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UPDATED: Food Chain! – 5th District Candidates

We made it six days without a political article, so let’s get everybody upset at us with our first “Food Chain!” that ranks the candidates for Virginia’s Republican nomination for the 5th district.

Let’s start it out as fairly as we can. Here’s the list of candidates that’s been randomly ordered by’s List Randomizer: Jim McKelvey, Feda Morton, Ron Ferrin, Robert Hurt, Laurence Verga and Mike McPadden.

Even though we’re sure that somebody is going to complain that their favorite candidate is badly placed on the list, who cares? 😀 Let’s start the Food Chain! off.

Jim McKelvey: The Franklin County businessman had not done that much to make himself stand out from the rest of the field until the documents came out this week showing that he had loaned his campaign $500,000. In a sad observation, I’m not sure if $500,000 will be enough to make it to the primary day, but it shows that he’ll be around for a while. Since he’s the first on our chain, he sits by himself.


Next, we come to Feda Morton. Morton’s a Fluvanna County science teacher who’s very active in her county’s party. At the first Tea Party debate, she didn’t do much to set herself away from the field, either. Unfortunately, her campaign is pretty much broke and that an impending sign of doom. Because of the campaign financial issues, Morton goes on the Food Chain! below McKelvey.

McKelvey > Morton

Ron Ferrin is up next, and I’m not sure what to make of him. He’s seemed hotheaded from the start, but that’s set him apart from the others. There’s no chance that I’ll vote for him, and it’s a sure bet most others feel the same way. He goes on the Food Chain! at the bottom for now.

McKelvey > Morton > Ferrin

Robert Hurt’s up for discussion now. Hurt’s wisely staying away from the infighting of the other candidates while building a sizable bankroll from multiple donors. All of this “Robert Hurt is not a real conservative” bullshit being thrown around may sound good to the teapartiers & associates, but not many others are going to buy that. Like it or not, Hurt knows how to handle a political campaign, he’s got the donor base and he’s surrounded himself with people that know how to win. Robert Hurt goes to the top of the chain.

Hurt > McKelvey > Morton > Ferrin

Laurence Verga takes the stage now, and he’s also bankrolled his own campaign to the tune of $250,000. Questionable publicity stunts like his (paid?) appearance on the Laura Ingraham show and his “Joe The Plumbr: tour haven’t done much to advance his name recognition factor. Verga’s got a rabid base of supporters that are keeping his name out there but you have to wonder what’s going to happen when the money runs low. The recent articles about Verga’s poor voting record haven’t drawn much publicity. As for now on the chain, Verga’s above everybody except Hurt.

Hurt > Verga > McKelvey > Morton > Ferrin

Finally, let’s get to Mike McPadden. McPadden’s a likable candidate who did a good job at the Tea Party debate last week. He handles himself in a professional manner but he’s got to get his name recognition up has to get a lot more money to keep his campaign viable. On the chain, McPadden goes slightly ahead of Verga because of his “electability”, and that makes our Food Chain! final.

Hurt > McPadden > Verga > McKelvey > Morton > Ferrin

Recap time!

  1. Robert Hurt
  2. Mike McPadden
  3. Laurence Verga
  4. Jim McKelvey
  5. Feda Morton
  6. Ron Ferrin

That’s a real man’s board, ain’t it? Ok, you waited six whole days for a political article (or enjoyed six days without a political article). Let’s hear what you have to say in the comments.

Oops. As the astute Drew pointed out below, I forgot Ken Boyd. (Does that say something about Boyd or me? Yeah, it says I’m an idiot. I’m blaming it on the snowstorm. Or the drinking.) So, let’s reopen the chain and correct my mistake.

Ken Boyd: Boyd’s got a big name recognition is the Albemarle County area but very little from points southward. Boyd has shown that he has the political chops to hold office (being on the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors) and he handled himself decently at the Tea Party debate… even if he did talk at the rate of 284 MPH. He’s got the “electability” tag on him but I wonder where the required money to run an extended campaign will come from. We squeeze him into the chain above Verga but below McPadden.

Recap time (again!)

  1. Robert Hurt
  2. Mike McPadden
  3. Ken Boyd
  4. Laurence Verga
  5. Jim McKelvey
  6. Feda Morton
  7. Ron Ferrin

NOW that’s a real man’s board! (unless I’ve forgotten somebody else or an eighth candidate shows up)

16 comments to UPDATED: Food Chain! – 5th District Candidates

  • kelley in virginia

    yes, I am an unabashed Hurt supporter.

    but I really think the Republicans will fare better with a younger candidate–that is one of the many reasons I am for Hurt.

  • Drew

    What about Ken Boyd on the food chain?

  • Drew

    What about Ken Boyd? I think he somewhere around the McPadden range.

  • Dave


    I pretty much agree with your board.

    I will say thought that IMO, only Mcpadden and Boyd have a decent shot of taking down the “crown prince” Robert Hurt.

  • kelley in virginia

    old people vote. always. (I include myself in that statement). Perriello, because he is relatively young, will reach out to young voters (he did in ’08 & won them). Cant’ the Republicans counter that with their own young candidate?

  • Dave


    Jim McKelvey, your number 5, has more money on hand (500K) than anyone (including Hurt).

    Wow this primary campaign sure is gonna be expensive.

  • jeff

    Bruce great post. However Mike McPadden has a huge group of followers in the Tea party crowd that I think will support him in the primary in order to defeat Hurt.Mike McPadden is a great conservative candidate he has my vote.

  • VaPatriot

    I agree with your assessment that Hurt will win the primary, and, I also believe that he is indeed a true conservative. One vote does not negate years of conservative action and belief!

  • Dave


    It is not just the vote for the largest tax increase in VA history that upsets me. There is more than one vote in the area of taxes that is concerning.

    He also voted to give unelected boards and commissions the ability to levy taxes.

  • I am sure Hurt is a nice guy, and a good family man, but he has proven that he is a go-along-to-get-along guy when it comes to crunch time. Anyone who thinks it was simply one bad vote, does not know his record. He has voted the wrong way on taxes a number of times. He went against his party to do so, at a time of a budget surplus. He voted to give taxing authority to non-elective boards. He evaded responsibility for these votes, and has obfuscated his record on his website.
    I am for McPadden for a whole host of reasons, which basicaly boil down to the fact that he understands the issues, will work to reassert the Constitution, and he is the most electable. That said, I will work for whomever the party nominates EXCEPT Hurt. If we are going to have higher taxes and bigger government, I would prefer that blame rest with the Democrats. See McPadden’s video We the People at:

  • Bean

    Well said Clay. Also, by voting for HB 2035, Hurt voted to force vaccination of young girls from HPV, a sexually transmitted disease, with or without the consent of her parents.

    From Tim Boyer’s blog:

    “Read this summary of HB 2035 as passed by the House of Delegates;

    Required vaccinations; adds human papillomavirus vaccine. Requires females to receive three properly spaced doses of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. The first dose shall be administered before the child enters the sixth grade.

    To Ken Cuccinelli’s credit, he forced Tim Kaine to add a parental opt-out to this bill, but regardless, it should never have made it out of a Republican controlled committee, much less pass a Republican controlled House.”

  • Clay Ramsay

    Thanks, Bean. I knew nothing about this, but this is another example of a progressive mindset that favors a nanny state view of the role of government. Remember, to paraphrase Ralph Nader, Government is Unsafe at any Speed.

  • kelley in virginia

    please go back & check the record Mr. Bean. Hurt voted for the HPV vaccination law in committee. At that time, it had the parental option IN IT. he voted against this bill on the floor (even with parental opt out in it) because the governor (timmy kaine if you remember) had added things to it.

    senator cuccinelli voted for it all 3 times.

  • Clay Ramsay

    If true, we can remove one black mark from Hurt’s record. I would have preferred if he had voted against it in committee also, but the final no vote is what counts.

    I am troubled by the fact that it seems he has been the silent candidate during the campaign so far. It seems he lets his campaign manager make all statements to the media, and he has ducked the forums. I want a representative who will not be content to be a back bencher. I want a representative who will judge every bill and vote by the Constitution, and who will push that agenda in a very visible manner. There is a Senator who is a perfect example of what I want. Jim Demint of SC is just a freshman Senator, but he is having a huge impact.

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