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How Does a Dem Get Only 9% in a 3-Way Race with Two “R”s in a District Where Mark Herring Got 45%?


The following results (see below) from the recent Brentsville district (PW County) supervisor race just boggle my mind. Now, just to be clear, I’m not saying the Democratic candidate was favored to win this race or anything. On the other hand, I would note that there were two Republicans (Jeanine Lawson and Scott Jacobs) running, so theoretically they could have split the Republican vote and given the Democratic candidate (Eric Young) a chance to pull off an upset.

Keep in mind that this district, while certainly a “red” one, still saw Democrat Mark Herring getting 45% of the vote in 2013 (14,418 votes for Herring). That’s not a win, but obviously it’s a whole lot better (five times better to be exact) than 9%!  

Also in that same November 2013 general election, the Democratic House of Delegates candidates (Atif Qarni, Reed Heddleston, Richard Cabellos) with precincts in Brentsville received a combined 43% of the vote (14,414 total votes for the Democratic candidates). So, again, how does a Democrat only get 346 votes (9% of the vote) in a special election in those same precincts, 13 months later? I mean, I “get it” that Democrats have more trouble than Republicans do in getting out their voters for these types of non-presidential, non-gubernatorial, special elections, but still.

Any thoughts? Was it the Democratic candidate (who I’d never heard of prior to these results) or something else going on?  Keep in mind that the winner, Jeanine Lawson, is a Tea Partier extraordinaire, so it seems like we could have at least motivated our “base” to come out and vote against her. Or am I missing something here?

  • ir003436

    Brentsville District is down Highway 28 from Manassas.  The district borders Faquier County and the firing ranges of Marine Corps Base Quantico.

    Brentsville is a major part of Prince William County’s “rural crescent.”  The rural crescent was laid out in the county’s master plan years ago in response to the very rapid growth around Manassas, Woodbridge, and Dale City, much of which was fueled by “those people” moving in.

    Property in the rural crescent is zoned, mainly, agricultural and residential with a minimum residential lot size of 5 acres (may be 10 acres in some areas).  The purpose of the rural crescent was to maintain the rural characteristics of PW County as it was back when Joe Johnson’s diary farm was the major attraction on 234 outside of Manassas, near the Old Dominion Speedway (which is no longer).  Some have argued the real purpose of the rural crescent was to set aside a good portion of PWC as a white enclave but it’s only liberals who think that.

    As you drive through this area of the county, as far as you can see are McMansions on 5- to 10-acre lots.

    A friend of mine with whom I served in Vietnam moved to Brentsville District a few years ago after his second wife tossed him out because he’s a wackjob — a radical, rightwing, Fox-addicted, Rush-worshipping, Obama-impeaching, guns-all-over-the-place wackadoodle.  I visit him from time to time and have met some of his neighbors.  Rightwing nutjobs all.

    A few years ago, Brentsville High School was the scene of an ugly racial incident involving some members of the baseball team and one of the coaches — I know only a few of the details and won’t try to reconstruct the incident here.

    While I can’t explain Mark Herring’s 45%, I’m not at all surprised that a Teahadist won the supervisor’s race.

  • Bwana

    Remember that Jeannie Lawson ran in the GOP primary against Covington and lost but put on a good showing in 2011.  Then Jacobs bollixed his filing papers, and after first saying he would not run as an independent then ran…as an independent.

    Lawson has also been very vocal in her support of Jon Candaland (sp?) the Gainesville supervisor who has been highly critical of Corey Stewart’s boondoggles and his attempts of late to give massive development a green light.

    What I read was that the Democrat nominee was a late add trying to take advantage of a multi-candidate field, but was not considered a serious candidate.

    Oh, the election was on December 23, 2014…and whoever won is on the ballot again in November 2015.

    Bottom line…I have to guess that Democratic voters did not take this race seriously, did not pay attention to it, did not see Lawson as “that bad”, and figured they would take a shot in 2015 with a full bore candidate.

  • hereinva

    The special election was held two days before Christmas..so was low on the radar is one guess . Also noted that the PWC Dem web page and Facebook page doesn’t even  mention the special election or Mr. Young-his decision?  PWC GOP was promoting the election and their candidate.