Thursday, August 25, 2011
Of earthquakes and elections
On August 23, 2011, the earth moved and republicans in the newly created 22nd District chose Tom Garret of Louisa as candidate for the state senate.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to those whose property was damaged in the earthquake, especially the fine members of County Line Baptist Church.
While Garrett carried the 22nd District, Bryan Rhode of Crozier clearly carried Goochland garnering 1,297 votes to Garrett’s 502 of the 1,961 votes cast locally. Local voters made it clear that they want their voices heard in Richmond.
The 22nd District state senate race, in which Garrett and exterminator mogul Bert Dodson, who promises to put lots of dollars into the race, will now square off for the November 8 election.
In another race of local interest, a GOP committee selected Peter Farrell of Henrico as the republican candidate for the 56th District House of Delegates seat.
Farrell, who will fill the seat vacated by ten year incumbent Bill Janis, a central character in a Henrico election drama, faces no democrat opponent.
A meeting of the 56th District Republican committee convened in a meeting room at the Twin Hickory library in western Henrico barely an hour after the earthquake hit.
The room, with a posted capacity of 175, overflowed with interested people including Senator Walter Stosch, whose staffer, David Bratt, was a contender for the nomination.
Although the room was smoke free and Don Boswell of the Henrico republican committee made it clear that spectators were welcome for the candidate presentations, the proceedings were very much a function of a political machine.
Linwood Cobb, chair of the 7th congressional district GOP committee, impeccably tailored wearing highly polished exquisite cowboy boots, was also present.
After a lengthy closed door session, the decision needed to be certified by seven p.m., the representatives from committees of Henrico, Goochland, Louisa and Spotsylvania, portions of which comprise the 56th District, chose Farrell.
Speculation about the reasons behind Farrell’s choice is rife.
As the son of the CEO of Dominion Power it does seem as though his selection was preordained. However, it is also possible that Farrell was the only contender that all could accept.
Sadly, the selection of Farrell is all too reminiscent of another young man who was moved too quickly through the ranks of state, then national politics. The whole country is reaping the folly of those actions.
Only one contender, Louisa lawyer Graven Craig, even mentioned two issues close to the heart of Goochlanders, the urban development area (UDA) mandate and dearth of broadband internet access in rural areas.
Republican candidates spend way too much time nattering on about grand concepts while ignoring nuts and bolts front burner issues, including threats to property rights, that are allegedly part of the conservative agenda.
Farrell did come across during his presentation as an earnest young man. It will be interesting to see if he works with and for his constituents or just goes through the motions in Richmond waiting for the next door to open.
Happily for Goochland, we are also represented in the House of Delegates by Lee Ware of Powhatan, who is familiar with conditions on the ground in Goochland.
Also, Ben Slone, chair of the Goochland Republican Committee, was elected as chair of the 56th District Committee. Perhaps we may have some prayer of restoring sanity to the candidate selection process in future elections.
It’s hard to see what benefit the GOP machine expects to gain from this whole mess. Those inclined to vote for republican candidates are repelled by this nonsense and will not swell the ranks of party faithful. This kind of shenanigans on both sides of the aisle gave birth to the Tea Party.
Perhaps dealing with a hurricane will clear our heads. The earthquake just rattled already unsettled conditions.