Category Archives: Virginia Politics

‘Burgers with Bill’ … Celebrating Bolling’s 60th Birthday

They are two classy people. Former Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling and Jean Ann Bolling welcomed and thanked everyone for attending “Burgers With Bill” to celebrate his 60th birthday. Many thanks for bringing together the large crowd of Republican friends for an evening of fellowship, laughter, and happy memories.

My Bill and Missy’s Shaun.

Trixie and Bill.

Trixie, Donald Williams, Nancy Williams

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‘Dear Glenn.’ An Open Letter to Glenn Davis

Dear Glenn,

Thank you!

For the past year you traveled the Commonwealth and shared your generosity with those around you.

You shared your ready availability and willingness to talk with prospective supporters …

… as well as your policy, leadership, and business sense with a plan and an eye to the future.

For all that and so much more, thank you.

And thank you for your gracious concession and call for party unity. You, Sir, are a class act.

Rest up because we’re going to need your pragmatic common sense somewhere down the political road. Take Chelle on a long vacation. Sleep past 4:00 am.

And when you’re in my part of the Valley please be sure to stop by so we can again break bread together and talk about life, politics, and the world around us.

This door may have closed … but somewhere there’s a window waiting for you to dive through it! The best, as they say, is yet to come….


~Lynn Mitchell

Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell

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How Did Bearing Drift Do With Primary Predictions?

It’s the morning after the night before so it’s time to turn our bleary eyes to the 2017 Primary predictions made by some of Bearing Drift’s writers.  How did we do? First, let’s look at the final results as provided by the State Board of Elections.

GOVERNOR – Republican

Edward W. “Ed” Gillespie 160,039 43.71%
Corey A. Stewart 155,716 42.53%
Frank W. Wagner 50,345 13.75%

LT. GOVERNOR – Republican

Bryce E. Reeves 142,141 40.02%
Glenn R. Davis, Jr. 61,157 17.22%
Jill H. Vogel 151,849 42.76%

GOVERNOR – Democrat

Ralph S. Northam 303,429 55.90%
Tom S. Perriello 239,383 44.10%

LT. GOVERNOR – Democrat

Justin E. Fairfax 252,319 49.14%
Gene J. Rossi 60,008 11.69%
Susan S. Platt 201,154 39.17%

The surprise of the night was the tight race between Republicans Ed Gillespie and Corey Stewart, a nail-biter that went down to the wire before it was called for Gillespie.

The other tight race was between Republicans Jill Vogel and Bryce Reeves who battled for LG until Vogel pulled ahead. While many voters seemed to wrangle over the LG decision of who to vote for, the undecideds did not break for Glenn Davis as some had expected.

With those results in mind, let’s look at what our writers predicted.

Brian Schoeneman: 100%. Without giving exact percentages, he nailed it.

Jim Hoeft: 25%. His one correct prediction was Fairfax but he missed with Wagner, Perriello, and Davis, thinking outside the box with a couple of those.

Matt Hall: 100%. Matt’s percentages were off but his choices were on the money.

Rick Sincere: 75%. His prediction that Stewart would get less than 10 percent, we now know, was a miscalculation.

Shaun Kenney: 100%. His percentages were way off for Gillespie and Vogel but he chose the correct winners for each office.

Lynn Mitchell: 50% for the statewide races. Of the three local races, I had two correct (Emily Brewer and Bethany Harrison). Ben Dessart’s loss was a surprise since it seemed his chances were higher than Emily’s, mainly because she was going up against a local supervisor.

All in all, not bad for the Bearing Drift crew.

2017 Virginia Primary Day Open Thread at Bearing Drift

I’m busy at Bearing Drift today helping to keep the open thread updated so come on over and see what’s going on around the Commonwealth (see Primary Day Open Thread).

You may also be interested in Election Eve late-night predictions from some of our Bearing Drift writers (see 2017 Primary Predictions from Bearing Drift’s Political Junkies).

Meanwhile, don’t forget to vote. This year is Governor and Lieutenant Governor plus all 100 House of Delegates seats, and in some areas there are local races (see Tuesday Primary … Virginians to Vote for State, Local Candidates).

Widespread coverage will be available tonight from news outlets, VPAP, and the Board of Elections website.

2017 Primary Predictions from Bearing Drift’s Political Junkies

Everyone at Bearing Drift is a political junkie so with today’s primary, we thought it would be fun to provide some predictions for the upcoming election, whether it’s a gut feeling, crunching and analyzing the numbers, or gazing into our individual crystal balls.

Brian Schoeneman, Editor-in-Chief

Governor — Republican: Ed Gillespie
Governor — Democrat: Ralph Northam

Lt. Governor — Republican: No idea
Lt. Governor — Democrat: Justin Fairfax

Jim Hoeft, Publisher

Governor — Republican:
Wagner 37
Gillespie 36
Stewart 27

LG — Republican:
Davis 42
Vogel 32
Reeves 26

Governor — Democrat:
Perriello 56
Northam 44

LG — Democrat:
Fairfax 44
Platt 42
Rossi 14

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Tuesday’s Primary … Virginians to Vote for State, Local Candidates

With the eyes of the nation on Virginia, voters will go to the polls Tuesday to choose Republican and Democratic candidates for the November 7 ballot. In what some are calling a bellwether election, the two top statewide offices are up for grabs — Governor and Lieutenant Governor — while Attorney General will not be on the ballot because only one candidate emerged from each party: Republican John Adams and Democrat Mark Herring (incumbent).

All 100 House of Delegates seats will also be on the ballot. This year seven incumbents did not seek re-election: six Republicans (Mark Dudenhefer — District 2, Bill Howell — District 28, Dave Albo — District 42, Peter Farrell — District 56, Rick Morris — District 64, Jimmie Massie — District 72); and one Democrat (Daun Sessoms Hester –District 89).

Tuesday’s Republican and Democratic primaries are open to all registered voters who will cast their ballots at their regular voting precinct locations from 6:00am until 7:00pm. For more information, check the Virginia Department of Elections website including the location of your polling place.


Republican Primary Candidates

Ed Gillespie
Corey A. Stewart
Frank Wagner

Democratic Primary Candidates

Ralph Northam
Tom Perriello


Republican Primary Candidates

Glenn Davis
Bryce Reeves
Jill Vogel

Democratic Primary Candidates

Justin Fairfax
Susan Platt
Gene Rossi

In various cities and counties there are local races, such as supervisor or Commonwealth’s Attorney or Sheriff, on the ballot to determine the party nominees. Voter turnout, normally low for primaries because many are unaware of this step in the election process, could highlight emerging trends if Democrats are successful in energizing their supporters.

Tune in Tuesday night for results that will determine who will appear on November’s ballot.

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.



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

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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