Category Archives: Politics

Open House Races in NoVa Already Crowded

by Jeanine Martin

Here are the candidates so far in the 2024 election for open seats in the U.S. House of Representatives in the 7th District, currently held by Democrat Abigail Spanberger, and in the 10th District, currently held by Democrat Jennifer Wexton:

Virginia’s 10th district

Del. Michelle Maldonado (D-Manassas) is the latest to announce her candidacy in the crowded Democrat field competing for the nomination for Congress in the 10th district.

Other Democrats running in the 10th are:

Eileen Filler Corn (D-Fairfax), former Speaker of the House of Delegates. (She does not reside in the 10th district but that is not necessary to run for Congress).

State SenJennifer Boysko (D-Fairfax)

Del. Suhas Subramanyam (D-parts of Loudoun and Prince William). He was elected to the state Senate earlier this month.

Del. Dan Helmer (D-part of Loudoun and Prince William)

Del. David Reid (D-Loudoun)

Atif Qarni, former secretary of education under Ralph Northam. Continue reading

How Youngkin Can Avoid Lame Duck Status

by Scott Lingamfelter

Elections produce clarity. One thing is noticeably clear after Republicans failed to achieve majorities in both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly. For the next two years, the prospects for Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin‘s legislative agenda are bleak.

That’s the bad news.

Here is the good news: It doesn’t have to be that way.

The inclination of those defeated in elections is to engage in “blamestorming,” seeking to find fault with this or that election strategy. We’re seeing that now as some Republican legislators grouse about the governor’s decision to emphasize abortion restrictions that played badly in some swing districts. That messaging debate should occur. But it’s imperative that the governor and the GOP in Virginia do some serious brainstorming on how to win back the hearts and minds of voters. Serious-minded governance can do that. Continue reading

Virginia Dems Have a Razor-Thin Majority, Not a Mandate

by Kerry Dougherty

Gosh, it seems like it was just last month that Virginia Democrats accused Republicans of being too extreme on abortion and used that wedge issue to gain a slight edge in the General Assembly. (The GOP favors a reasonable 15-week limit, preventing the grisly practice of late-term abortions, except in cases of rape, incest or the life of the mother being in danger.)

Now Democrats have shown who the true extremists are. They’ve introduced a constitutional amendment that would guarantee abortion rights, with no restrictions.

Fooled again, Virginia.

After the 2023 elections, Democrats have majorities in both the House and Senate: 51-49 in the House and 21-19 in the Senate. The governor can’t veto a constitutional amendment, so look for all of the abortion enthusiasts in Richmond to merrily support this measure. It needs to pass the General Assembly in two consecutive years and then has to be approved by voters. So this guarantees the Dems will be pimping this issue for the next several years.


They’re just getting started with a slew of bills that they know Gov. Glenn Youngkin WILL veto. The Democrats simply want to get Republican members on the record with “no” votes so they can demagogue the issues in the campaigns. Continue reading

“Parental Rights” Movement Fading?

Loudoun County School Board meeting, 2021 Photo credit: What’s Trending

by Dick Hall-Sizemore

When Glenn Youngkin was elected Governor in 2021, largely on a platform of “parental rights” in schools, a national movement seemed to have been born.  In Virginia, and elsewhere, school board meetings were packed with fervent citizens shouting at the board members and at each other about banning books in school libraries and classrooms, LGBTQ policies, and other issues.  Law enforcement had to be called in to keep order.

With the last election, that movement seems to have lost momentum.  Nationally, Democrats won school board elections in many key districts and candidates backed by progressive groups did well.  Moms for Liberty, one of the leading “parental rights” groups, lost some of the ground it had won two years earlier.  The group pushed back against claims that voters were rejecting its platform, saying that 40 percent of the candidates it had endorsed won, although that hardly seems like a case that its agenda is winning.  Furthermore, it quickly took down its list of endorsed candidates from its website, thereby making it impossible to verify even this claim. Continue reading

Republican Problems in Virginia

by Shaun Kenney

There was an angrier version of this analysis I had prepared. One that placed the blame squarely on the shoulders of those who would have reaped the rewards had Tuesday gone differently.

I’m not going to do that.

… because there’s a bigger problem in front of us.

Virginia Democrats have a lot more strength than Virginia Republicans care to consider, and it will take all of us — all of us — and not just some of us to put up a resistance in 2024 and 2025.

I don’t know what it will require to fix it. Yet I think many Republicans are tired of being used for temporary gain only to watch the Democrats run circles around us as they invest in the necessary ecosystem — activists, news outlets, think tanks, polling firms — to capture hearts and minds. Republicans are a consultancy-driven party; Democrats are built around coalitions. With differing definitions of success and reward, victory comes much more cheaply for Republicans than for Democrats.

When it comes, that is.

The Democrats can point back to 20 years of progress. Can we name a single Republican victory in Virginia on a policy issue of note over the last 20 years? That we were proud to run on and champion in front of voters? Continue reading

Just Wondering

U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY) Photo credit: NBC News

by Dick Hall-Sizemore

Four Republican Congressmen from Virginia, Wittman (1st District), Good (5th District),  Cline (6th District), and  Griffith (9th Distict), recently voted against the continuing resolution, introduced by the Republican leadership of the House of Representatives, to fund the government.  In effect, they would have shut down the government.

I wonder how they will vote. when they come back from the Thanksgiving recess, on the resolution to expel Rep. George Santos (R-NY) following the release of a unanimous, scathing report by the bipartisan Ethics Committee recommending that he be expelled.

It’s Not Trump; Our Coalitions Matter

by Shaun Kenney

Stop me if you’ve seen this one before.

Virginia Republicans either get absolutely shellacked in an election, or the margins are super close and we either lose — in which case, the Western Experiment is over and America should pack it in — or we miraculously win and have set the new conservative standard for the next 20 years with Virginia in the vanguard.

We do this to ourselves every year, folks.

Hope everyone loves their non-partisan (sic) redistricting courtesy of the State of California. Fact of the matter is that Virginia Democrats outspent Republicans by $7.5 million and nearly lost the whole thing.

Now with one seat margins, they will have to work with three statewide Republicans without any clear mandate other than a strong desire from the electorate to quit being crazy and start applying common sense. Continue reading

Legacy Media Play Catch-Up in Hashmi Case

by Kerry Dougherty

Just as I predicted: The corporate media could no longer ignore the election controversy brewing in Virginia’s bright blue 15th Senate District and were finally forced to cover the uncomfortable topic of election “irregularities”.

The Daily Wire’s Luke Rosiak – the best reporter in Virginia – broke the story last weekend. The Richmond Times-Dispatch followed up on Tuesday.

That Senate race was won in a landslide last week by Ghazala Hashmi, a Democrat. Trouble is, it appears she actually lives in the 12th District – a GOP stronghold – and rented an apartment in the Democrat-friendly 15th to have an address there.

If that’s what happened, Hashmi wouldn’t be the first candidate to rent a little pied-a-terre to use occasionally and claim as a dwelling place to meet residency requirements. This sort of chicanery has happened before.

Of course it deprives citizens of having a representative who actually lives in their district, but no one cares about the peons. It’s all about winning.

But on her official forms – which Hashmi signed – she did not declare the home she’s owned in Midlothian since 1999. The form said a primary residence didn’t have to be declared.

So which is it, Senator? Is the Midlothian house your residence or do you actually live in the apartment you rented? Continue reading

Anyone Know Where Sen. Ghazala Hashmi Lives?

by Kerry Dougherty

mmm. Looks like things just got interesting — instead of merely horrifying — in last Tuesday’s election.

If Luke Rosiak of The Daily Wire is correct, one Democrat member of the Virginia State Senate may be fighting to stay out of jail rather than taking her seat in the Capitol come January.

In a story headlined “Virginia Dems Could Lose Control of State Senate Because One Of Its Members May Have Lied About Her Residence,” Rosiak claims that Ghazala Hashmi may not live in the 15th Senate District, rendering her ineligible to occupy the seat she won just last week.

Worse, Rosiak reports that Hashmi may have lied on the Certificate of Candidacy Qualifications that she signed last March. In it, she claimed to live in an apartment in Chesterfield while she may have been living in the $600,000 home in Midlothian where she has resided for decades. If these accusations are true, Hashmi could be facing a maximum fine of $2,500, up to 10 years in prison and she could lose the right to vote.

Rosiak reports that, before redistricting, Hashmi’s Midlothian home was in District 10. She represented that district when she was elected in 2020. When the boundaries moved, however, Hashmi found herself living in District 12. Oddly enough, instead of running for that seat, Hashmi entered the race for District 15 and listed an apartment there as her dwelling place.

As it happens, District 12, where Hashmi reportedly DOES live, is a GOP stronghold, which was won by Republican Glen Sturtevant, who garnered 54% of the vote. Continue reading

Rumblings Among House Republicans

Del. Don Scott (D-Portsmouth), Minority Leader

by Dick Hall-Sizemore

Del. Don Scott (D-Portsmouth), the current Minority Leader in the House of Delegates, seems to be on a smooth glide path to making history by being elected Speaker when the General Assembly convenes in January. The fate of the current Speaker, Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah), is less certain.

Del. Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah), currently Speaker

One might logically expect a Speaker to maintain leadership of his party caucus after it moved from the majority to minority. But it seems that some members are unhappy, and that Del. Terry Kilgore (R-Scott), the current Majority Leader, is campaigning to be the Republican floor leader in the next Session, rather than Gilbert. The Virginia Political Newsletter reports that the unhappiness of some members stems from feeling that “the talking point of a new 15-week restriction was forced upon them by House leadership and Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s PAC, Spirit of Virginia.” One Republican delegate told the newsletter, on the condition of anonymity, “Many of us understood that the messaging and focus on the abortion issue was wrong from the start, and would hurt Republicans, especially in competitive districts.”

Del. Terry Kilgore (R-Scott), currently Majority Leader

It is not uncommon for legislators to rebel against their leadership when their party loses its majority status. In fact, Scott owes his current position to a coup he led two years ago against then-Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax) after the Democrats were toppled from the majority.

Sam Rasoul and Jewish Democrats in the General Assembly – An Uneasy Alliance

James C. Sherlock

Del. Sam Rasoul, D-Roanoke, speaks at a pro-Palestinian rally in Roanoke. 
Credit: David Hungate, The Roanoke Times

Salam “Sam” Rasoul is a Democrat delegate from Roanoke.

He still publicly blames Israel for an explosion at a Gaza hospital that the western world’s intelligence services have blamed on an errant Hamas rocket.

Even The New York Times changed its story after jumping the gun on that report.

At the rally (pictured), The Roanoke Times reported:

Rasoul, a Palestinian … used his speech to call for an immediate cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, and for the U.S. to stop funding Israel’s war effort.

Apparently he did not consider that wearing his team’s colors in a war might not be well received by some in his party.

He will find that his words and actions will cause, at best, discomfort within his caucus in January.

Continue reading

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

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