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Let’s Not Lose the 22nd Senate Seat!

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.


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)

9 Responses to “Let’s Not Lose the 22nd Senate Seat!”

  1. Cindy Koether says:

    Peake was elected in a district convention, not a Firehouse primary.

  2. David Jackson

    I agree with your comments and I will be supporting Corey.

  3. LIberty Sails says:

    Mr. Sanders:

    If Va Right is so concerned about Hines splitting the vote in a three way contest to elect a Democrat, the story YOU guys should look into is the report that Nancy Smith, a Middle Resolution Board member who runs Rvotes operations for GOP candidates and a so called ” conservative fellowship tea party leader” was actively recruiting campaign staffers to assist Independent candidate Hines in his State Senate bid against Republican Mark Peake for the upcoming special election. Remember Nancy Smith is a Republican State Central Committee member from Henrico County no less. And Smith served as Dave Brat’s campaign manager in the last two election cycles.

    The GOP- especially State Senator Ryan McDougle from Hanover County who cares deeply about holding on to the GOP majority and who backed Peake in the recent convention should be very concerned about this IF True- it’s all over FB but you can’t believe every thing Nancy Smith writes or LIKES on FB Can you? I mean it was the actual text message she sent to a former campaign staffer for Dave Brat that she was attempting to recruit for Hines. She even liked Hines on her FB page.

    Where is that RPV General Counsel who was so quick to throw Mark Berg under the bus if this is true and she has no good excuse other than she and Susan Lascolette wanted Ken Peterson from Goochland to win and Peake knocked him out 2:1 in a convention. Good for Mark Peake. Not so good for Nancy Smith who got caught cheating on the Republicans.

  4. H. Simmons says:

    This apparent meddling by a Middle Resolution board member in the special election in Virginia to elect an Independent over a Republican is about to have serious consequences for them and the GOP.

    Losing a state senate seat when it costs upwards of $10 million dollars to elect a Republican in Virginia is a huge price to pay to lose the Republican majority in the senate putting undue pressure on RPV Chairman Whitbeck to sign on to the Rvotes license.

    Whitbeck should immediately put an end to this business. The price to pay for MR’s meddling in this race is the I-360 contract remaining at RPV and kicking RVotes to the curb.

  5. Dan R. says:

    State Senate is a 20-20 tie with Democrat LG Ralph Northam as the tie breaker.

    So why is Middle Resolution working to defeat the Republican candidate Mark Peake for Tom Garrett’s seat- the congressional candidate MR backed and the reason for the special election?

  6. I am replying to all three latest posts – may have come from the same email address BUT I think this sort of investigative reporting idea should be directed to Tom White. He is much better than I am at it. But it is an interesting question provided it is not fake news like the idea that Bill Janis voted to help illegal immigrants.

    Thanks for coming by:


  7. Dan R. says:

    Sandy: Steven Brodie Tucker formerly of the VA Right editorial staff states in that link above that the Libertarians are working against Peake. Unless that is a typo which he is often guilty of. You and Tucker both claim to be Libertarians yet YOU are encouraging voters to vote for Peake to hold control of the state senate, otherwise it goes to a tie with LG Northam a Democrat as the tie breaker.

    FB has numerous reports that a Middle Resolution board member is also working against Peake for Joe Hines. The GOP concern is real that in a 3 way race it goes to a Democrat.

    What exactly is the Libertarian role in this race?


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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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