Earlier this year, Delegate Peter Farrell abruptly announced that he would not seek re-election in the 56th House District. Running to fill his shoes are six candidates: Graven Craig, Matt Pinsker, John McGuire, Surya Dhakar, Jay Prendergast, and George Goodwyn. Although I normally refrain from commenting on local elections, I feel compelled to speak out about one particular candidate running for Delegate in the 56th.
Voters are wary of candidates who struggle to explain why it is that they live in their district. For that reason and others, the voters of the 2ndCongressional District overwhelmingly rejected former Congressman Randy Forbes (VA-04). Voters saw Forbes, who never was able to explain why he was running in the 2nd (or whether he even planned to relocate there), as an opportunistic carpetbagger.
Like Forbes, John McGuire is taking a political vacation in the hopes that it will net him a political office. The fact is, John McGuire did not claim residence in the 56th House District until he decided to run. McGuire lived at 132 Brookschase Lane in Henrico, VA, which, according to “Who’s My Legislator,” is situated in the 73rd House District.
John claims that he ditched his $1,125,000 mansion (6 bedrooms, 5,924 square feet) to downsize, and that he has lived in a small apartment in the 56th for “quite a while.” How serendipitous, that McGuire felt compelled to move just after Farrell announced that he would not seek re-election. And although he claims to have moved, it appears that his live-in adult children did not: as of several weeks ago, some were still registered to vote at the Brookschase address.
Of course, selling his $1,125,000 mansion would be no easy task for McGuire. Although it was listed for sale 12 days ago, it is unlikely that the mansion will be sold in the next twenty days. McGuire’s wife, Tracy, is the listed realtor for the property, and it is unlikely that she will have the time to regularly show the house considering her involvement in her husband’s campaign. Several nearby properties, priced similarly, have been on the market for 30+ days and counting even with an active realtor.
The most likely scenario is this: John understood correctly that his political vacation would upset voters in the 56th, and listed his house for sale with no intention of actually selling it. He rented a cheap apartment that he does not actually live in, hence his children’s voter registration. If John loses the primary on June 13th, I assume that 132 Brookschase Lane will be taken off the market.
McGuire is taking a political vacation in the hopes that it will get him elected to the House of Delegates. I urge voters in the 56th House District to keep that in mind as they head to the polls on June 13th.