 percent). In the Lieutenant Governor’s race it was Jill Vogel (46 percent), Bryce Reeves (28 percent), and Glenn Davis 24 percent).

The Republican primary will be held on June 13.

2017 GOP Primary Candidates Listed, Chuck Smith Fails to Make Ballot for AG

On Friday the Republican Party of Virginia released the list of 2017 Republican Primary candidates who qualified for the June 13 ballot.

Missing from the list was Virginia Beach attorney Chuck Smith who was vying to run for attorney general.

From the RPV press release:

Earlier today, RPV Chairman John Whitbeck sent a letter to the Virginia State Board of Elections certifying the following candidates met the legal requirements to appear on the June 13 Republican Primary Ballot.
They are (listed in order of office and pre-check qualification):
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George W. Bush To Attend Ed Gillespie Fundraiser

Ed Gillespie will have help on his gubernatorial campaign when a fundraiser to be held this weekend in Texas will be attended by his old boss, former President George W. Bush.

Gillespie, who was the state chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia in 2006, left to serve as the president’s top aide toward the end of the Bush administration. Gillespie also served as chairman of the Republican National Committee.

CNN reported:

“Ed will travel to Dallas this week to raise money for his campaign. He’s proud to have the support of President Bush and conservative leaders from across the commonwealth and the country,” said Abbi Sigler, a Gillespie spokeswoman. “This is a crucial campaign for Virginia Republicans, and Ed will work tirelessly to ensure we have the resources necessary to defeat Ralph Northam or Tom Perriello in November, and bring conservative leadership back to Richmond.”

The latest polls show Gillespie 25 points ahead of his nearest competitor, and ahead of both Democratic candidates in a hypothetical head-to-head contest.

Here are the numbers:

Head to Head Match ups:

  • Gillespie 40, Northam 39
  • Gillespie 39, Perriello 39
  • Northam 41, Stewart 33
  • Perriello 40, Stewart 34
  • Northam 40, Wagner 34
  • Perriello 38, Wagner 35

Among Independents:

  • Gillespie 40, Northam 30
  • Gillespie 40, Perriello 30

The Republican Primary is June 13 when Gillespie will be on the ballot with Corey Stewart and Frank Wagner. The winner will go on to compete in the general election against either Democratic Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam, or former Congressman Tom Perriello.

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Ernesto Sampson Announces for HOD-72

Ernesto Sampson has officially announced as a candidate for the House of Delegates seat being vacated by Delegate Jimmie Massie:

Today, I’m announcing my candidacy for the House of Delegates representing the 72nd District.

Our nation was built by a band of young Virginians willing to sacrifice for a cause greater than themselves. As Virginians, this heritage inspires us to answer the call to serve. My mother, a United States Army veteran, instilled my earliest lessons in service while raising me on her own. Later, at VMI, the principles of honor, loyalty, hard work, and sacrifice formed the bedrock … on which I have built a family and career here in Henrico County.

I want my own daughters to know there is no higher calling than to serve your country and your community. For this reason, I am announcing to my friends and neighbors my intention to seek the Republican nomination for the Virginia House of Delegates.

My own life experiences have taught me that our shared conservative principles are the foundation for a strong Virginia, and especially for the least among us.

As your Delegate, my priority would bringing those principles to bear on the issues most important to our community—bringing good jobs and workforce development to our communities, making our streets safe for our families, and ensuring every Virginia child has the quality of education I would wish for my own kids.

Savon and I have been proud to call Jimmie Massie our Delegate and we wish him and his family the very best in this next chapter. It would be my honor to succeed this great public servant as your next Delegate from the 72nd District.

In the coming days, we will be hitting the streets to talk to our neighbors about the issues and to earn your vote.

Sampson has garnered the support of former 7th Congressional District Chairman Linwood Cobb who wrote, “You have my support Ernesto! Thanks for running.”

Sampson’s community involvements have included serving as a trustee at Virginia Military Institute (VMI), board member of Southside Community Development and Housing Authority, and board member of the Benedictine Society of Virginia Finance Advisory Board.

Eddie Whitlock, Henrico Republican Committee chairman, has also announced for HOD-72.

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On this day in 1775 … ‘Give me liberty, or give me death’

[It has been 242 years since Virginia’s own Patrick Henry issued his “Give me liberty or give me death!” speech at St. John’s Church in Richmond. Remembering that important part of Virginia and American history, I was reminded of 2007 and a special recognition presented from Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling. Originally published March 11, 2007.]

In 1775, unrest in America was growing (see background history here). When Delegate Patrick Henry stood up to speak, his words rang out in St. John’s Church but it was the closing lines that most remembered, then and today.

“Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

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McAuliffe Vetoes Glenn Davis Bill That Would Have Protected Taxpayers

On Monday Delegate Glenn Davis, the pro-jobs Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor, denounced Governor McAuliffe’s third consecutive veto of Davis’ bill to protect taxpayers from skyrocketing local taxes and keeping Virginia a right-to-work state.

“The Governor vetoed taxpayers once again by vetoing HB1753, which stops local governments from demanding union-level expenses from contractors. That drives up the costs of local projects and local taxpayers pay the price,” said Davis, who labor unions have always seen as a threat. In fact, labor unions have given over twice what the House Democratic Caucus has given to his liberal opponents since 2013 to try to defeat Davis, who has consistently prevailed.

“When government demands private companies pay union wages, you’re on your way to being a union state,” added Davis. “No wonder Virginia’s falling behind among the best states for business. We need to lower the cost of doing business and stop government from imposing greater costs.”

Virginia’s current Lt. Governor, Ralph Northam, also voted against this bill in the Senate in an effort to prevent its passage.

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Del. Jimmie Massie Will Not Seek Re-election in HOD-72

Facebook has certainly become the crossroads of political announcements recently, and Saturday was no exception. Republican Delegate Jimmie Massie (72 HOD)announced his decision not to run for reelection:

Representing my 72nd District constituents in the Virginia House of Delegates, for the past decade, has been the greatest honor of my professional life! I have always been immensely humbled by the trust and confidence my constituents have bestowed upon me to represent them in the oldest continually meeting legislature in the United States. Interacting with, helping, representing my constituents and all the persons I have met over the past 10 years from all walks of life has been the best part of the job.

After a tremendous amount of prayer, numerous consultations and deep thought I have decided not to seek re-election this year. This was a very tough decision!

I want to thank my constituents for their trust in me, my family for their sacrificial support of me, all the great Virginians I have met on the political and public policy trails, all the volunteers who have helped me, my wonderful colleagues in the House of Delegates (Republicans, Democrats and Independents) and the hardworking staff at the General Assembly. May God bless you all!

The news had barely begun making the rounds when a candidate announced his intention to seek the seat, again by Facebook. Attorney Edward Whitlock III, who serves as chairman of the Henrico County Republican Committee, wrote:

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Del. Farrell Won’t Seek Re-Election for HOD-56, Candidates Lining Up

In a surprise move, Republican Delegate Peter Farrell (HOD-56) announced last week he would not seek re-election to the House of Delegates district he has represented since 2011 when he won the GOP nomination against another candidate, Dave Brat, who quickly got over it and moved on to seek another GOP office.

Farrell, whose dad is powerful CEO Tom Farrell of Dominion Resources, was a rising star within the party but made the decision to step aside because of family and work considerations, writing on his Facebook page:

Many folks know that I have been deliberating whether to run again. After lots of prayer and consideration I will not be seeking re-election. Being a member of the House of Delegates has been the greatest honor of my professional life. Thank you to all who I have met along the way as the best part of the job is getting to meet a lot of great people from all walks of life. It was a tough decision, but with a young family and a growing business I cannot give the job as Delegate the time and energy that it deserves. Thank you to everyone who has given me the opportunity to be your representative and thank you to all the wonderful staff at the General Assembly who are some of the best public servants around!

Democrats have already fielded a candidate for the seat, Lizzie Drucker-Basch.
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