Today’s update will deal with the Republican field, which has seven candidates. You’ll probably never get to vote for these candidates because the wizards inside the Republican Party of Virginia have decided to choose their eventual nominee in a convention and not a primary. So unless you’re a Party Faithful, you probably don’t know these people and you never will know 6 of them. Conventions are cheaper and they ensure that only Party Faithfuls can determine the nominee, but these candidates never gain any kind of recognition with the public. That being said, let’s look at the seven candidates who don’t need or want your vote for right now…
(done in alphabetical order)
- Jeannemarie Davis – (Northern Virginia) Formerly Jeannemarie Devolites Davis (assuming she dropped the third name once she realized it wouldn’t fit on a screen), she’s hated by far-right Republicans who claim that she’s a RINO. Yep, here we go again with that stupid terminology. It seems that campaigning to close the “gun-show loophole” was enough to make her Evil. She made a gaffe by sending out a promotional email and robocall on 9/11 that was poorly worded with most conservative bloggers railing against her. You know what usually happens when most Virginia conservative bloggers tear a political candidate apart? Yep, absolutely nothing. She had no chance of winning this nomination and kept all of that support. She still has no chance of winning at the convention. As for her opinion on Southside? I think she’s visited Martinsville for one day. Hoo boy.
- E.W. Jackson – (Hampton Roads) Either you’ll say “He’s baaaaaack!” or “Who?” (I’m betting on the latter). Jackson’s coming back from his 2012 Senate primary loss to George Allen and actually has a good chance to make a better showing this time. Since he’s only marketing to Party Faithfuls, they’re going to be more willing to listen to his ideas. He’s still regarded as a novelty act at times because he’s a Black Conservative Christian Republican, and unfortunately he’s going to lose some support simply because of that. He’s out there at times but he says the “right” things to draw him convention support. He’s got a very big uphill battle but I don’t think he’ll enough support to win the nomination. Southside status? Bizarrely, he was at Bill Bolling’s Lt. Governor kickoff rally in Danville but made a hasty move to the exit when he realized that nobody wanted to talk to him. By the time I got to look for him for some comments, he was long gone.
- Scott Lingamfelter – (Northern Virginia) Lingamfelter is the Golden Boy for a lot of Republicans because he says the “right” things. Less government, protect small businesses, families first, etc. He prides himself on his military service and his website is mostly devoted to that military service. He’s “establishment” which sometimes doesn’t fit in with a convention but he’s got enough support to make him a finalist for the nomination. Southside happenings? He’s visited Martinsville. That’s all I know.
- Steve Martin – (Richmond) Martin seems to be a good guy and says the same “Faith & Family” things that all the other candidates do. One of his issues catches my eye and that’s the proposed elimination of the BPOL tax. He’s right on that and that’s enough to set him up a little higher in my book. Just like these other candidates though, he’s got no real name recognition (which isn’t really needed in a convention, anyway). With the majority of candidates being from Northern Virginia, Martin’s got a chance to get a firm grasp on the Richmond delegation. That would help him and he’s got enough of a potential following to make him a finalist. As for Southside ties… I’ve never seen or heard of him here.
- Corey Stewart – (Northern Virginia) Stewart’s not well-liked by the Political Insiders because he says what he thinks when he thinks it. He disparaged George Allen while considering a run for the Senate then ended up endorsing him (that worked out so well, didn’t it?). He’s the chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors. I’d like to know where he stands on the issues but his website’s got nothing. I haven’t seen him or heard anything about him in Southside (you should be sensing a trend here). As one of the five candidates from Northern Virginia, he’s got to pull of a miracle to get enough delegates to survive the first few ballots.
- Pete Snyder – (Northern Virginia) Snyder was the last candidate (as of now) to get into the race and has jumped to the front of the pack by using his social media expertise and unorthodox campaigning style. He’s the only candidate in the field so far that looks like he’s having fun. Any candidate that does a drawing for NFL playoff tickets and then does a BBQ tailgate outside the stadium makes me pay attention and Snyder’s showing no sign of stopping. The only problem with this strategy is that he’s sounding like a candidate going into an election, but he’s got to focus on getting enough convention delegates to win. As long as Snyder keeps his eyes on the real goal, he’s definitely blowing away the field as of now with his marketing push. Southside visits? None that I know of (said yet again).
- Susan Stimpson – (Northern Virginia) Stimpson is the chairman of the Stafford County Board of Supervisors and has about the same record as Corey Stewart. She’s lower taxes, less government, pro-life, pro-gun (as are all of the other candidates). The one thing that Stimpson has going for her is that she’s the Woman Candidate That’s Hated Less. Is that enough to make her stand out from the other Northern Virginia candidates? I don’t see anything so far, but the race is still in the early stages. Southside? Nah, nothing yet.
There’s the candidates as of now. If this process was a primary, I’d have Snyder in the lead over Lingamfelter & Martin with Jackson, Davis, Stimpson & Stewart after them… but it’s not a primary so all bets are off. It’s hard to believe that Southside (and Southwest VA) might actually make a difference in the nomination process but with 5 Northern Virginia candidates splitting the majority of the delegates, the Southside delegation may actually be kingmaker. Probably not, though. I’d honestly be surprised if any of the candidates decide to make a campaign appearance here (except to the party meetings… and even then that wouldn’t be much).
The convention process sucks. The Republican Party of Virginia effectively disenfranchised me and most everybody else that would like to have a say-so in the eventual nominee. I’m fiercely independent and I will not pledge my vote to any political party. Unfortunately to today’s RPV, that’s perfectly acceptable to them because only Party Faithfuls should decide the nomination. Primaries are more expensive but in the long run, they’re worth it so that your candidates get vetted by the public.
We’ll have another update when things start developing in the race…