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Special Elections in RVA and in Great Britain, too!

Since now Senator Jennifer McClellan won the special election for the 9th senate district, there is now a special election for her delegate seat.  And there are not two but THREE candidates for the job – and the GOP did not run a candidate this time either (what’s a matter with the Republicans?) and here they are:

  • Democrat Jeff M. Bourne – sits on the Richmond School Board as the Third District representative
  • Independent Reginald “Regie” Ford – former president of the Richmond Crusade for Voters  AND
  • Libertarian John Barclay – a chemistry and math teacher at the public Richmond Military Academy

I have promised to help Ford and also to interview Barclay.  I will also try to reach out to Bourne as well.  But I would think a Richmond School Board member might have some stuff to overcome – the Richmond schools have not had a lot of good publicity lately.

Here is a short article from the Richmond Free Press and a longer article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.  It is notable that the Libertarian got billing in the second paragraph of the R T-D article:

Libertarian John Barclay, a science and math teacher at Franklin Military Academy and resident of Church Hill, is the latest candidate to announce a run for the seat left empty this month after now-state Sen. Jennifer L. McClellan, D-Richmond, won a special election for a Senate seat.

Ford was not cited until paragraphs four and five and not as favorable:

Regie Ford, a mortgage consultant and former president of the African American-focused civic group Richmond Crusade for Voters, announced his independent candidacy last week.

Ford had hoped to run as a Democrat, but he failed to file his paperwork and entry fee on time, causing Democrats to cancel their planned firehouse primary.

Now I think a great story for these special elections is how the Libertarians are becoming a player – Corey Fauconier ran for state senate in January and now John Barclay is running for delegate in February.  All the delegates are up in November and I wonder what the LP will do in those elections (Hint from a friendly blogger:  Concentrate on those where it is likely there will be no competition.) in the fall.

But across the pond, the UK has two special elections of their own – and the stakes are high:  Brexit could be at risk – or be more likely – depending on these elections.

The UK Supreme Court just held that the Article 50 vote must be a Act of Parliament.  This is an issue because while the Tories are mostly pro-Brexit, some are not – and at least one Tory MP had said she was not voting to Leave even though her constituency voted to Leave.  The LibDems are hopelessly compromised and pro-EU and most Labourites will agree (a few will vote to Leave).  There are small Northern Ireland parties that may be divided according to pro-union with Ireland or pro-union with UK.

So, there is an important issue:  Leave or no?

The first by-election is Copeland, where Labour has held sway for 80 years and the voters backed Leave in 2016.  But this report in the Telegraph UK says Labour might lose it:

Jeremy Corbyn is set to become the first official opposition leader to lose a by-election to the Government in 35 years, according to the Labour Party’s own canvass returns.

The Telegraph understands internal analysis of more than 10,000 conversations with voters in Copeland, the Cumbrian constituency, shows Labour’s support down by a third since 2015.

And why is that?

A senior Labour source said Mr Corbyn’s “incompetence” as a political leader is coming up repeatedly on the doorstep when discussing voting intention.


So what is UKIP doing in Copeland?  In a Trumpian example of political jiu jitsu, the libertarian anti-EU party chose an NHS (National Health Service) worker named Fiona Mills:

“The main issues in Copeland are health service provision and the nuclear industry. UKIP strongly supports both. I have worked in the NHS for 24 years, I’m passionate about improving and preserving it and I’m proud to have helped write UKIP’s excellent Health Policy. We have solutions to the current health crises.

The admittedly attractive Mills (if this blogger were single I’d certainly be open to helping her campaign!) has experience running for Parliament – she ran in another district in the 2015 General Election.

And UKIP may do well in Copeland.

Labour is in disarray:

Party members in the Cumbria constituency instead opted for local councillor and former doctor Gillian Troughton on Thursday night, instead of Corbyn-backing union activist Rachel Holliday.

But in what would be a far bigger blow, fears are now growing among party grandees that it could even finish finish behind the Tories, UKIP and the Lib Dems.

But in the other by-election set for February, the constituency of Stoke on Trent, UKIP may win!  European MP (MEP) and now UKIP party leader Paul Nuttall decided to stand for the election in this district.  From the Sun:

UKIP leader Paul Nuttall is on course to win the Stoke by-election by TEN POINTS from Labour – it was claimed.

Brexit-backing campaign group Labour Leave said it believe UKIP would take the seat with 35 per cent of the vote.

Wow!  The Telegraph UK agrees it is possible:

Stoke would be a big prize for Mr Nuttall, as it would show that his campaign to “replace” Labour in the North and Midlands of England was underway. His allies have been nervous about whether he should taken it on, or wait for another seat to come up for election. “You can’t have your party leader stand somewhere and lose,” one remarked to me. “You’ve got to feel you have a strong chance of winning the seat.” His emergence…

Here’s another source and Breitbart reports this:

Te shock result comes as a senior Conservative MP claimed his party would not be seriously contesting the seat, as they believe UKIP will win it.

Labour has held the seat since the 1950s, according to Breitbart.  (Wikipedia says 1950!)

The by-elections are set for Thursday February 23.



About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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