Mark Dudenhefer draws a Primary Opponent



Former House of Delegate 2nd District representative Mark Dudenhefer,  who is out to reclaim his old seat, has drawn a primary opponent.  Tim Ciampaglia, from Stafford County’s Rock Hill District has decided to file against the former Delegate. Mr. Ciampaglia has an uphill battle, with little name recognition – especially when compared to former Delegate Dudenhefer – and Dudenhefer’s close ties to Speaker Bill Howell filling his campaign coffers.  Currently there are no other possible contenders expected to throw their hats in the ring, though a few possible candidates have decided to stay out of the race this year and focus on other ventures instead.

Medical marijuana on the horizon in Virginia?


Colorado and Washington approve marijuana legalization

Rand Paul’s CARERS act is gaining momentum in the U.S. Senate, and if Grassley allows it to come to a vote, it is quite possible that we could see medical marijuana in Virginia immediately upon passage. The CARERS act deals with medical marijuana by changing it from a Schedule I controlled substance, which delineates no legitimate medical value to the drug, to a Schedule II controlled substance, which indicates some legitimate medical uses exist. Notably, there are very few Schedule I drugs, and most of them are hallucinogens that are generally considered quite dangerous.  Cocaine and most opiates such morphine as are Schedule II drugs, while morphine’s close cousin heroin, Ecstasy, bath salts and LSD are Schedule I.

As Schedule II drugs have legitimate medical uses, they can be legally sold for such uses. For instance, even cocaine may be prescribed as a local anesthetic for dentistry and other uses.  Once the drug can be prescribed, it can be legally sold – and that means legally taxed without running into IRS Code 280E. The potential revenue being lost to the Federal Government from what would likely be a multi-billion dollar industry, coupled with the legitimate State’s rights arguments that many now espouse should allow even the most staunch conservatives to re-evaluate their position on the issue. In fact, Virginia conservatives should remember that our own Morgan Griffith was ahead of the game on this, nearly a year ago proposing legislation to reschedule Marijuana.

The interesting item about current Virginia law, is that we are already set up to allow medical marijuana to be sold in the Commonwealth. Virginia Code § 18.2-251.1, creates an exception to illegal marijuana possession “when that possession occurs pursuant to a valid prescription issued by a medical doctor in the course of his professional practice for treatment of cancer or glaucoma.” Similar language allows doctors and pharmacists to prescribe/distribute marijuana for those reasons. The only thing holding back medical marijuana in Virginia (at least for cancer and glaucoma patients) is the federal Schedule I classification. That means the CARERS act would legalize medical marijuana in Virginia with no further action of our General Assembly.

So as Congressman Griffith has noted, state’s rights is a legitimate question when Virginian’s consider medical marijuana. Currently, the federal government is curtailing the rights of Virginians and the will of the general assembly when it comes to the Category I scheduling that the CARERS act would remedy.


This is cross posted at

Glen Sturtevant locks up GOP nomination for 10th Senate District.

As we reported earlier this month, Richmond School Board member Glen Sturtevant has been gathering powerful endorsements in his quest to succeed John Watkins in Virginia’s 10th Senate District.  These endorsements and Glen’s significant grass-roots work have paid big dividends as his challengers Steve Thomas and Bruce Tyler have bowed out of the nomination contest.  This paves the way for for Sturtevant to glide to a nomination by acclamation and lets him focus on the real battle: the general election this November.

Sturtevant had nice things to say about both his former competitors in an e-mailed statement regarding the two withdrawals:

Speaking about State Centeral Member Steve Thomas, Sturtevant remarked, “This morning, Steve Thomas announced that he will withdraw his name from consideration for the Republican nomination for State Senate in the 10th district. I would like to congratulate Steve and his family on his exciting new career opportunity in Texas. I would also like to thank Steve for his contributions to this race.  He has been an important and effective conservative voice for many years in Virginia, including during his service as 3rd district representative to the Republican Party State Central Committee.  I wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.”

Regarding former Richmond City Counsel member Bruce Tyler, Glenn had even more to say: “For years, Bruce Tyler has dedicated himself to serving the people of Richmond. As a councilman, small businessman, and an engaged and committed member of the Richmond-area community, Bruce has rightly earned a reputation as a man of character and dedication. I know today’s decision was not an easy one for him. Anyone who steps into the arena of public service sacrifices greatly and I truly respect Bruce for all that he has done, and all that I know he will continue to do for the people of our region in the years ahead.”

“I have spoken to Bruce. I thanked him for his endorsement and I told him I look forward to working together now to move forward as a united and strong Republican Party into what is a critical election this November for Powhatan, Chesterfield, Richmond and all of Virginia. Our Commonwealth faces many challenges. I’m running to bring a common-sense conservative voice to the General Assembly to stand up for taxpayers, make state government more accountable and efficient, and provide new educational opportunities for all students, in all schools. I look forward to continuing to share that positive message and that vision with voters in Powhatan, Chesterfield and Richmond in the weeks and months ahead.”

The deadline to file for the nomination is this Thursday, and it is highly unlikely that anyone will challenged Sturtevant in a nomination contest.

This is GOP politics at its best, with a unified front and a candidate the many factions of the party can get behind leading the way.  Considering the importance of the 10th Senate race this fall, and the increasingly purple nature of the district this is very good news for the Republican Party in Virginia. Congrats to Glen and thank you to Steve and Bruce for their efforts in running and class in withdrawing.

Why PWC GOP Incumbents Don’t Have A Leg To Stand On With Their Lawsuit


Arlington Circuit Court Judge Paul Sheridan ruled Friday that Prince William County Republican incumbents Corey Stewart (Board Chairman At-Large), Maureen Caddigan (Potomac Supervisor), Marty Nohe (Coles Supervisor) and Glen Hill (Sheriff) are not entitled to their choice of a primary for their method of nomination because County Republican Committee Chairman Bill Card did not file the requisite paperwork with the State Board of Elections in a timely manner per § 24.2-509 of the Code of Virginia.

I have to disagree with my friend Steve Albertson over at The Bull Elephant who argued that Sheridan got the decision wrong. In fact, Sheridan got the decision exactly right and here is why:

§ 24.2-516 Each chairman shall file timely written notice with the Board whether or not a primary has been adopted and identify each office for which a primary has been adopted. The requirement to notify the Board of the adoption of a direct primary shall be satisfied when the Board receives by the deadline (i) written notice from the appropriate party chairman or (ii) a copy of the written notice from an incumbent officeholder to his party chairman of the incumbent’s selection, pursuant to § 24.2-509, of the primary as the method of nomination.

That’s right, per the emphasized section the authority to notify the Board of Elections is NOT vested solely with the party chairman, but the incumbent officeholder also has the authority to notify the Board per the process above. These incumbents are equally at fault for not sending their notifications to the State Board of Elections and now they are attempting to sue their way into a primary.

Sorry, you had two bites at the apple — you could have kept on the party chairman to ensure that the paperwork was filed timely and you could have filed a copy of your written notification to the party chairman of your choice of a primary with the State Board of Elections yourself. You did neither, now you must live with those consequences.

Herrity Puts Community before Politics

This weekend Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity along with The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce  hosted a successful job fair . Herrity someone I have admired for his dedication to community and service minded leadership should be applauded for his efforts. With 40 vendors and with close to 600 attendees I would say this was an overwhelming success for the community of Springfield. Great job to those who were involved in this effort.

This is cross posted from

Ross Snare, Pat Herrity and Pat Malone
Ross Snare, Pat Herrity and Pat Malone

State Senator Ralph Smith announces he will not run for another term



Senator Smith will not be returning to the Virginia State Senate. The announcement came today to the sadness of many, in announcing this he has endorsed fellow Young Republican Dave Suetterlein to take over his spot in the Senate. This will be a fun and interesting race to watch. Thank you Senator Smith for your service to our Commonwealth.

Here is Senator Smith’s Press Release :

For Immediate Release

March 16, 2015

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

Roanoke County, Virginia, March 16, 2015:  At a news conference today, Senator Ralph K. Smith (R-Bedford County) announced he will not seek a third term representing the 19th District in the Senate of Virginia.  In announcing his decision, Senator Smith endorsed the candidacy of Dave Suetterlein, his Legislative Director and the current Chairman of the Roanoke County Republican Committee, to succeed him in the Senate.

After introducing the legislative and campaign team who worked with him through his election to and service in the General Assembly, Senator Smith delivered the following remarks:

“Today, I want to express my thanks to the people of Virginia, especially those in my district who have placed their trust in me by electing me to serve as their voice – and to fight for their principles and values – in the Senate of Virginia.  For a boy who grew up on Williamson Road and who started off working in a gas station, this has been an extraordinary honor.

“In so many ways, I have been blessed.

“I have been blessed with a loving and very supportive family.

“I have been blessed with strength and good health.

“I have been blessed with the opportunity to start and run my own businesses for 40 years.

“I am grateful for and humbled by the trust my customers put into me as their auto mechanic, the trust the people placed in me to serve as mayor of my hometown, and the trust they placed in me to represent Southwest Virginia in the Senate for the past eight years.

“I had a certain awe the first time I entered the Senate in January 2008.   It is times like that when you fully appreciate the trust that has been placed in you, and what a privilege it is to be given the opportunity to serve.

“As Mayor, I regularly put the concerns and needs of the City first, placing the interests of the people ahead of my personal priorities.  That is a standard by which I have continued to abide in the Senate.

“The people trusted me to represent their interests in the Senate.  I made sure to be there and to be vigilant on their behalf every day the Senate has been in regular or special session these last eight years.  And, I have placed the hard-working taxpayers foremost in my mind every single day.

“The people entrusted me to:

  • Let them keep more of their hard-earned dollars by fighting unnecessary tax and fee increases;
  • Allow our existing businesses to grow by working to reduce the regulatory burden;
  • Defend their rights and liberties against the encroachment of a government that too often forgets it is there to serve the people and not the other way around; and
  • To stand up for the traditional values held by the people of Southwest Virginia, where ‘In God We Trust,’ isn’t just the national motto, it is our way of life.

“I cherish the trust placed in me by the people.  Elected officials serve at the pleasure of the people they are entrusted to represent.  These assignments are inherently temporary, dependent upon the verdict handed down by voters in elections.

 “Although there will be a lot of civic activism – and quite possibly another campaign – in my future, I have determined that 2015 is the best time to end my tenure in the Senate of Virginia.

“This year, I will be campaigning for an experienced and effective conservative voice to succeed me in the Senate: my friend, Dave Suetterlein.

“During the last eight years, I have trusted Dave to help direct my legislative efforts in the Senate and help the people of Southwest Virginia fight red tape.  I know Dave and his family to be committed Christians, I know him to be a tireless and diligent worker, and I know him to be man with the experience to effectively advance conservative principles in Richmond.  Dave has proven himself worthy of my trust, and I am confident the voters will find him worthy of their trust, too.

“Dave will be a champion for Southwest Virginia and an effective advocate for our conservative principles and traditional values.  So today, I am excited about the next to which I will be lending my support, helping my friend, Dave Suetterlein, become the next Senator for Southwest Virginia.”

Senator Ralph K. Smith is serving his eighth year in the Senate of Virginia, currently representing the 19th District.  The 19th District includes all of the City of Salem and Floyd County, and portions of Bedford, Carroll, Franklin, Montgomery, Roanoke, and Wythe Counties.

A New ‘Arlington Way’



So, retiring Arlington County Board member Walter Tejada seems worried. In a speech to the Arlington County Democratic Committee last week, he seemed to be fretting that Arlington might, “allow ourselves to become a new Arlington of rich, entitled people, lacking in compassion, empathy and a sense of community, viscerally opposed to government of any kind, opposed to everything in alleged overspending on every front?” Perish the thought, Walter.

God forbid we deviate from the genius path the Arlington Democrat establishment has set us on, the vaunted ‘Arlington Way’. This essentially means expanding ‘affordable housing’, better known as ‘housing projects’ or subsidized housing, to the rest of us. But that is not the politically correct term. It also goes hand in hand with “giving immigrants safe haven”, which means functioning as a borderline sanctuary city for illegals. Both of these bright ideas, of course, are in great part responsible for the schools capacity crunch the county finds itself in, by bringing in a lot of low-income people who would not otherwise reside in Arlington, who burden the county’s infrastructure and public services, not the least of which are… schools. This means that despite the relatively large county budget, and the repeated contraction of debt through bonds, the county has failed to keep up its roads, for example, or its infrastructure, for another. The roads in Glencarlyn, the author’s neighborhood, are in disrepair, pitted with cracks and potholes that patchwork repair jobs cannot fix, and need to be repaved completely.

Perhaps the absolute worst part about the ‘affordable housing’ fixation is the borderline bribery that goes on to make it happen. Developers often have to underwrite a project the Board majority wants in order to get approval to build. All too often, this means guaranteeing a certain number of housing units as ‘affordable’. Other times it can include things like a halfway house. As current Arlington County Republican Committee chairman Matt Wavro has expressed on numerous occasions in the past, you shouldn’t have to qualify for a government program to live in Arlington.

All of this has also meant steadily increasing property taxes in Arlington. At bottom, what the ‘Arlington Way’ is about, is making everyone dependent on the government, mainly divided into two groups. The first are the low-income residents whose support is bought with government candy such as ‘affordable housing’ or other taxpayer-funded goodies. The second are the guilt-laden limousine liberal types who are shamed by politicians like Tejada into carrying the cost of this statist monstrosity. This combined majority can then be wielded against others, including property and business owners, as it has been.

The good news is that this year’s elections may offer a chance to halt this runaway train, with Tejada and Mary Hynes both declining to seek re-election in the wake of John Vihstadt’s two electoral victories in 2014. The Arlington County Republican Committee should take the lead in standing against the ‘Arlington Way’. We can do this by outlining an alternative, free-market focused vision. What should this be? First, we should promise to make core county services an absolute priority, rather than pushing an ideological agenda, as the Democrats have. Maintain the roads and infrastructure, and put a stop to things like the Artisphere being greenlighted in the first place. Second, we should stand against ANY tax increases, but most immediately against property tax increases, particularly when they are used to further a particular agenda. Third, we should oppose ‘affordable housing’. This may seem like a tough thing in Arlington, but Vihstadt’s victory and the fall of the streetcar project have shown that Arlingtonians are open to fiscal sanity, if we lay out the vision and explain it properly. Fourth, we should never cede offices like the school board to the Democrats. They should face serious opposition whenever plausible.

We may never have a better opportunity than this year. Let’s seize it.

Dear Main Street Advocacy – You’re not helping!

Last week Barbara Comstock made a tough vote on funding DHS despite it more or less giving Obama the green light on his amnesty plans. At the time, Comstock gave solid enough reasons for voting for the bill:

I voted today to fund the Department of Homeland Security because we must continue to protect our borders, air travel, and ports with the dedicated employees that work tirelessly each and every day to keep America safe in this dangerous world.

While some people were critical of her vote (and rightfully so, there was a lot of grey area on this issue), overall she’d probably weather it just fine in a district that’s heavily dependent on the federal government for local jobs and the economy.

Which makes new ads on the air in her support from Main Street Advocacy an absolute unforced error by people who want to help her out:

“Mainstreet Advocacy” purchased ad time to support six Republican members of Congress who voted with the Democrats in favor of full DHS funding thereby ignoring realistic concerns that Obama’s executive amnesty would be allowed to stand. The ad includes the following:

75 Republicans stood against the Congressional bullies who want to lie about amnesty

Call Congresswoman Barbara Comstock, and thank her for putting our safety above petty politics.

“Bullies” and “Lies.” That’s what conservatives are reduced to.

The ad ends by stating it is paid for by Main Street Advocacy.

The Bull Elephant’s post goes on to detail a lot of the funding that goes to MSA’s organizing groups, and it’s a lot of labor money and groups who generally don’t favor Republicans – because they aren’t in favor of Republican principles and ideas.

While some could argue that Main Street Advocacy’s overall intentions are good – the polarization of American politics is indeed a sad thing, but you really don’t see Democrat organizations coming out talking about unradicalizing the far left message – the organization itself has to be careful how they message on behalf of candidates they support. And really should take a good, long look at their funding.

Barbara Comstock is hardly a middle of the road Republican and had a very conservative record as Delegate in Virginia – a record she’s taking to Capitol Hill. On this vote people take issue, but it’s a small bump in a long road. Main Street Advocacy’s efforts are only shining a light on that bump and reminding people who oppose her and would otherwise forget about it just what’s going on.

With friends like these…


This just in, the Prince William County Board of Elections has denied a request from a handful of Republican candidates to be included on the June 9 state primary ballot after the PWC GOP missed the Feb. 24 filing deadline with the State Board of Elections to request primaries in those races. Some of those candidates are now considering suing to be placed on the ballot in lieu of having to battle it out in so-called firehouse primaries run by the Republican Party.

The candidates impacted by this decision are Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart and Supervisors Maureen Caddigan (Potomac), Peter Candland (Gainesville), Marty Nohe (Coles) and Sheriff Glen Hill. While Candland would probably do even better in a firehouse primary than in a state-run primary if he were challenged, Caddigan and Nohe would be in great danger of losing in such an atmosphere (Nohe faces Paul O’Meara and Caddigan is currently unopposed, but this may draw out a challenger).

Even Stewart faces a greater threat in a party-run nominating contest as he has angered many party regulars with his non-election year antics of tax increases, cronyism and unrestrained residential growth — issues that Chris Crawford is using to go against him for the nomination. Hill’s GOP primary opponent, however, is a perennial candidate who was the right-hand man of the previous Democratic county sheriff.

For a county that likes to talk about “The Rule of Law” quite a bit, these folks make it appear that such a phrase is “for thee, but not for me.” The deadline was missed. There are consequences to that, even if they were not the cause. Furthermore, if one is truly a small government Republican, they he or she should welcome the party running its own nomination process and paying for it rather than saddling the taxpayers with the cost of a state-run primary.

Comstock: ISIS Recruiting Here In America?

Via Red Alert Politics comes an op-ed by Congresswoman Barbara Comstock about a real threat to our nation’s security right in our own backyard:

Last week, a disturbing news story reported that a 17-year-old high school student in Northern Virginia was in federal custody for allegedly helping an older teen make it into Syria — presumably to join the terror organization ISIS. According to press accounts, the juvenile now in custody was highly intelligent and very much technologically savvy, and was using social media in his efforts with ISIS. We need to know if this is an anomaly or a growing problem and how we should address it.

In February, the FBI arrested three men from New York, all suspected of trying to join ISIS in Syria — one was a teenager. Last month, three British teenage girls fled their homes in England and made it by way of Turkey into Syria. Also, just this past weekend, two Australian brothers ages 16 and 17 were stopped at a Sydney airport under suspicion of flying to join ISIS and wage jihad. The world is the smallest it has ever been thanks to technology and social media. No longer are we separated by oceans, we are now only separated by iPhones and the strokes on a keyboard. Is ISIS now using social media the way human traffickers use it to target young, vulnerable teens?

After the September 11th terrorist attacks, I worked at the Department of Justice and saw every day how important it was that we connect the dots in tracking down threats to our people and our country. After seeing the report about this disturbing incident in our community, I wrote to FBI Director James Comey (a former colleague of mine at the Justice Department) asking for a detailed briefing about this situation and the extent of the problem and how to prevent it in the future. As any parent knows, teenagers are on social media constantly, and this medium is part of their everyday lives. ISIS knows this, and just like when teens are getting recruited by a local street gang or being targeted for human trafficking, ISIS uses social media to influence the vulnerable.

Combating ISIS’s long tentacles here at home must be a community effort. Parents, teachers, guidance counselors, and clergy all have to do their part and notice the signs that a teen has changed. ISIS is clearly using technology to their advantage. The Brookings Institution just released a report showing that ISIS is linked to 46,000 Twitter accounts. While the 46,000 number is shocking, what is more shocking is that over 400 of those accounts are located right here in America.

In the coming months and years, we will have to fight ISIS on many fronts. A strong defense and an aggressive stance against ISIS and working with our allies to dismantle and defeat ISIS will be key, but we must also realize that this threat may have a homegrown front, and we must stay vigilant and alert to yet another reality of our 21st century world.

Sturtevant picks up key endorsements in 10th Senate District race.

The 10th Senate District looks to be ground zero of Virginia politics in November, and may be ground zero for national politics as well.  The reality is, there is no election in the country going on in November that has more potential to effect Obama’s agenda to expand Medicaid – and we can likely expect to see a great deal of politics at the ground level once the candidates are chosen.

The race for the Republican nomination got a little bit clearer as Glen Sturtevant, who has a home base in Richmond as an elected member of the School Board, has announced some key endorsements coming out of Chesterfield County. I have commented before about the power that Dennis Profit, Karl Leonard and Billy Davenport have wielded in Chesterfield County nomination contests, though they have since split their endorsements in the 10th District race between Barry Moore and Amanda Chase.  In addition to lending the name recognition that most endorsements provide, Profit, Leonard, and Davenport, with their significant contacts in the Fraternal Order of Police, get boots on the ground and lots of voters to the booth.  Despite the split in the 11th Senate Distinct, all have now united to endorse Glen Sturtevant to succeed John Watkins, with Billy Davenport and his deputy John Childrey formalizing their announcements yesterday.  This looms large in the upcoming election to see who will challenge probable Democratic candidates Dave Bernard or (possible independent) Dan Gecker in November.

Chesterfield County makes up 49% of the 10th District, and the county is traditionally very active in off-year elections. It is likely that the support that these endorsements bring and the boots they will put on the ground in June make Surtevant a significant favorite in a nomination process that looks to include at least former Richmond Council member Bruce Tyler and RPV State Central member Steve Thomas as additional candidates in the June primary.  The split of a three-way nomination contest, could make Sturtevant’s Chesterfield endorsements enough to but Glenn over the top.

Steve Chapman Rides Again!

You may recall former candidate for Virginia Delegate Steve Chapman’s disastrous 2006 campaign. We certainly do. In fact, going back through Virtucon’s archives, we’ve found some photos from his kick-off event:

And more here:

And who could forget him seeking “sponcers” for his campaign? Or him missing the filing deadline to run? That was a classic that Scott Jacobs’ recent imitation of was but a pale copy.

Well, Steve Chapman rides again and is now running for Woodbridge Supervisor and wouldn’t you know it, his old nemesis Black Velvet Bruce Li is back as well. Last go round, Chapman sued one of the bloggers behind that site and that case was ultimately dismissed. It appears that didn’t make him any friends with BVBL as it is roaring back with a vengeance with a series of posts about Chapman that starts off with “In today’s installment of Are you smarter than a bag of hammers?

Go make some popcorn. This is going to be a long show…

Donna Edwards wants to represent Maryland and Virginia’s Eastern Shore

Far too often the Eastern Shore is forgotten on maps of Virginia. But it’s rare that it’s remembered in a map of Maryland.

Donna F. Edwards announced on Tuesday that she wants to represent Maryland in the U.S. Senate — although, according to her campaign logo, she might also be eyeing a sliver of Virginia.

Edwards’s navy and gold campaign logo includes a map of Maryland that extends the state’s Eastern Shore much farther south than its traditional border, seizing part of the Commonwealth. The odd-shaped state quickly caught the attention of some eagle-eyed politicos in Annapolis.


Virginia Democrats Really Want The Senate Back

The Bull Elephant gets the conversation started:

Currently Republicans hold the Virginia House of Delegates by 2 to 1. Republicans have no such hold on the Virginia Senate where they hold 21 seats and the Democrats have 19. Democrats are hopeful that they can take back control of the Senate in November. Their first target is the seat being vacated by the retirement of Sen. John Watkins, R-Powhatan. The district has voted democrat over the last few years.

Democrats will also challenge Frank Wagner, R-Virginia Beach and the seat being vacated by Jeff McWaters, another Virginia Beach Republican.

Democrats are also looking at three more Senate seats although these will be much more difficult to flip, Senators Richard H. Black, R-Loudoun, Bryce E. Reeves, R-Spotsylvania, and William M. Stanley Jr., R-Franklin.

Those are a lot of seats in play. Realistically, the Democrats only have a chance in about two or three with Watkins topping the list. Even Sen. Majority Leader Tommy Norment says they view the 10th District as competitive. But Democrats only need one to put the Senate back into a tie with Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam breaking any ties. And they NEED that one because Dems are quickly losing their Republican-lite counterparts in Sens. Stosch and Watkins (and maybe Hanger).

Republicans aren’t about to just sit back and play defense. They’re eyeing a few pick ups themselves, starting with the seat being vacated by Dem Sen. Chuck Colgan in Prince William County. They’re also aiming for Sen. Lynwood Lewis, who barely won Northam’s old seat in a special election, and John Edwards in Roanoke, the last Democrat senator in SWVA.

But this battle won’t just be between the Senate caucuses. The Governor is coming to play. Sitting Governors usually find themselves with plenty of money and influence to throw around at these races, but Terry McAuliffe is a special case, and he knows it. And it’s not just about the Senate – McAuliffe is looking to build an operation that not just takes back the State Senate but lays the groundwork for Clinton 2016:

“I’m laying the groundwork and putting all the pieces in place for ’15 to get my Senate back,” McAuliffe said. “But that same team I’m putting in place and operations will be a set-up to make sure that [in 2016] Virginia’s blue.”

“MY SENATE BACK” the Governor says.

Hopefully the people of Virginia will have something to say about who the Senate really belongs to.

Virginia’s 24th Senate Race And The Bullying Of Emmett Hanger

UPDATED: This post previously stated that the 24th District Committee was suing the Republican Party. They aren’t. They’re suing the Commonwealth.

Emmett Hanger has a bullseye on him.

He’s served in the State Senate for nearly 20 years and has been a thorn in the side of Conservatives for a long while now, often siding with retiring Senators Walter Stosch and John Watkins in joining Democrats on key close votes. He deserves a challenge from his right – which could be achieved by just about anyone running as a Republican.

Hanger is running for reelection but his district is in legal limbo after the 24th Senate District’s Republican District Committee opted to nominate by convention instead of the Primary Hanger wanted – which conflicts with Virginia State Law which allows incumbents to choose their method of nomination – also known as the Incumbent Protection Act:

“A party shall nominate its candidate for election for a General Assembly district where there is only one incumbent of that party for the district by the method designated by that incumbent, or absent any designation by him, by the method of nomination determined by the party,” states section 24.2-509 (B) of the Virginia Code. In this case, the incumbent is Sen. Emmett Hanger and that law means he could choose an open primary or a convention for Republican voters to decide if he gets the party’s nomination for another term. The idea of an open primary however, where independent and Democratic voters could also weigh in, doesn’t sit well with members of the committee.

“The committee members are very much in agreement that the constitutional principal of freedom of association has been violated by this Incumbent Protection Act,” said committee chairman Ken Adams, who also serves as chairman of the Waynesboro Republican Committee. “This violation of the Constitution is offensive to the committee.”

This lawsuit led The Bull Elephant to speculate on whether or not Hanger would retire – even though little conversation had been had over any potential retirement.

[I]f Hanger were to force the issue and designate by Tuesday a state-run open primary as his method of renomination, he would probably trigger the litigation that has been waiting in the wings, which stands a very good chance of eliminating the biggest protection for incumbents in Virginia law, once and for all.**

But, if you’re Emmet Hanger and are faced with the possibility of leaving a legacy of defeat and upsetting the applecart for many of your colleagues for years to come, the best option may be to follow the example of Hanger’s old famously unconservative GOP colleague in the Senate, John Chichester, who made the choice to retire when faced with a similar threat in 2007 (and who has made a new life for himself by endorsing every statewide Democrat candidate since).

So, what will it be? Will Hanger choose to retire, thus ensuring preservation of the Incumbent Protection Act for at least another election cycle, or will he tough it out and see if he can fend off the legal challenge and maybe hold on to his seat for another 4 years? I think the odds favor the former option.

TBE is saying it’s Senator Hanger’s fault that there is any lawsuit because he chose to run again and declared a state run primary as the means of nomination in the 24th District. Because the moment Hanger said he was ready to go, the 24th District Committee filed suit.

Keep in mind, it’s not Emmett Hanger who is suing fellow Republicans the state in order to defeat fellow Republicans.

The Virginia Conservative piled on, asking if the 24th GOP nomination was decided:

Yesterday, on March 2nd, the deadline to file as a candidate for the convention came and went. Surprisingly, only one candidate filed, Dan Moxley. According to the call, given that there is only one candidate, the convention will be cancelled and Moxley will be declared the official nominee.

Now, one can make an argument as to why Emmett Hanger didn’t file his paperwork for this convention. After all, doing so would add some legitimacy to a convention that he will be fighting in court. From a political perspective, Hanger would face a considerably uphill battle in a convention as it would likely be populated by Republican activists eager to oust Hanger due to his support of Medicaid expansion and previous tax hikes.

That second paragraph is key: why would Hanger file for an illegal convention?

Any lawsuit is going to face an uphill battle. While the Party does have a right to self association, the Party Plan explicitly states that committees can choose a nomination process only as permitted under Virginia Law:

1. Legislative District Committee
a. The Legislative District Committee shall determine whether candidates for Legislative District public office shall be nominated by Mass Meeting, Party Canvass, Convention or Primary, where permitted to do so under Virginia Law.

Emphasis ours. Virginia Law says the incumbent gets to choose. The Party Plan says that applies.

Efforts to tear Hanger down before session even ended didn’t work. Daring him to run seems to have succeeded in ensuring he was in the race — and the 24th District Republican Committee has chosen to sue its own party, not just over state law but the Party Plan.

Lowering the boom on the WaPo- and their 5th column

Boy, when the Washington Post Editorial Board comes after you, they don’t mince words.

Today they launched yet another in a series of vicious and unprovoked attacks on the Virginia GOP, this time over a proposal to hold a convention instead of a primary for Virginia’s part in the 2016 presidential nomination.

As expected, the Dem-lite activists who (for some reason) identify as Republicans started spreading it on social media and holding it up as an example of “see, this is why we need primaries”.

At the same time, the Incumbent Protection Act is headed to court over a convention-vs-primary fight in the 24th state senate district. Liberal Republicans are backing the absolute right of incumbents to pick their election (as well as their voters, through gerrymandering).

They both could not be more wrong.

  1. Why the WaPo’s Editorial Board got not a single thing right in their editorial

Let’s start with the underlying premise.

“In the event, just 8,000 of the Republican faithful showed up — representing perhaps half of 1 percent of the party’s sympathizers in the state — and the right-wing ticket they picked was swept in the fall by the Democrats, who held much more widely attended nominating primaries.

The defeats were part of a GOP losing streak in Virginia’s statewide elections. Despite being evenly divided between the two major parties, Virginia has not elected a Republican to any statewide position since 2009, nor has it elected one to the U.S. Senate since 2002.”

Here’s the first problem: Dead wrong on the facts.

Virginia Republicans picked statewide nominees by convention in 2001, 2008, 2009, 2013, 2014. Total record among those races? 4-8. Not great, but consider that Several of them nominated establishment choices- Jerry Kilgore in 2001, Jim Gilmore over Bob Marshall in 2008, Bob McDonnell and Bill Bolling in 2009, Ed Gillespie over Shak Hill in 2014, . These are not hard right people, they are not grassroots candidates.

Worth noting: They didn’t mention that the 2009 sweep came courtesy of a convention.

By contrast, primaries were the method of selection in 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008 (presidential), and 2012 (presidential and senate). Their record? 3-5, not that great. Not a single one of those candidates was a grassroots/conservative candidate; every one of those losses was suffered by the establishment/Rockerfeller wing of the party.

If you go back further, you find more interesting stuff. Did you know that, before 2001, only three times in Virginia’s Republican history did the party pick its nominee by primary (1949, 1989, 1997)? 1997 wasn’t contested, but anyone who knows Virginia history knows that the GOP here wasn’t too successful before 1993, when George Allen won a convention and then went on to become governor.

So, conventions have won and lost, and so have primaries. You think that maybe, just maybe, the candidates and how they run their campaigns may have more to do with it?

  1. Virginia would NOT be alone in not selecting a primary

That’s right, you’d think the WaPo would be crushing Iowa, Wyoming, and the 12 other states that currently nominate delegates to the RNC by a means other than primary. It also appears Kentucky is about to join them.

Virginia Republicans used to always use conventions- primaries were unheard of until the late 90s. So there is precedent.

Does democracy get violated in those 14 states? No. Anyone can participate in the caucuses, conventions, etc if they so choose. It discourages low-information voters- and is that REALLY a bad thing for the Republic?

  1. Questioning the WaPo’s motives

So the WaPo Editorial Board chose to hone in on a small subset of elections- 2009 on. But did you know that they did not endorse a SINGLE DAMNED ONE OF THE GOP’S NOMINEES during that time? NOT ONE.

You know, while we appreciate their newfound concern for the welfare of the party, it sure would have been nice if they had endorsed any of our statewide candidates in the last 20 years. I mean, nominated by primary or convention, didn’t matter- they shot them all down.

You think that maybe a more likely scenario is that they WANT the party to fail, so they are messing with our internal fights to sow discord?

But that would mean that there are a bunch of ‘Republicans’ who also want the party to fail, right? Since they agree with the Post? And that leads me to…

  1. The WaPo’s 5th Column

Hilariously, the WaPo in its “journalism” piece last week interviewed only establishment malcontents in bashing RPV.

I said at the time that these malcontents should be banned from holding office in the party for collusion with our opponents. This now seems prescient.

From Ray Allen’s “I’ll bankrupt RPV” stance to Lynn Mitchell’s constant attacks on any Republican she does not agree with, and now spreading the WaPo’s attacks on the party, it is clear we have a cadre of people who do not agree with the party’s principles, and want it to be defeated.

These people constitute a “5th column” of Quislings who seek to damage the party if it does not become more like the Democrats- a party that is OK with growing government and limiting liberty, as long as it benefits them and their interests in the process. See, for instance, their golden boy Jeb Bush.

Independents usually have not joined a party because they see them both as corrupt and ineffectual. If we are to attract independents, we need to nominate candidates who are not in this to enrich themselves- but rather to limit government so that the chances for corruption also decrease.

Fmr. Governor and convicted felon Bob McDonnell did the GOP in Virginia an untold amount of damage by playing fast and loose with ethics and creating an atmosphere of corruption. We cannot afford to keep nominating the same established people, standing for nothing but enriching themselves.

Give the grassroots a voice. Ignore the 5th Column.

  1. The Staunton News Leader advocates state control over everything

While most of the above also refutes the SNL’s (believe me, the only thing funny about the News Leader is their reporting) article too, additional points need be made here.

You see, they think we should do away with ANY form of nomination process but primaries! A premise that 5th Column blogger Lynn Mitchell celebrates.

Do these people understand that the GOP is a private organization, not a governmental one? You can’t tell a private organization that it must operate contrary to its own bylaws. What the SNL proposes is laughable and illegal. If RPV cannot operate by its own bylaws, then governance law truly means nothing. Of course, people like Ms. Mitchell and the rest of her 5th column have an interest in growing government; so perhaps it is not surprising that they want government to take over a private organization and run it according to their wishes.

In case you’re wondering how interested the SNL is in helping the GOP? They endorsed Obama 2008, Warner 2008, Deeds (!) 2009, Obama 2012, Kaine 2012, T-Mac 2013, Warner 2014.

They are another paper that lives to attack the GOP, as does their cheerleader, Ms. Mitchell. The opinions of both, as regards to the state of the GOP, should be treated with ridicule and scorn.


Stick to the facts. Know who is trying to advocate with an agenda. Conventions aren’t perfect, neither are primaries, but the attacks by a blatantly liberal media and their cheerleader 5th Column on the right don’t deserve serious consideration. A careful investigation of the facts reveals much more at play, and it is far from the tautological premise (“Conventions are bad”) promoted by the left.

 Cross-posted to The Bull Elephant

Don’t Cross Obama

I’ve turned very cynical with our current President and Attorney General. Democrat Senator Bob Mendedez has been critical of President’s policies with Castro and the crazy Ayatollahs. I think this is a politically motivated prosecution.

Bob McDonnell, Chris Christie, Rick Perry, and Scott Walker are just some of the ones they have gone after. Sometimes there is no wrong doing, or it’s blown way out of proportion. Now Obama is turning on Democrats that cross him.

Ruth Anderson is in the race for Occoquan Supervisor


Anderson_Headshot (2)

There has been whispers and talk of it but yesterday Ruth Anderson made it official she will run.  Ruth Anderson will be squaring off against Don Scoggins for the Republican nomination in the race to replace Mike May for Supervisor in the Occoquan District. Whomever the nominee is will be squaring off against the former Mayor of the Town of Occoquan Democrat Ernie Porta.

Here is Ruth Anderson’s press release :

Republican Ruth Anderson Announces Candidacy

for Prince William Board of County Supervisors


~Air Force veteran seeks Republican nomination on Saturday, April 25th~

~Hopes to represent the people of Occoquan Magisterial District~

“As Occoquan District Supervisor, I’ll work hard to prioritize county spending on public safety, quality education, transportation infrastructure, and other core services. It’s important that we protect the taxpayers with commonsense solutions to the fiscal challenges facing our community.”


WOODBRIDGE, VA – Woodbridge resident Ruth Anderson, a retired 21-year career member of the United States Air Force, today officially announced her candidacy for the Republican nomination to represent her Occoquan Magisterial District neighbors on the Prince William Board of County Supervisors. Anderson will be seeking the Republican nomination that takes place on Saturday, April 25th.


Ruth believes we need a fresh voice that will take a commonsense approach to the fiscal challenges facing the Prince William Board of County Supervisors. She believes that elected officials too often rely on tax increases to resolve budget shortfalls, which unfairly places an unnecessary burden on the hardworking families and small businesses of the Occoquan District. Instead, Ruth will focus on finding solutions that make Prince William County a place where people can afford to live, work, and raise families.


Anderson stated, “As Occoquan District Supervisor, I’ll work hard to prioritize county spending on public safety, quality education, transportation infrastructure, and other core services. It’s important that we protect the taxpayers with commonsense solutions to the fiscal challenges facing our community. After a lifetime of military and public service, I’m ready to serve.”


Anderson is known locally for her work with community volunteerism and global humanitarian missions, having led a dozen teams to remote overseas locations over the last decade. Since 2001, she has held leadership positions in outreach programs at her home church in Lake Ridge and in parent-student organizations in the Prince William County public school attended by her daughter. She has also served as an appointed member of the Prince William County Historical Commission and has served actively in local Republican political organizations.


Anderson was raised in remote Alaskan villages and earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in Nursing at the Universities of Minnesota and Kansas. Ruth served for 21 years in the U.S. Air Force. During that time, she was a senior leader and commander of emergency services and intensive care units. She capped her military career in 2001 by commanding operational Air Force medical units at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii.

Ruth is currently the director of the Virginia Supply Program of Brother’s Brother Foundation, a global humanitarian organization with outreach to dozens of countries around the world. Ruth and her husband, Rich, reside in Woodbridge, are proud parents and grandparents, and serve the community as active members of Lake Ridge Baptist Church.

Mike Farris endorses Steve Martin for Senate

Senator Steve Martin, facing two challengers for the Republican nomination in the 11th District, landed a big endorsement from Michael Farris, former Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor, founder of the Home School Legal Defense Association and Patrick Henry College.

I write to you today to give my personal endorsement of Senator Steve Martin for his re-election this year. I have known Steve for many years, and have been impressed with the consistent, Conservative leadership that he provides in the Virginia Senate. He is a man of his word – and he is the leader that Virginia, and its citizens, needs representing our conservative values in the Senate.

Steve is a man of sincere faith, and has allowed his faith to guide him in every decision he makes and each vote he casts as Senator. It is because of his faith that Steve is steadfastly pro-life and continually upholds traditional marriage. His consistent leadership on these issues as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Education and Health has earned him top ratings from the Family Foundation and the American Conservative Union.

Steve has been a leader in the fight against Obamacare here in Virginia. He was author and chief patron for Virginia’s Healthcare Freedom Act, which enabled Ken Cuccinelli to file suit against the federal government over this horrendous piece of federal legislation. Steve has also consistently opposed big government efforts to expand Medicaid in our state – not only in his rhetoric, but also in his voting record.

Steve has been vocal in his support for religious liberty and homeschooling rights. Steve supported the “Tebow bill” to grant homeschoolers access to school sports every year it came before the legislature, and worked this year to get it through the Senate successfully. Vey importantly, Steve has unwaveringly supported parental rights – including working to make sure options for homeschooling parents remain open and available, free from government interference.

Steve is a man with solid, Conservative principles, and he provides leadership that never strays from those principles. If you want proven Conservative leadership, I urge you to get involved with Steve’s campaign for re-election.

Let’s continue to support leaders in Virginia who work for our principles and for our people. Vote for Steve Martin on June 9th.


Michael Farris

My Letter of Resignation from the PWC GOP

March 4, 2015

Chairman Bill Card
Prince William County Republican Committee
4431 Prince William Parkway
Woodbridge, VA 22192-5301

Dear Chairman Card,

I regret to inform you that I must resign my membership in the Prince William County Republican Committee effective immediately.

While I have served the party faithfully in a variety of capacities since moving to Virginia including as the county committee’s Operations Director for 2001-2002 and its Dumfries (now Potomac) Magisterial District chairman from 2002-2003; Young Republican Federation of Virginia’s State Vice Chairman for 2001-2003; and as a Republican Party of Virginia State Central Committee member representing the YRFV from 2003-2005, I can no longer maintain my membership in good conscience and remain in compliance with the bylaws of the party.

At this time, I am unable to fulfill the requirement in the bylaws that members must “support all of its nominees for public office in the ensuing election” for the 2015 elections. In particular, I must decline to support Potomac Supervisor Maureen Caddigan for reelection.

Supervisor Caddigan has repeatedly flouted the principles of the Republican Party and even the specific bylaw that I cited above as my reason for resigning from the party. Mrs. Caddigan supported the Democratic nominees for county board chairman in 1999 against Republican nominee Sean Connaughton, in the 2006 special election for county board chairman against Republican nominee Corey Stewart, again in 2007 for county board chairman against Republican nominee and incumbent Corey Stewart and in 2005 for state delegate against Republican nominee and incumbent Jeff Frederick.

Furthermore, Mrs. Caddigan has been a consistent advocate for higher taxes and increased spending on programs that are not core services for county residents thereby violating the Republican Party of Virginia’s creed which states, “That fiscal responsibility and budgetary restraints must be exercised at all levels of government.” In addition, she has a long history of abusing her office that includes use of county resources, both personnel and office discretionary funds, for political purposes. Finally, there are items on her campaign finance disclosure filings that make it appear she has converted campaign funds for personal use in the past via paying her husband a salary as campaign treasurer for work not commensurate with the amounts paid.

Had a primary challenger to Mrs. Caddigan arisen (or if I had not been precluded by my circumstances at work from undertaking the challenge myself), I would not be forced to take such a drastic measure. While I do not intend to vote for or support either of her Democratic challengers, I cannot support her for reelection and intend to write in the name of former Del. Jeff Frederick for the seat. I also intend to encourage others to write-in Mr. Frederick’s name for this office in November and understand that in doing so either he will win as a write-in over the Republican nominee or he will syphon enough votes away from the Republican nominee to hand victory to the Democratic nominee.

I look forward to the future when I can once again support all of the Republican Party’s nominees for office in the ensuing election, but regret that I cannot do so this year.


James T. Riley, Esq.
Southbridge, Virginia

Virginia votes on DHS funding, blogosphere responds

Barbara ComstockThe Department of Homeland Security is getting funded with no provisions on Obama’s executive amnesty program after 74 House Republicans joined Democrats on the vote.

In Virginia, every Republican Representative voted AGAINST the funding except for the 10th District’s Barbara Comstock.

Comstock’s vote came with a statement providing her rationale for voting for the funding:

“President Obama’s misguided foreign policy that rewards our enemies and slights our allies has created an unstable world. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reminded all of us of that today in the House. I voted today to fund the Department of Homeland Security because we must continue to protect our borders, air travel, and ports with the dedicated employees that work tirelessly each and every day to keep America safe in this dangerous world.

“I fundamentally disagree with President Obama’s constitutional overreach on immigration. This bill contains no funding to carry out the unilateral actions by President Obama on immigration.

“Twenty-six states have taken legal action against President Obama’s constitutional overreach and are currently challenging the constitutionality of his action. I support these efforts and a federal court has stepped-in to temporary halt the President’s constitutional overreach. President Obama himself said that he could not take this constitutional overreach twenty-two times before he did it. I also oppose the Senate’s irresponsible refusal to take this debate to a Conference Committee on the House pass bill that I voted for in January. I will continue to fight this overreach but doing it through the Department of Homeland Security funding bill was not the path at this time.”

As Jim Hoeft at Bearing Drift said:

There are too many games in Washington. And there are too many lives at stake to play games.

The Bull Elephant disagrees, with TWO posts knocking the vote, one from Jeanine Martin:

Congressman Comstock’s vote is appalling and an example of exactly why Republicans in Virginia need local conventions to nominate our candidates. If Comstock continues down the path of voting with democrats, and cozying up to Eric Cantor and John Boehner, Republicans in the 10th district will be able to choose her replacement in a convention in 2016. Barbara Comstock will be waving good-bye.

Barbara Comstock won the 7 way firehouse primary for the Republican nomination last year with 54% of the vote, nearly 30% more than runner up Bob Marshall who would theoretically have performed better in a convention. Comstock went on to trounce Democrat John Foust by 16 points in November.

Guest contributor Mike Giere posted:

Not surprisingly, Amnesty Barb, Barbara Comstock, Northern Virginia’s new Republican House member from the 10th District, voted with the Democrats and the failed Speaker.

Every American should mark this vote well. Every Senator and every House member that voted for this scam deserves a primary challenge, if for no other reason than they have violated their sacred oath to the citizens of the nation – to defend and uphold the Constitution and the rule of law.

Over at Matt Colt Hall calls the attacks “over the top”:

I would think Ms. Martin would rather have Barbara Comstock as her congresswoman, who probably votes in agreement with her at least 80 percent of the time, rather than John Foust who would have voted with her zero percent of the time…

This is hardly a vote that deserves a primary challenge. It’s a vote to make sure our airports stay open and our country stays safe. The tea party is clueless to governing. They would shut down the entire government until Obama is out of office if they could just so they could have their way. Governing is essential, even when you don’t get your way.

The 10th District has over 88,000 federal employees, a large number of which are Defense/DHS employees, over 13,000 in the Fairfax portion of the district alone (source) — a number Congresswoman Comstock must keep in mind as she works to represent the district.

Crossposted at RedRVA