Move 2020 Nomination Deadline To Late Summer

By Steve Haner

A week after the March 3 Democratic presidential primary I was sick, probably with a cold but I had to wonder. No fever developed and patent medicines got me through. But it could have been COVID-19 after checking in hundreds of voters in the Maple Street Firehouse.

There is no way I’m repeating that activity on June 9. Thank you, Governor Ralph Northam, for saving me from having to abandon the other nice folks who work that precinct. Even if we are on the infection down slope, holding a primary that day is a risk we don’t need to impose on those volunteers.

Republican officials exploded when the stay at home directive was advanced to June 10. A statement released by the Republican Party of Virginia whined:

“… the timeline seems all too convenient,” said RPV Chairman Jack Wilson. “We ask that Governor Northam show us the data that led to his decision. It is not our opinion that the Governor is purposefully engaging in voter suppression, but an explanation would help to mitigate any concerns.”

Did my statement mitigate your concerns, Jack? I bet thousands of poll workers feel the same way.

Let’s drop the debate over which elected official or cabinet agency is more hapless and focus on some truly clueless people – this state’s all but dead Republican Party. Yesterday the state party certified three candidates to run June 9 seeking the nomination against Senator Mark Warner, D-Virginia. Don’t look at the story yet, can you name one of them? I cannot. And I would love to see somebody give Warner a race. People forget how close Ed Gillespie came to beating Mark-not-John six years ago. 

Faced with the virus crisis, the party has plenty of options and with some leadership they could be put in place. First and foremost is a delay into late summer. In 1991, following that year’s redistricting and the subsequent Department of Justice challenges, the nominating deadline was moved to around Labor Day. The GOP then went on to major legislative gains in November, and I became a believer in late primaries. The June to Labor Day lull allows interest to lag.

Somewhere in the pile of bills on the Governor’s desk must be a vehicle for moving the nomination deadlines for the November elections, with an amendment that could be approved at the veto session April 22. Both parties might want the breathing space, pardon the pun.

Another option is just to conduct the primary via mail ballots, and the Governor has already opened up that avenue by stating that anybody can claim “illness” as the reason for voting absentee, even if it really means “concern about illness.” If that is what happens, I’ll do it, but again, who has any idea who these people are? They don’t have real campaigns to introduce themselves. It’s pathetic.

One of the reasons the state party is stuck is it is flat broke, with a donor base disgusted by its mismanagement and failure. A state-run primary comes at taxpayer expense. It would be the City of Richmond paying me the lavish sum of $135 or so to sit there all day. A party-run nomination process must be paid for with party funds. December 31 cash on hand at RPV? $2,748, says VPAP.

Many of the various nominations are being done by party convention processes, funded by filing fees. One of the major contests is among those seeking to oppose Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger here in the 7th District. Again, the candidates might appreciate a delay in that process and when the contest resumes, voters might actually be able to pay attention to it. Winning the nomination closer to the November election will put the GOP candidate in a far stronger position, in my opinion (but what do I know about politics?).

I’ve thought about getting involved again. A legislator I liked when he served, Richard Anderson of Prince William County, is fighting to turn out RPV Chairman Jack Wilson. But the state party’s internal processes are balkanized, complicated, intentionally designed to discourage broad participation. It was incumbent on me to negotiate the maze, having just moved to a new locality and congressional district. But just like I’m not sitting all day in a polling place any time soon, neither am I walking into a packed convention hall.

The state party’s statewide convention is still officially set for May 1-2 in Richmond, but that isn’t going to happen. The rumor is they are looking at June 25-26 instead, which might be late enough (but might not after all). That’s where the new chairman is picked, and the delegates to the national convention. There’s no harm in moving that, either.

The threat of COVID is worst for those with underlying conditions that have left them weakened. RPV needs to be careful it doesn’t succumb along with the smokers, diabetics and lung cancer survivors.

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41 responses to “Move 2020 Nomination Deadline To Late Summer

  1. Ha!

  2. re: ” Another option is just to conduct the primary via mail ballots, and the Governor has already opened up that avenue by stating that anybody can claim “illness” as the reason for voting absentee, even if it really means “concern about illness.”

    good googly moogly, give that man a cigar

    Perhaps now is a time to move to a system that makes it EASY to vote – and yes… no voting twice and no dead folks voting… but the perfect opportunity to make changes is now upon us.

  3. The 3 Republican candidates are Daniel Gade, Thomas Speciale, and Omari Faulkner. All have web pages and FACEBOOK pages. They are all obviously better than Mark Warner. Yes, they lack name recognition and the media will avoid giving them any press whatsoever. Whether having 3 candidates over the summer months is a net plus or a net minus remains to be seen. But they need all the help they can get, and it can’t wait until September.

    • RTD says the three certified candidates are Gade, Speciale and Baldwin. Faulkner faltered. Even you haven’t got it right….they are goats tied to a stake. RTD ran a picture of Warner, which tells me they don’t even have file photos on any of the three and saw no reason to go hunting. Wow, they’ve got Facebook pages! That’s how you beat a 12-year incumbent!

    • I get emails from both Gade and Warner, because years ago I contributed $25 to both Warner and Cooch …equal opportunity. So I thought I knew one of the answers.

      At the time my issue was getting rid of the Hybrid fees that were new at the time.

  4. The Republicans in Virginia are still boxing under marquis de queensbury rules while the Democrats are engaged in mixed martial arts. Republicans in Virginia tip toe around Northam’s mind bogglingly inept COVID-19 response out of some misplaced sense of institutional respect. Do you see the Dems extending that same institutional respect to President Trump? Oh hell no. They make up things (e.g. he never said the virus was a hoax), they call him every name in the book, they never stop with the attacks and insults.

    If you want to fight pigs and win you’d better learn to fight like a pig. The Republicans in Virginia need to get down into the slop with Democrats and start slinging. It’s a target rich environment – Blackface, Coonman, Klan robes, infanticide, blackface #2 (Herring), the two credible rape allegations against Justin Fairfax, Northam’s hapless COVID-19 testing regime, Layne’s absurd financial estimates ….

    What would Democrats do if Republicans controlled the state right now?

    Attack, attack, attack, attack and attack.

    Dick Saslaw ought to be a walking piñata for Republicans but all you hear is the sound of crickets chirping.

    Sorry Steve but either Republicans take to street fighting or they should just give up.

    Where is Cuccinelli when you needhim?

    • Oh, Ripper, I do not disagree. I was principal canis attackus for the party for a long, long time. Just not my job anymore. If some candidate fired me up, I could do it again.

    • Well, you gotta understand, Northam is a Good Ole Boy and that’s all it takes to succeed in Virginia.

      • GOB and, of course, he wasn’t with Trump. But for that, I think Ed would have won.

      • It’s not easy to think of someone who has a decade or more of higher education and a career as a skilled medical professional as a “good ole boy”.

        Is he part of the political establishment? Yep.

        a good ole boy in the traditional under educated rural blue collar – nope.

        • Have you been on the Eastern Shore?

          • of course. My idea of a “good ole boy” is someone who is not a highly educated professional… am I wrong?

          • I’ve been meaning to ask you since you now have manned the polls a few times. Do you see any way for fraudulent voting to occur in the polls you have worked at?

          • Steve Haner

            Yes, you are wrong. It’s a state of mind.

          • noun Informal.
            a male who embodies the unsophisticated good fellowship and sometimes boisterous sociability regarded as typical of white males of small towns and rural areas of the South. a person who belongs to a network of friends and associates with close ties of loyalty and mutual support

    • “Where is Cuccinelli when you needhim?”

      Sadly he failed at oyster farming and is once again displaying his ignorance in the Trump administration.

      • I’d LOVE to see Cuccinelli on the political stump in NoVa. My guess is if he ran, he would do so on a Trump plan – i.e. get the rural and disaffected vote out in droves and overcome the urban vote.

        Trouble is, Virginia does not use an electoral college type way of counting votes – it’s one-man, one-vote and the rural/disaffected vote in Virginia does not overwhelm the urban vote.

        Not impossible but there is no electoral college to be the tie-breaker.

        That’s the basic problem with most GOP in Virginia these days.

        If there were a Hogan-type candidate – a GOP who understands the urban and increasingly suburban mindset and how many feel about health care, he/she could win but they can’t win on the older conventional GOP heart and soul. But even Hogan is not solidly in charge – he leads – where the Dems want to go.

        • “If there were a Hogan-type candidate – a GOP who understands the urban and increasingly suburban mindset and how many feel about health care, he/she…..” wouldn’t be a Republican.

          • I’m thinking the GOP version of Blue Dog Dem.

          • Nancy_Naive

            Wait, weren’t Blue Dogs on the south side of CRA-64?

          • yes… but that was then – this is now – and the question is , would urban/suburban voters – support a moderate candidate no matter the political stripes if he/she truly represents their interests and concerns – as opposed to all voters in urban/suburban regions being out and out left wing loons, “socialists”, etc.. etc…

            One of the main differences between urban/suburban and rural is a belief that government is necessary and beneficial.

            For instance, apparently Wayne does not see the need to have sanitation and trash removal from a rural perspective. Any urban person knows that chaos would rein without it. The guy that Wayne would vote for – would be out on his keister in a New York minutes in urban/suburban regions.

            Politicians who old an ideological view of government rather than a pragmatic one – won’t be elected in urban/suburban regions.

            That means that GOP would have to part with party orthodoxy and row their own boat to win then even though they might win, they are considered a turncoat in the GOP and their position in the party is not as a leader.

            blah blah blah……

          • Nancy_Naive

            Progress benefits me. Benefit to others is socialism.

          • I pay taxes. Why are MY roads congested?

          • Nancy_Naive

            I’ve been out… the roads are GREAT. Think 1970

  5. Ripper. Agree with GOP demise but on the Dem side there is a whole lot more going on that is not acknowledged. Wasn’t Northam a Republican once? Forgive me if I am wrong

  6. “Where is Cuccinelli when you need him?”

    Right about know, Ken Cuccinelli looks like the last Republican to flee the state alive.

    Don, what’s with the change of heart? Or What, just pulling somebody’s leg? He’s actually getting things done that mean something postive, a novel concept these days.

    • I like Cooch. He’s working immigration for Trump and nothing seems to be blowing up. That’s a miracle in and of itself. However, that job will end – possibly sooner rather than later. Then what? The Republicans in Virginia have nothing. Steve is right. No bench. No leadership. Nothing.

      If Trump loses this November to bumbling, stumbling Joe Biden there will be one hell of a backlash. Conservative voters will turn out for the 2021 state elections like liberals did in 2019. Cuccinelli as a candidate for governor would be very electable in that situation. The House of Delegates would also be a very interesting question.

      Biden is truly terrible. Elite mediocrity. It takes him an hour and a half to watch 60 minutes. He’d need to have Benjamin Button as his running mate to be credible.

    • Ah, but can he run fast enough to also escape the stain of Trump?

  7. The problem with the GOP in Virginia is that even though there is a crap-load of them in the GA – almost none of them could run well in places like NoVa.

    I’m NOT saying that a particular GOP ..COULD might not run well in NoVa but I can almost guarantee it would not be the likes of Ken Cuccinelli and therein lies the problem with the folks who want to see a GOP win… until a GOP passes muster in
    NoVa – it’s going to be a hard slog.

    You’d think some of those folks who are actually from NoVa might know that!

    Can Ken C gain votes from brown and black folks or the diverse populations in NoVa?

    😉

  8. History tells me the choice of Rep candidates are:
    1) Evangelical Statist Shill
    2) Fascist Statist Shill
    3) Fascist Evangelical Shill

    SB owners in the area including me did once meet Cuccinelli about an issue involving the elec utility company. I will say he quickly comprehended the issue and I believe he was sincerely opposed to the position of the utility. If there was a Va Pol that might stand up to Dominion, I think he would. OTH, thats probably why he lost.

  9. johnrandolphofroanoke

    It would be beneficial to have a fresh face challenge Mr. Warner. I don’t think Warner can be beaten though. But anything is possible.

  10. I think BOTH Warner and Kaine can be beat with the right candidate and that candidate has to be someone that NoVa likes better, i.e. more tuned to the interests of a majority of NoVa voters that is distinctly NOT old white guys.

  11. Out of a perverse sense of modesty John Ashcroft covered the breasts of Justitia. Cuccinelli saw fit to do the same for Virtus. I’m sure the young man appreciated it.

    Farming oysters would have suited him best.

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