Waiting outside for an hour in 20 degree weather… No parking… Registration taking over an hour in complete chaos… and 3 hours of terrible speeches… 100s left and gave up… No one who voted left until after 10pm–when attendees were supposed to show up between 6:30 and 7:30.[read_more]
These are the embarrassing memories of the mass meeting for the special election to fill Mark Herring’s vacancy for State Senate, held on December 16, 2013.
This absolute debacle was widely criticized by conservatives, and if I remember correctly, that included then candidate John Whitbeck, now our esteemed RPV Chairman. When brought up, that night immediately causes a universal rolling of the eyes—and general, “what a miserable that night was” for everyone involved.
But I hear Mark Sell–who planned and chaired this awful 2013 mass meeting–is in charge once again for the 2015 GOP nomination process in the 33rd district State Senate race.
And, a well-sourced rumor has it that Mark Sell, chairman of the 33rd District State Senate Committee, wants yet another mass meeting to decide the nomination–and he wants to be in charge again.
Loudoun and Fairfax Republicans cannot afford another embarrassment like the one that happened in 2013. It was widely mocked in the newspapers, and left a stain on our party among those who attended.
Not only that, but considering the 33rd reaches all the way from Leesburg to Chantilly, it is almost impossible to pick a single location that is convenient for everyone.
Why would someone want to drive 40+ minutes in traffic, sit in line, forced to wait through bad speeches, and then vote 3 hours later?
Very few elderly voters, working voters, young voters, or parent voters have 4 hours to spare. This is why Congresswoman Barbara Comstock and other party leaders have suggested a two-location firehouse primary–one location in Loudoun and one in Fairfax (only two locations are needed for this primary).
The 33rd district is tough to win, and the candidate who can turn out voters in a larger process will be better prepared for the general election. Do we want our candidates on the couch making calls–or do we want them out knocking doors for a broader audience?
Before we formally hear that we have another Mass Meeting, tell Mark Sell and LCRC Chairman Mike Haynes to opt for a more reasonable process that makes voting less painful and uses a bit more common sense.