Tag Archives: David Suetterlein

Virginia’s new Senator Stooge

John FredericksBy John Fredericks
Guest Post

Ralph Smith: We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Election!
Virginia’s General Assembly prides itself on being populated by ‘citizen legislators.’ The implied meaning of that is the legislature is the people’s deliberative body. The people select its members. That’s why what is going on in Roanoke County-centric Senate District 19 is so troubling.

You see, outgoing Republican Sen. Ralph Smith has cynically rigged the system to ensure his hand-picked successor – tenderfoot legislative aide David Suetterlein – would have no formal GOP challenge for the nomination.

This brazen maneuver compels me to ask some uncomfortable questions.

Since when do the political elites and power brokers pre-determine election outcomes by gaming the system in a way that denies voters expressing their will?

Is this the new “Virginia Way?”

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Ralph Smith announces retirement from state senate, anoints Suetterlein – Updated

Ralph Smith

David Suetterlein, Ralph Smith

By Lynn R. Mitchell

On Monday Ralph Smith sent out an email stating: “Senator Smith announces he will not seek a third term … 19th District Senator endorses Legislative Director and Roanoke County GOP Chairman Dave Suetterlein to succeed him in Senate.”

An announcement of retirement in one breath and the endorsement of his aide in the next? With some feeling blindsided, the news spread throughout the district that a behind-closed-doors deal had apparently been made between the senator and his legislative aide who had held no prior public office. He had previously worked for Ken Cuccinelli before joining the senator’s staff.

Suetterlein, chairman of the Roanoke County Republican Committee, had mentioned nothing to his committee members about running. Smith had not communicated to constituents a wish to retire. No candidates had filed because they thought Smith was running for re-election. While it is understandable to groom people for positions, it is usually more transparent and above-board.

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