Category Archives: Elections

It Wasn’t About Youngkin

by Joe Fitzgerald

Deep in the hills of Southwest Virginia is a state Senate district where nobody works because the coal industry is increasingly mechanized. The district has all or part of eight counties. In Northern Virginia is a county where nobody works because they’re all employed by the federal government. The county includes all or part of eight state Senate districts.

Every four years, national political  writers combine this into a cohesive entity called Virginia and use it as a bellwether for the presidential election that follows the state Senate election by one year, every single time. The state’s economics and politics are shaped by, among other things, the coal industry and the federal government (see above). The state’s boundaries are shaped by rivers, a bay, a mountain range, and a southern line that’s straight except for a zig-zag south of Abingdon caused by a drunken surveyor.

Most of the national political writers don’t know that our districts were drawn by the courts, our counties and cities are separate entities, and our precincts are drawn by processes that vary by district, county, and city. And every four years, regular as clockwork, they write about how the General Assembly races will impact the ambitions of George Allen, Jim Gilmore, Mark Warner, Tim Kaine, Bob McDonnell, Terry McAuliffe, or Glenn Youngkin for president, vice president, or U.S. senator. Continue reading

In Loudoun, Some Good News for Republicans

The exquisite Loudoun County countryside

by Jeanine Martin 

I feel sorry for Governor Yougkin. This has to be one of the worst nights of his life. After doing 100 campaign events, he lost the state Senate and House of Delegates.

Youngkin may need to rethink his future in politics. Although this election wasn’t about him. It was about abortion, always the Democrats’ most important issue. They lied saying Republicans would ban ALL abortions, and probably birth control too. Scaring Democrats always works to get them into the voting booth.

The newly-elected Senate is now 19 Republicans and 21 Democrats. The new House of Delegates is currently 51 Democrats and 48 Republicans. The one outstanding race is expected to go Republican, giving the party a total 49 Republicans. It doesn’t get much closer than that, in both Houses. Results can be found here.

There was some good news for my Loudoun County friends. Our awful commonwealth’s attorney, who won with George Soros’ funding, Buta Biberaj, has been defeated by Republican Bob Anderson, who is currently ahead of her by 1,000 votes. Continue reading

Virginia Election Reflections

by Kerry Dougherty

So, boys and girls, what did we learn Tuesday night?

I’ll go first.

First, we learned never to underestimate the Democrats’ devotion to abortion. To them, it’s a sacrament. Something not to be touched. Every woman, they believe, has the right (I’d say God-given, but it seems blasphemous) to abort her baby right up until birth.

They want unfettered access to abortions more than they want good schools, a booming economy, or world peace.

Shoot, they nearly elected a woman who engaged in slutty online sex acts with her lawyer husband while they begged for tips from an audience of masturbating voyeurs over abortion. This mother of two convinced more than 16,000 Virginia Democrats that spreading her legs and who knows what else for an online camera was simply bodily autonomy. An extension of a woman’s right to choose.

Did those voters think this sex worker had the judgment and character to serve in the same chamber than once housed Patrick Henry? Yeah, baby. She supports abortion!

Moving on, we also learned that there is a downside to holding off-year statehouse elections when almost no other states have contests.

It means there are tractor-trailer loads of loot that can be dumped from out-of-state special interests into Virginia campaigns undiluted by needs in other places.

It also means that Virginia’s elections take on an exaggerated national importance.

Virginia is not a swing state. It’s a blueish purple state that elected a likeable businessman as governor, along with his running mates, during a time when parents were harboring raw resentment toward public schools that closed during covid and then hid sexual assaults once they opened. It was a type of harmonic convergence, unlikely to be repeated any time soon. Continue reading

Additional Electoral Jolts

by Dick Hall-Sizemore

It has long been evident that Henrico County has been changing, both demographically and politically. The results of this week’s elections were the culmination of that long-term trend.

The county has a history of continuity in its Board of Supervisors membership with members serving for many years. This year, two long-serving board members, Patricia O’Bannon and Frank Thornton, both of whom will complete 28 years on the board this year, announced their retirements.  (Thornton was the first Black elected to the board.)

The partisan breakdown of the board has been three Republicans and two Democrats for many years, except for a brief interlude in 2018 when a Democrat was elected in a special election following the death of a long-serving Republican. She resigned from the board seven months later after getting into a nasty squabble with other board members, including her fellow Democrats, who said she was not playing by their internal rules. A Republican won in the ensuing special election. Continue reading

A Few Thousand Votes Would Have Made a Big Difference

by Shaun Kenney

Yeah — I’m a bit bitter over this one.

Virginia Republicans did everything we were asked, despite our intuition. We narrowed the talking points, stayed in our lanes, muffled internal criticisms, and allowed the effort to be centralized. Consultants made their money as they do every election and the Democrats outspent us as we thought.

Yet at the end of the day, redistricting did us in — and voters were given a choice between Virginia Democrats or Glenn Youngkin.

They chose the Democrats — barely.

By The Numbers? Spirit of Virginia PAC Got Republicans Awfully Close…

Cooler heads now prevailing, there is one culprit — maybe two — for Republican fortunes in November 2023: redistricting and $8 million in Democratic cash spent on a handful of House of Delegates races.

Consider that Democrats did not win a single seat where Youngkin earned 52% of the vote or higher. Not a single one. Likewise, Republicans did not win a single seat where Youngkin did not perform 50% or better.

Biden’s favorable numbers were also just about where they were in 2021, hovering in the low-40s (RCP has Biden at 41.4%). 2023 was no repeat of 2017, where Democrats enjoyed a massive victory over Republicans one year after Donald Trump was elected president.

A 51-49 House and a 21-19 Senate is no mandate — it is stasis.

Bolling: Three Reasons Why Republicans Fell Short

Former Lt. Governor Bill Bolling has offered his thoughts on why Republicans lost in triplicate. I think he is wrong on two, but most certainly right on the third.

There will be a temptation to blame the outcome of the 2023 elections on abortion, but this is not the case at all. Continue reading

Song Sung Blue

by James A. Bacon

Not every General Assembly race has been decided, according to the data displayed by the Virginia Public Access Project, but enough votes are in to conclude that the Democrats won the election. They retained their control of the state Senate and won a narrow majority in the House. Some preliminary observations:

Bye, Bye White House. Governor Glenn Youngkin can stop entertaining fantasies about running for president. Give him credit for fighting hard to win GOP control of the state legislature. But he failed. He has not cracked the code on how to turn blue states red, and, therefore, he does not create a viable alternative to Donald Trump in the GOP presidential nomination contest.

Abortion, abortion, abortion. Youngkin staked his effort to retake the General Assembly largely on a platform of banning abortion after 15 weeks (with exceptions for rape and incest). It was a more moderate plank than what we’ve seen in other red states, but it was not what most Virginians wanted. The Virginia GOP needs to decide which is more important: abortion or… taxes, government spending, jobs, crime, parental rights, public-sector unions, salvaging K-12, reforming higher- ed, and every other issue they could make progress on if Democrats didn’t have the abortion issue to beat them with. Continue reading

Election Day: VOTE

by Kerry Dougherty

No matter how busy you are, no matter what’s going on, don’t sit this one out.


Especially if you love Virginia and don’t want our commonwealth to go backwards, turning into an East-coast version of tax-mad, crime-ridden, pronoun-obsessed California.

Remember how good it felt the day after the 2021 election, when Glenn Youngkin beat Terry McAuliffe and you knew that it was Independence Day in Virginia?


Remember how you woke up the morning after that historic election and knew the vaccine mandates that cost state workers their jobs were a thing of the past? You knew that statewide mask mandates were not coming back. You knew that parents were going to be heard at their kids’ schools and school officials would no longer be allowed to hide a child’s gender confusion from their parents. You knew that schools would focus on excellence instead of kowtowing to teachers’ unions. You knew that the parole board would not be turning murderers loose.

I could go on, but if you were in Virginia in November 2021, you remember the overweening tyranny of the Northam administration and his Democrat monopoly on the state house and how good it felt to shake it all off.


If all goes well, we’ll feel that sense of exhilaration again tomorrow. Youngkin’s common-sense policies will have a chance to become law if voters manage to dismantle the Democrat’s sick brick wall of stupidity.

At last, the General Assembly will have the votes to repeal the measure that tie Virginia’s future to California’s nutty climate regulations. Parents will continue to have a say in their kids’ education. Oh, and there won’t be any drag queen story hours. Continue reading

Tomorrow’s Ballot Question: Will Virginia Become Illinois?

by Derrick Max

It was reported last week that billionaire Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker had made substantial campaign contributions totaling $250,000 to four liberal Democrats running for Virginia State Senate and the Democratic Party of Virginia. These donations, made through Governor Pritzker’s “Think Big America” organization, are the clearest sign yet that the left wants to turn the Commonwealth of Virginia into an Illinois of the East.

Truthfully, the governing philosophies in Illinois and Virginia could not be more different. State and local government spending per capita in Illinois is higher than in Virginia. Illinois has a higher overall tax burden than Virginia, and Illinois has a substantially higher unionization rate than Virginia. In fact, about one in seven workers in Illinois is unionized, while only one in 22 workers in Virginia is unionized. Illinois also has a higher minimum wage than Virginia. So, what does Illinois get with its higher taxes, higher spending, higher minimum wage, and higher unionization? A worse state. Continue reading

That’s One Way to Cut Down on Health Care Costs

Tim Griffin, Republican candidate for 53rd House District

by Dick Hall-Sizemore

Just as the Democrats and Republicans get rid of their embarrassments in the Virginia Senate (Joe Morrissey and Amanda Chase, respectively), it appears the Republicans will be electing another one for the House.

Following up on a report by The Daily Progress in Charlottesville, Dwayne Yancey reports today in Cardinal News that Tim Griffin, the Republican candidate for the district that covers parts of Bedford, Nelson, and Amherst counties, has defied multiple court orders to pay for the support of his children. In 2021, a court ordered Griffin to pay his ex-wife for health care coverage for their two young children, spousal support, and legal fees. It appears that, soon after that order was entered, he cancelled the health coverage for his children and has not paid the other required amounts. He now owes more than $33,000.

Furthermore, some Republicans have raised questions about whether he even lives in the district, going so far as to hire a private investigator to figure out where he lives.

There was a time when such revelations would have been devastating to a candidacy. But, this is a heavily Republican district and the Democratic candidate seems to be running an uninspired campaign. Therefore, it looks as if there will be a scofflaw in the legislature voting on laws that apply to the rest of us.

It could be asked why the Republicans did not do a better job of vetting their candidate, who was chosen in a convention. It just so happens that the chairman of the Republican Party in Bedford County, “home to most of the voters in this district, is none other than Griffin himself.”

Freedom, Consistency, and Tuesday’s Election

The capital city

by Shaun Kenney

One of the great things about being a conservative is that we are inherently an anti-ideology. As the late William F. Buckley Jr. once put it, the great task of the modern conservative movement is to stand athwart history yelling STOP!

Yet in a wider sense, it is far easier for conservatives to tack with the wind than our counterparts on the left. Liberals tend to wed themselves to institutions and then find themselves besieged by conservatives who continue to ask why and progressives who demand more on the what and how.

One of the particular demands on the conservative movement at present is whether or not we are a big tent or a fortress.

More particular is this: do we have to surrender what we believe in order to become more palatable to the wider public?

Or is there simply a better way of packaging what we believe and describing why it matters to working class families? In short, if what we believe has a kernel of truth to it, isn’t persuasion better than fighting?

The truth is that Republicans are far better at adapting what we believe to the times than our counterparts on the left precisely because we keep asking the same question over and over again: Does this expand the cause of human freedom — or not?

For Virginia Republicans, the sentiment is as old as there has been a Republican Party of Virginia — thank you General William Mahone. The maxim was best articulated by one Richard D. Obenshain, who by sheer force of will resurrected what we know as the present-day Virginia GOP from mere footnote to statewide conscience, serving as state party chairman in 1972 before his U.S. Senate bid in 1978. Continue reading

Democrats, Judges, and Higher Taxes

from Liberty Unyielding 

For generations, Washington State had no state income tax, because of anti-income tax provisions in its state constitution. But the Washington state supreme court recently upheld a classic example of an income tax — a state tax on income from capital gains — by making the absurd argument that a capital gains tax is an “excise tax,” not an income tax. That was nonsense. The IRS and all other states deem capital-gains taxes to be income taxes, because they are levied on the amount of income you make from selling an asset, such as shares of stock or the sale of your home. The state supreme court could not deny this, and seems to have been motivated by racial, rather than legal, considerations, in reaching its ruling. It claimed that Washington’s traditional tax system “perpetuates systemic racism by placing a disproportionate tax burden on BIPOC residents,” who pay a higher fraction of sales taxes than of income or capital gains taxes.

As broadcaster Jason Rantz notes, the state supreme court’s opinion “doesn’t read like a Court decision, but a press release from a pro-tax, anti-capitalist Seattle activist group. But that’s what the Washington State Supreme Court has become.” The state supreme court’s 7-to-2 ruling is in tension with the fact that, as the tax consulting firm RSM notes, “the IRS defines capital gains as income and the Washington capital gains tax relies on federal income tax reporting.”

If other state supreme courts similarly redefine income taxes as excise taxes, that could weaken tax limits contained in other states’ laws, such as Virginia law’s ban on income taxes levied by cities and counties. This Tuesday, Virginia is holding legislative elections. Virginia’s legislature picks the state’s judges, and Democrats are slightly favored to take control of the state legislature. When they last controlled the Virginia legislature, the Democrats expanded and packed the Virginia Court of Appeals. But the Virginia supreme court currently is split 4-to-3 in favor of Republicans. Residents of northern Virginia pay 3.2% less of their income in taxes than residents of neighboring counties in Maryland, because Maryland permits county income taxes, and Virginia doesn’t.

If Democrats win the Virginia elections Tuesday, they could pick judges who uphold taxes at odds with the state constitution. Continue reading

Dominion, Clean VA Spend $23M Buying Influence

By Steve Haner

Dominion Energy Virginia has increased its donations to Virginia state politicians six-fold in just four years. The other major donors in the energy regulation arena, Clean Virginia Fund and its founder, have done much the same. They are donating five times more in the 2023 election cycle than they did in the similar 2019 cycle.

The two political behemoths have donated about $23 million between them, compared to about $4 million four years ago. The totals really won’t be known until the final reports are due after Tuesday’s election.

Virginia’s election laws are so porous, the real spending won’t be clear even then. Here in the last weekend another round of mailings in favor of various candidates has appeared from an advocacy group called Power for Tomorrow. It sent similar mailings out just before the June primary.

Reporting at that time noted that Dominion had provided funding for Power for Tomorrow, which basically is praising candidates who had voted for Dominion’s 2023 regulatory bill. There is every reason to believe it is acting at Dominion’s behest, and no question these mailers are intended to promote the candidates.

No data on who received them or what they cost, for either the primary or general election mailers, can be found at Virginia Public Access Project. The text does not actually say to vote for the candidate in focus, which may be the claimed loophole.

The mailer that appeared in Henrico County mailboxes praising Senator Siobahn Dunnavant used exactly the same talking points that Dominion has used through the year to describe that bill, which had its good and bad points. The mailer appeared just one day after the State Corporation Commission implemented part of that bill, allowing Dominion to convert two years of unpaid fuel bills into a bond, and then make its ratepayers pay off the bond over 7 years. Continue reading

Casino’s Last Stand: A Nauseating Display of Hate

Downtown Richmond

by Jon Baliles

The second casino referendum will be decided on Tuesday and it will be a vote (again) on whether or not Richmond wants to do the get-rich-quick schemes to help people or do the hard work of methodically mapping out a strategy and building a future. The get-rich-quick schemes like the casino and Navy Hill only benefit the select few, but the promoters promise the world to everyone and benevolence as far as the eye can see — vote for it and approve it for YOUR benefit, they say. It will be better FOR YOU than it will be for us, they boast.

We called B.S. on Navy Hill and we need to do it again with the casino, which will be a predatory drain on the community and do more harm than good, despite what they promise. And this will not be a policy wonky dive into the casino, I promise. That’s because this issue is sadly a nauseating reveal of what the casino developers really think about Richmond and Richmonders, told in their own words.

News came out this week that the promoters of the casino have been going on radio in recent days and trashing everyone in Richmond that does not support the casino. They have spent more than $10 million to try and convince people to vote for it, but they are badmouthing and trashing opponents on their own radio stations for all to hear with vile and offensive an inexcusable comments demeaning people of all kinds — black and white; the rich, middle class and poor; churchgoers, pastors. It did not matter. It was open season on anyone who didn’t support the casino; they especially went after Jim Ukrop and they absolutely thrash Tim Kaine because he voted no in 2021 and said there were better ways to promote economic development in Southside. Continue reading

Dems Work to Suppress Minority Votes in Senate Race

by Victoria Snitsar Churchill

In the heart of Virginia’s Senate District 31 race, where political fervor has ignited a spirited campaign, allegations of voter suppression tactics are taking center stage. Juan Pablo Segura –  the Republican contender for the seat – has raised concerns about what he describes as attempts by his opponent Russet Perry’s allies to stifle early voting enthusiasm within the Latino community.

The controversy came to light following a series of vibrant early-voting parties organized by Segura’s campaign. These events aimed to engage voters and encourage their participation in the democratic process. Segura, a Latino candidate himself, found himself dismayed as he observed the response from Perry’s camp.

“It’s telling that when a Latino tries to get other Latinos to get out and vote, Russet Perry’s team treats it as a threat,” Segura remarked. “Voter suppression is not a governing philosophy, so to all Senate District 31 voters: please keep coming to our fun early voting parties!”

The alleged suppression attempts have been raising eyebrows across Virginia’s political landscape:

The saga began when the Loudoun County Parks and Rec Department attempted to shut down a Hispanic early-voting party. The event, characterized by the presence of a food truck and a mariachi band, was designed to create a festive atmosphere that would encourage community members to cast their votes for Segura. Continue reading

Delegate Won’t Correct False Accusation About Israel

Sam Rasoul

by Scott Dreyer

On October 17, around noon Virginia time, a missile allegedly hit a Baptist hospital in Gaza. Almost immediately, many US mainstream news outlets blamed Israel for the attack and claimed “over 500” had been killed.

As reported here, about four hours after the blast, Del. Salam “Sam” Rasoul (D-Roanoke) posted to X, formerly known as Twitter, “Today Israel bombed a hospital and a UN school. War crimes it will never be held accountable for. Over 1000 children dead in 10 days. Sickening.”

Within hours, though, as more evidence came in and was examined, it became clear that the blast was not from an Israeli rocket strike, but from a failed Palestinian missile that dropped on Palestinian territory, hitting the hospital’s parking lot. On October 18, Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), who has access to classified information as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, tweeted “we feel confident that the explosion was the result of a failed rocket launch by militant terrorists and not the result of an Israeli airstrike.” Continue reading