Home 2019 Elections Greene County Republican Committee Unanimously Censures VA GOP Sen. Emmett Hanger for...

Greene County Republican Committee Unanimously Censures VA GOP Sen. Emmett Hanger for His Forceful Leadership On Medicaid Expansion

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To Democrats, Virginia State Sen. Emmett Hanger (R-24) is a champion for his tireless, heroic role in pushing through Medicaid expansion this session. But for hard-right Republicans, like the Green County Republican Committee (GCRC; see below for their resolution, passed unanimously this Monday, and at this link), Hanger’s work was a “continued disservice to our Commonwealth, the cause of the Republican Party of Virginia, and the principles which our Party claims to adhere to.” Furthermore, the GCRC “requests similar motions to censure Senator Hanger be brought forward to the Republican 24th Senatorial Legislative District Committee, the State Central Committee of the Republican Party of Virginia, the Senate Republican Caucus, and other Republican Unit Committees across Virginia” AND “requests Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment immediately strip Senator Hanger from his position as Co-Chair of the Senate Finance Committee for his inexcusable vote.” In sum, GCRC now has “no confidence in Senator Hanger’s abilities to continue to represent the voters of Greene County, Virginia.”

The thing is, Hanger’s district is overwhelmingly Republican, but it’s certainly possible that Hanger could be primaried from his right. We’ll see, first of all, whether this mini-rebellion spreads beyond Greene County, perhaps to the largest counties in Hanger’s State Senate district (Augusta County, Rockingham County).

The broader question, beyond Hanger, is whether other Medicaid-expansion-supporting Virginia Republicans, perhaps in more “purple” districts, might also be primaried from their right. Or will votes for Medicaid expansion actually end up helping Republicans in “purple” or “blue-ish” districts, like Sen. Frank Wagner, Del. David Yancey, Del. Bob Thomas, Del. Chris Stolle, Del. Rob Bloxom, etc? Something to keep an eye on as we head towards 2019 Virginia General Assembly elections…