Sunday, April 15, 2018

A Progressive Is Beating The Blue Dog In Virginia's Southside


Leslie Cockburn with husband Andrew

VA-05 leans red. The PVI is R+6 and in recent presidential elections the district has been going to Republicans. McCain beat Obama 52.2% to 46.8%; Romney beat him 52.5% to 45.9% and then in 2016 Trump did better, beating Hillary 53.4% to 42.3%. The Southside district was the longtime home (since 1996) to Blue Dog Virgil Goode, who switched to the GOP in 2002 and was defeated by Tom Perriello in the 2008 Democratic wave election. In the 2010 GOP wave, Republican Robert Hurt beat Perriello. He retired in 2015, allowing Tom Garrett to win the nomination and the seat in 2016. The district starts way up north in the DC exurbs around Warrenton and makes its way all the way down top the North Carolina border, zigging and zagging through Charlottesville to Danville and the John Kerr Reservoir.

Yesterday was day one in the process of picking a Democratic nominee to oppose Garrett. There will be a convention on May 5th, preceded by delegate selection at each of 23 caucuses that began yesterday in Charlotte, Fluvanna, Franklin, Lunenburg, Madison, Pittsylvania and Rappahannock. The establishment candidate, openly endorsed by both the New Dems and Blue Dogs and surreptitiously backed by the DCCC, is the conservative shill, J.D. Huffstetler. Like most DCCC picks, he has little grassroots support from Democratic voters and failed badly yesterday, losing every county to the progressive candidate, Leslie Cockburn, a former correspondent for PBS Frontline and 60 Minutes producer. Huffstetler has publicly admitted that the late Zell Miller, a far right Democratic governor and senator from Georgia who voted for Bush and served as a keynote speaker for the Republican National Convention in 2004, is his political hero. When someone tells you who they are... listen.

On Monday, caucuses will elect delegates from Henry, Albemarle, Appomattox, Halifax and Henry counties followed by Buckingham, Campbell and Cumberland on Tuesday, Bedford on Wednesday, Danville, Nelson and Prince Edward on Thursday and the final 6 next Saturday: Brunswick, Charlottesville, Fauquier, Greene and Mecklenburg.

As of December 31's FEC reporting deadline Huffstetler had raised $821,370, Cockburn had raised $510,285, Ben Cullip $252,155 and Andrew Sneathern 196,244. (Huffstetler and Cockburn each outraised Garrett and each also has more cash unhand than he does.) Now for the bad news: in last year’s Virginia wave election, Ralph Northam beat Republican Ed Gillespie by 9% for governor statewide but in the 5th district Gillespie beat Northam by 9 points.

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At 8:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is good, but come back to this after the votes are tallied. We watched this same movie earlier this year, and it didn't end well.


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