This past Saturday, Republicans in the 64th House of Delegates district nominated Rick Morris of Carrollton as their candidate. Morris is a former Navy JAG officer who has lived in the area for about four years. He’s running as an uber-conservative, and has already begun attacking Del. Bill Barlow (D) in some of his literature on the issues of guns and abortion (note: looking at Project Vote Smart< Barlow appears to be a moderate on both those issues).
Morris was opposed in the Republican nomination contest by Joseph Waymack of Prince George County, a 28-year-old office manager for the Hopewell Commonwealth’s Attorney. Waymack tried to build a candidacy on his local roots, as well as on his strong pro-gun positions. In the end, however, Morris beat Waymack, after county Republican party chairs created pre-filing deadlines for delegates to the convention that prohibited Waymack from really campaigning and gaining support. In the end, Waymack took about 70% of the votes in Prince George County, but almost none in the rest of the district, and Morris won by a 74%-26% margin (approximately).
Now comes the interesting part: At the Republican convention, Waymack brought copies of Morris’ arrest record from 2002. It turns out that Morris was arrested for public urination in Virginia Beach, at the height of tourist season, “in the heart of Virginia Beach’s oceanfront area.” according to the Hopewell News (which has looked into the records, and which adds, “He did not show up for his court hearing, but paid a $126 judgement, according to online court records.”).
Waymack also brought up the fact that Morris, a lawyer in Virginia Beach and a partner at the Morris Law Center, cannot practice law in Virginia’s trial courts, because he has failed the bar exam twice (although he can practice in Washington, DC, and also in military courts).
That’s right, the Republicans have nominated a guy who was: a) arrested for public urination in Virginia Beach during peak tourism season; b) has flunked the Virginia bar exam twice; and c) is a typical, far-right-wingnut. Why am I not surprised?