Home 2012 races 5th CD Democratic Nomination Contest to Heat Up This Weekend

5th CD Democratic Nomination Contest to Heat Up This Weekend


It’s been pretty quiet on the blogs and in the NOVA media, but currently there is a hot Congressional nominating contest going on in Tom Perriello’s former district, the 5th CD. The candidates are Peyton Williams and John Douglass. As you can see here, 5th CD Democrats will hold a couple dozen caucuses this coming Saturday and Monday to select delegates for these candidates at the nominating convention on May 19. It’s possible, in other words, that we could effectively have a Democratic nominee by the end of this coming weekend, although given that delegates can remain unpledged, and also that there’s not much to hold delegates even if they are pledged, we’d all be better off waiting to see the final results next month.

Who will win? I don’t know, but I’ve been talking to the campaigns and to others “in the know.” Here are a few things I’ve heard.

*A robopoll of 817 likely 5th District caucus voters was conducted by Democratic polling firm Progressive Contacts for the Williams campaign. It found that 60% strongly supported or leaned toward Peyton Williams, with 35% undecided and just 5% supporting John Douglass. If this poll is at all accurate, clearly Williams is looking good for the nomination. The question is whether it’s at all accurate.

*To that point, one knowledgeable observer of the 5th CD who I respect told me that they didn’t think this poll was particularly meaningful. Personally, chalk me up as “skeptical.”

*I’ve also heard that the Douglass people are well organized for the caucuses, that they’ve received numerous endorsements (including former Democratic 5th CD nominee Al Weed), that their own polling is looking good, and that they have been out-fundraising Williams.

*The Williams campaign has been criticizing Douglass for (supposedly) being a “conservative Democrat” and for having “so far declined to make his policy positions public.”

*The Williams campaign is emphasizing that “politics is about people,” comparing itself to Jim Webb in 2006 and Tom Perriello in 2008. See one of Williams’ mailers on the “flip” of this post.

*The Douglass campaign is emphasizing their candidate’s endorsements, military experience (e.g., Douglass is a former General and Assistant Secretary of the Navy), electability, and ability to get things done in Washington, DC.

*Also of interest is that Douglass had been running for nearly a year in the 10th CD against Frank Wolf, before switching to the 5th CD after redistricting put his Fauquier County farm in that district. Replacing Douglass on the ballot in the 10th CD, by the way, is Kristin Cabral of McLean.

Anyway, stay tuned to the 5th CD, as things are about to heat up there big time. It’s even possible that we’ll have a de facto Democratic nominee by the end of this weekend to take on the abysmal Rep. Robert Hurt (Tea Party). For sure, we’ll know by May 19. My attitude: may the best Democratic candidate win!

  • scott_r

    Both candidates certainly hit the ground running, trying to lock up support quickly.  But these are caucuses and as someone who is an activist in my county (committee member) this result is a far cry from my informal conversations with people.  I am not predicting anything about how it will turn out, but I doubt it’s that heavily skewed.  


    lived in C’Ville for 25 years and I’ve never heard of either of these guys. I think name recognition will be a huge problem on election day.

  • …in this hunt, but what a huge blow to Douglass, being redistricted out the 10th and into the 5th.  I can’t help but think that will make his job here harder — I think he’ll be tagged “Northern VA” instead of central/Piedmont, which has to be frustrating to him.

    (And I’m glad that Kristin stepped in for the 10th!)

  • Douglass on Track to be Presumptive Nominee

    More than 200 Pre-filed Delegates, 90 Percent Support from Decided Delegations

    Fauquier County, VA – Heading into the Democratic Caucuses on Saturday and Monday evening, John Douglass’s 200 pre-filed delegates makes him the only candidate with enough committed support to secure the Democratic nomination. The Douglass campaign has already won about 90 percent of the delegates from the 10 counties that have indicated only having enough pre-filed delegates to fill out their slate, forgoing the need for a caucus.

    “This is what a grassroots movement looks like,” Douglass Campaign Manager Gary Ritterstein says. “While our campaign continues to work around the clock to get out the vote, we anticipate enough of our supporters coming to the caucuses for John Douglass to be the presumptive Democratic nominee by Monday night.”

    Caucuses are scheduled in 5 jurisdictions on Saturday morning, with approximately 8 more on Monday evening, to determine the exact delegate allocation. According to unofficial reports, about 66 of the 73 already allocated delegates are committed to John Douglass. The district, as a whole, can elect up to 229 delegates from all 23 jurisdictions.

    Similar to the Presidential nominating process, having a majority of the allocated delegates following the caucus makes the Convention a formality since committed delegates are bound by their pre-filed candidate preference. While delegates are awarded based on each candidate’s share of support in the caucus, they are still limited to those who have properly pre-filed by the now passed deadlines.

    Party leaders have already begun calling for unity beginning next week, so that Democrats can focus on defeating Tea Party Congressman Bob Hurt, who has benefited from the contested nomination thus far. Nevertheless, Douglass continues to remain competitive, matching Hurt dollar for dollar this past quarter in total contributions from individuals.

    “We’re running this campaign to help Virginia families get a fair chance at a better future,” Congressional challenger John Douglass says. “As a church-going, family farmer who has served our country for 35 years under Clinton and Reagan, I look forward to earning the support of Democrats, Independents and even some Republicans who are worried about the type of corporate greed that has hurt our district for the last two years.”

  • crickers

    Douglass has a pre-filed 4-1 delegate lead…there may be more uncommitted than Williams and the drop dead deadline was 5pm today.  Check with the local committees…..it is OVER DONEWITH, and time to move on