Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Little Hope in Sight for Virginia Republicans

Today WAYLA reports on local politics from Virginia.

On February 28th the Virginia General Assembly adjourned for the year - not to meet again until January 2010. Until then they will be fighting for their seats as state elections come in November.

As we’ve mentioned before, the House of Delegates is among the last pieces of Government still controlled by the Virginia GOP - and keeping that institution red may be difficult in 2009.

On Monday, Republican Delegate Clarke Hogan announced he would retire from the House, citing the responsibilities of owning and operating a business during tough economic times. But his decision to not seek a fifth term may be due to a sign of the times - a commonwealth quickly turning Democratic, and the possibility of having to serve in the minority.

Hogan will soon be speaking to Republicans considering a run to replace him, but from the look of things, Democrats are already eyeing the seat.

David M. Guill, a member of the Charlotte County Board of Supervisors, has filed his certificate of candidate qualification with the State Board of Elections. And House Minority Leader Del. Ward L. Armstrong, (D-Henry), said that other people expressed interest in the seat upon Hogan's unexpected announcement Sunday.

"We look to field a strong candidate and that's clearly a seat that we're interested in," Armstrong said. "That's what I would call pretty much a swing district [now]."

And Hogan is not the first, but the fourth Republican delegate to recently announce retirement.

If that’s not enough somber news for the Virginia GOP, then this surely should be - Delegate Jeff Frederick, chairman of the state party, is facing the prospect of a coup. Following a string of embarrassing stunts that put the party’s credibility at risk (or rather in disarray) a vote for his removal has been scheduled for April 4th.

Six GOP state Senators signed on to the coup yesterday, citing a blog post Frederick made on Twitter that released confidential GOP plans to turn a Democratic state Senator into a Republican.

But despite these GOP implosions, the question of whether or not Virginia is yet a “blue state” is up in the air. Two contributors to the Perpetual Post took two different stances on the question back in January.

The extent to which ideology has shifted in this traditionally-red-state is unclear. However, the Commonwealth’s GOP certainly appears to have some internal problems which are putting the party’s chances at retaining the House of Delegates at serious risk. In order to complete Virginia’s blue revolution, Democrats can only hope these problems persist.

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