Yours truly. Of course…we were 90 percent spot on our political predictions. Again.
Uncanny! The one big race we got wrong was senator-elect Jeremy McPike’s state senate district 29 blowout victory. As is our custom, we had him on our show the day after the election. He was very gracious, as was senator-elect Amanda Chase last June and E.W. Jackson two years ago. Our three wrong picks in four years: McPike, Chase and Jackson.
Did I mention I’m Virginia’s Godzilla of the truth?
And there is no truth to the baseless rumor that I am a shameless self-promoter…
Manassas GOP Mayor Hal Parrish ran the best race in the history of the Virginia state senate — and still got creamed by McPike. This youthful fellow with a young family relates to average folks and has a very bright future in Virginia. Watch him. Another young-gun Democratic senator-elect to watch: Scott Surovell (D-36).
Jeff Ryer and Michael Young
The political operatives of majority leader Tommy Norment’s GOP state senate caucus, this odd couple of politics – like Batman and Robin – did a yeoman’s job in holding the state senate for their caucus. They were outspent, out-gunned, out-manned and out-resourced by the state Democrats, but their strategic savvy and steady hand saved the day for the GOP.
A hard nosed, grizzled and no-nonsense veteran political operative, Ryer masterfully managed his caucus’ limited resources while Young provided compelling data analysis for targeted allocation. Together they staved off what should have been a banner night for the Democrats.
Powhatan County Voters
Wow! Powhatan County voters represent one-fifth of the 10th state senate-district (out of 40 districts) which equates to one in every 200 of Virginia’s state senate voters…yet they single-handedly determined control of the Virginia senate on election night for the next four years. Powatan voters provided senator-elect Glenn Sturtevant (R-10) with a huge plurality that sunk solid Democrat candidate Dan Gecker.
Do you realize there really isn’t much of a Republican Party of Virginia? It’s a mirage. Whitbeck, RPV Chairman, took over a skeleton organization last January that was hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt and had no viable fundraising apparatus in place. Whitbeck ran this campaign with only a handful of full-time staffers and a few contractors. They were up against a juggernaut: the revitalized Democratic Party of Virginia machine that has 70 full time field staff and a seasoned crackerjack state staff of political veterans in Richmond. Somehow Whitbeck held his state party together and kept the senate in GOP hands.
Unbelievable. This was the biggest story of Virginia’s election night after the GOP state senate triumph. The mainstream media missed it.
Corey Stewart, a conservative Republican defeated his Democratic opponent 57-43 percent for re-election to Chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors.
Get this: Stewart ran an average of 20+ points ahead of GOP state senate candidate Hal Parish (R) in their shared Prince William precincts in SD-29.
Stewart is the conservative. Parish is the moderate.
Conventional wisdom says the numbers should have been reversed.
It only gets better for Stewart. Post election analysis shows that the Democrat’s minority out-reach and data driven get out the vote effort in Prince William County — designed to fuel McPike — actually added to Stewart’s margin of victory.
The Democrats got an elevated minority vote in Prince William for McPike – and then many of those same voters crossed over and voted for Stewart. Go figure.
The veteran chairman of the board of supervisors said he proved how conservatives win over minority voters in Democratic strongholds. “I say what I mean, I mean what I say, I stay true to my conservative principles and I have a real relationship based on attending many events and listening to my constituents concerns all year, not just during the election season,” Stewart said. “Its all about trust. Listening and caring builds trust.”
Somebody from the state GOP should drive to Stewart’s office and get the playbook.
Other people talk. Pete Snyder shows up and gets his hands dirty. His Disruptor Fund initiative poured precious last minute money and grassroots resources into over a dozen key swing races, including Senate District 10 where every last ounce made a difference in a tight Sturtevant –Gecker race and in House District 12 where Del. Joseph Yost won a tough re-election. Wisely putting money on the ground and phones vs. the already cluttered airwaves, Disruptor’s at the buzzer GOTV efforts even helped tip a county-wide school board seat Red in Deep Blue Fairfax. The entrepreneur has also been a key part of turning the RPV around and Snyder is one of the few people in the party with a true statewide presence and tons of credibility in both the grassroots and the business community.
Sounds like a perfect resume for Governor, no? Many in the grassroots of the Republican Party think so and say Snyder needs to run for the top spot in 2017. We think so too. You heard it here first. And remember: I’m always right…!
Now he truly is: “Landslide Lewis.” His rout last week in SD-6 outpaced Ralph Northam.
The Democratic Party of Virginia –VADEMS
The machine that Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) built will endure long into the future and churn out Democratic victories in Virginia for years to come.
McAuliffe’s PAC Common Good Virginia has financed the assemblage of a top-notch Richmond staff including veteran political director Brian Zuzenak, communications director Stephen Carter, and an election field team of 70 full-time paid staffers.
Their data collection and analysis is second to none, the dividends of which will pay off long after McAuliffe leaves office.
Long-term, the RPV is severely over-matched.
Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D)
See above. Good luck beating Northam for Governor in 2017. You’ll need it, Republicans.
The Pilot was a big winner Tuesday as it somehow repositioned itself as an authority in Virginia politics once again. Their political team, led by veteran reporter Bill Bartell, established its dominance during this cycle by providing compelling news coverage at the national and state level.
Newbie Richmond correspondent Patrick Wilson is an up and comer. His expose on state senate district 7 Democratic candidate Gary McCollum’s falsified active duty Army Reservist claims was outstanding gumshoe investigative reporting.
When Julian Walker left the Pilot I didn’t sleep for three nights. Walker was my go-to guy for Virginia politics. I got up at 3:15 a.m. put the coffee on and keyed up Julian’s blog. It was my routine.
Wilson has a chance to fill that void.
Editorial page editor Donald Luzzatto, a generally predictable and reliable Leftie, deserves optimum kudos for one of the best candidate endorsement editorials written for his cogent piece on the Frank Wagner (R) vs. Gary McCollum (D) race in the senate district 7. It inspired my faith back in the Pilot for one, and newspapers in general. Great work, Don.
The political director of the Virginia House Democratic caucus Trent Armitage deserves a lot of credit for gaining one net seat last Tuesday. He was sitting pretty a few months ago, and then all hell broke loose with McAuliffe’s disastrous gambit on guns and tolls. With little money left, he was fending off a $17 I-66 toll debacle floated by his governor in the last weeks of the campaign in northern Virginia. These were hotly contested House seats he was charged to win.
Armitage was odd man out at McAuliffe’s PAC which was obsessed with taking the state senate back to garner national headlines and propel Hillary Clinton’s Virginia chances in 2016.
In two weeks, Armitage went from plus five to minus three to an actual plus one.
A roller-coaster ride the young Democratic operative navigated successfully.
Delegate Monty Mason (D-93)
Can you say: Delegate for life? Mason crushed his credible opponent, GOP’s Lara Overy. He won everything. This seat is now Minority House Leader David Toscanos’ (D-Charlottesville) for the foreseeable future. Mason will rise.
U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D) and U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D)
If I were Hillary, I’d sure want Warner or Kaine on my ticket to seal the deal in Virginia. It looked a little shaky last week.
This cycle established Laura Vozzella, who covers Virginia politics for the Washington Post out of Richmond, as a must read. Her coverage of the election was extensive, fair and thorough.
Governor, you told State Sen. Bill Stanley (R-Franklin) to “man-up” when he was threatened with bodily harm on social media.
Are you going to man-up and apologize to Dick Saslaw (D-Fairfax) for personally blowing his bid to become Senate majority leader by taking former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s crazy anti-gun money in the 10th senate district?
Had McAuliffe continued to let the Democratic senate caucus focus on jobs, education and infrastructure – the Democrats winning message through the summer – they would have romped last Tuesday. McAuliffe put his political capital, his PAC money and his national prestige on the line to win back the Virginia state senate. He threw down the gauntlet. He lost.
McAuliffe also had delusions of grandeur as a possible VP pick – that all went up in flames on November 3.
Gary McCollum ran a negative and cynical campaign, never putting forth a positive message. His strategy was singularly focused on turning out a minority voting bloc, ignoring a large swath of interested and engaged voters in his district.
McCollum’s campaign epitomizes why average folks loathe politics.
His anti-gun Everytown Gun Safety PAC dumped $2.2 million into Dan Gecker and Jeremy McPike’s state senate races. McPike was going to win anyway. It sunk Gecker and the Virginia Democrats, and cost them the state senate.
Got The Shaft
Plain and simple, the Godfather got the shaft.
He should be Majority Leader come January 2016. Instead, he’s relegated to the senate minority for another four long years. Dick is in his 70’s.
First, one of Saslaw’s trusted aides embezzled over $600,000 from his senate caucus war chest, crippling his ability to fund his candidates the way he would have liked to do. Then McAuliffe hijacked Dick’s message at the close of the campaign by focusing on guns and tolls, in lieu of Saslaw’s winning formula of jobs, education and infrastructure.
John Fredericks is a Virginia based radio talk show host heard Monday-Friday 6-10 AM on WHKT AM 1650-Hampton Roads, WNTW AM 820-Richmond, WBRG Super Talk 1050, 106.7 FM and 104.5 FM – Lynchburg, Lexington, Danville and Farmville. Online: http://www.johnfredericksradio.com