Pete Snyder has a rather short history in Virginia politics. He seemed to have come out of nowhere in 2012, and that’s pretty close to reality.
In 2008 Pete and his wife paid $1.675,000 for a house in Alexandria, prior to that he lived in Arlington and DC after growing up in Pennsylvania and graduating from William and Mary. He didn’t appear at Fairfax county Republican Committee until 2012 although he gave the committee $500 in 2004, a year prior to giving the same amount to Tom Davis for his run for Congress. (The FEC search function is here, search with Pete’s name and filter by using Virginia so that you don’t get other men sharing Pete’s name in various states). In 2010 and 2011 he was not a republican delegate at any conventions. He wasn’t even on the Virginia Republican’s radar screen.
Snyder contributed to some republican candidates prior to 2012, most notably, $25,000 to Bill Bolling’s campaign in 2008-2009. The only money Snyder has ever given to the current candidate for Governor, Ken Cuccinelli, was a measly $130 for his inauguration in 2010. Snyder gave more than that to his opponent, Jeannemarie Davis, for her run for Senate in 2003. That’s one of Pete’s earliest contributions to any republican, anywhere. Pete has never given ANY money to ANY republican Presidential candidate, with the exception of Rudy Giuliani. Pete’s FEC donations are here. If Snyder could afford a house worth well over a million, and we keep hearing how wealthy he is due to his successful business endeavors, one might think he could have given some of our Presidential candidates a dime or two.
So when did Pete enter the political scene in Virginia? In 2011, McDonnell announced that Snyder would chair the Victory 2012 campaign. Shortly after that, in December of 2012, Snyder let it be known that he intended to run for Lt. Governor in 2013. Could it be a coincidence that Snyder gave $25,000 to Bolling’s campaign, was then appointed to be Victory Chair and at the same time decided to run for Lt. Governor with Bolling on the top of the ticket? No, it couldn’t be. When Pete was appointed to be Victory Chair 2012 McDonnell and Bolling thought that Snyder could then be all over the state, introducing himself to voters, in preparation for his run with Bolling in 2013. That explains why in the summer of 2012 Snyder gave ridiculously long speeches at Loudoun Republican committee and Fairfax Republican committee talking about himself. He was supposed to speak about Victory 2012 for 2 minutes. Instead of that, he was mercifully stopped after a 25 minute speech about himself. In 2012 Pete failed miserably at his job at Victory and inexplicably continued his run for Governor. He and Bolling were going to prevail, doggone-it! But things didn’t quite work out the way that McDonnell and Bolling had hoped. Bolling saw the handwriting on the wall and knew that he couldn’t beat Ken Cuccinelli at a convention. Bolling dropped out of the race for Governor although he may soon return as a third party candidate, or a democrat challenging Terry McAuliffe. ( Senator Steve Martin isn’t the ‘wild and crazy guy’ in Virginia politics, Bill Bolling is.)
After Bolling dropped out, Pete continued on his own. He was chosen to run for Lt. Governor by Bill Bolling and McDonnell and now Pete is all that is left of their ‘dream team’, all that remains to carry on the old Bolling message. Poor Pete, left with only his BBQ grill and a cadre of young people from the Bolling campaign. The good news is that Pete has plenty of out of state money coming in, thanks to his wife having spent many years on Capital hill, working for Senator Roy Blunt. (Yeah, that Roy Blunt.) That out of state money is hiring young followers across the state to help spread the Bolling message and grill BBQ. All of those connections were supposed to help elect the Bolling/Snyder team. Now Snyder alone will benefit from all of those hefty out-of-state donations.