While I am discussing senate seats, now I can discuss the OTHER special state senate election: The now Congressman-elect Tom Garrett’s former seat and there is a real problem: The Democrat could win. That would change control of the senate. Here’s why (and a hat tip to this public radio post that alerted me to this).
Here’s the story: There was a firehouse GOP primary and attorney Mark Peake was the winner. He seems a solid conservative but I do not rely on campaign rhetoric on website anymore. Here is Peake’s website. Besides it does not matter.
The Dems ran a strong candidate: Former Fluvanna County Sheriff Ryant Washington. Here is Washington’s website. Because he is law enforcement, Washington will be seen as more moderate than his party. His platform is platitudes. But the Blue Virginia blog has called for Sheriff Washington’s election to say Boo to Trump.
Normally a strongly Republican district would be no problem in a special election BUT there is a third candidate – thankfully not a Libertarian – but a conservative (or allegedly so) independent candidate – here is Joe Hines’ website. This is an example of Hines’ most specific issue advocacy:
Government regulation costs time and money and can result in incredible delays. As an engineer and economic developer, Joe has seen firsthand how projects vital to the welfare of communities are slowed by excessive regulations and extensive permitting timelines. No more!
Joe will stand up for:
-Our property rights,
-Our religious freedoms,
-No unfunded mandates for local governments,
-Our businesses and localities by cutting red tape,
-Our economic development professionals by streamlining the permitting process,
-Our children by improving education and our schools, and
-Our values by keeping government out of our lives.
Joe is a staunch Second Amendment advocate, business leader, and true conservative. Joe understands that better government sometimes means smaller and more efficient government!
Not much I would disagree with! But Hines could split the vote and cause the Democrat to win. Here are some potential headlines we do not need (thanks to Blue Virginia) on January 11:
I mean, imagine the headlines the day after this special election if Washington wins: something along the lines of “Virginia Democrats Send Trump a Message, Win Special Election and Take Back State Senate.” Or maybe “Sign of ‘Blue Wave’ to Come? Fired-Up Democrats Take Back Virginia State Senate.” How do those headlines sound to you? 🙂 Good; now please do whatever you can to help Ryant Washington win in 11 days. Thanks.
Those headlines sound terrible to me. As much as I could (and I do!) admire Joe Hines, this election has terrible potential to flip the state senate blue. The Dems would chair committees, block the House agenda and protect Governor McAuliffe. Judgeships would be blocked as well because you need 21 votes to elect a judge. This news could affect the agenda of the new, incoming Trump administration before it can get started.
Here is a John Fredericks interview with Hines that sums it up succinctly. “Dick Saslaw will become the Godfather…”, is how Fredericks put it. Hines is articulate – hardly a umm or ahh – some okays admittedly – so maybe he is a Toastmaster! BUT he blew the key question: What are the policy differences between you and Peake? it was basically a dud answer – I have not studied the issues but people are tired of party politics. OOPS! Hinds will not commit to caucusing with the GOP! (Admittedly Hines would not caucus with the Dems.)
My prior blog post talks about the paucity of the vote in these special elections. I am afraid this will hurt the Commonwealth. Vote Peake on January 10. If Peake proves to be a RINO, he could have a good primary fight from Hines and many – maybe even me – would support Hines in that primary. This is the wrong time and wrong place for this sort of thing.