Home 2019 Elections Two Hard-Right Virginia Republicans Retiring. Unfortunately, They Are Almost Certain to Be...

Two Hard-Right Virginia Republicans Retiring. Unfortunately, They Are Almost Certain to Be Replaced by…Two Hard-Right Virginia Republicans.


Two big retirement announcements today by hard-right Virginia Republicans: 1) Del. Steve Landes (R-HD25; see tweet by , below); and 2) State Sen. Bill Carrico (R-SD40).  Also note that Del. Todd Pillion (R-HD04) has announced (see press release, below) that he’s running for Sen. Carrico’s seat.

Per Project Vote Smart, Landes is hard-right (e.g., mostly zero ratings from NARAL and Planned Parenthood, 87% lifetime score from the American Conservative Union, 100% score from the extremist Family Foundation of Virginia), as are Carrico (again, zeroes from NARAL and Planned Parenthood, 100% from the Virginia Citizens Defense League, 100% from the Family Foundation of Virginia; also see Video: Far-Right VA State Senator Sponsors Bible Study Bill, Says He Wouldn’t Want Koran Taught, Walks Out on Muslim Prayer) and Pillion (mostly zeroes from NARAL, 100% from the Virginia Citizens Defense League, 83% from the American Conservative Union).

Unfortunately, these folks all represent bright-“red” districts: Carrico’s was won by Ed Gillespie 77%-22% and by Donald Trump 78%-19%; Landes’ was won by Gillespie 57%-41% and by Trump 59%-35%; and Pillion’s was won by Gillespie 75%-24% and by Trump 77%-20%. Which is why I agree with  “With that, ANOTHER retirement in the House of Delegates today as Todd Pillion runs for State Senate to replace Bill Carrico. Both are Safe R races.”

P.S. Even though the two retirements are both in deep-“red” districts, it’s possible that the potential loss of the State Senate and House of Delegates to Democrats this November could have factored into the thinking of these two guys. I mean, if they were considering getting out of Dodge anyway, the prospect of being in the minority next year might have been just another nudge for them to bolt. We’ll see if other Republicans, such as State Sen. Frank Wagner, also decide to head for the exits…

P.P.S. Check this out from  “Del. Steve Landes will not seek a 13th term representing the 25th District. He’s running for Augusta County clerk of circuit court, which pays $138K compared to $17,640 for part-time job in General Assembly.” Can we say “much bigger pension?”


Pillion announces candidacy for State Senate; endorsements

Today Delegate Todd Pillion (R-4th District) released the following statement announcing his candidacy for State Senate in the 40th district of Virginia. Pillion has been a leader for Southwest Virginia in the General Assembly since his election to the House of Delegates in 2015.

First, I would like to express my gratitude to Senator Bill Carrico and his family. It has been an honor serving alongside Bill in the state legislature. We can all be grateful for Bill’s selfless and principled service to Virginia. He has dedicated his life to public service, first as a Trooper with the Virginia State Police and then twenty years in the General Assembly. Over those years, he and his family have made many sacrifices. I trust that they are looking forward to this next chapter and wish them all the best in their new journey.

The General Assembly session this year shows exactly what is at stake in this election. I am proud to be part of the Republican majority that:

  • returned money to Virginia taxpayers with the most significant tax relief plan in 15 years, unwinding the Democrats’ $1.2 billion tax increase;
  • defeated legislation expanding access to abortions up to birth;
  • passed a responsible and balanced budget that makes key investments in core functions of government, such as education, without relying on tax increases; and
  • thwarted policies that would make it more difficult to create jobs and do business.

Our citizens expect commonsense policies that get real results for their families, not a New York and California-style political agenda.

As candidate for State Senate, I will continue to do all that I can to make Southwest Virginia a better place to live, work and raise a family. That has been my guiding principle in the House of Delegates working to foster economic development, supporting our families, and confronting one of the greatest public health, economic, and workforce challenges of our time—the opioid epidemic.

I am proud to be from Southwest Virginia. Our strong work ethic, rich history and culture, and desire to be the best we can be makes this a truly special place. I look forward to hitting the campaign trail and working with you to move our region forward.


“Having served with Todd, I have seen firsthand his passion for Southwest Virginia and his ability to get results for our region and the entire Commonwealth. From his time in the National Guard to the House of Delegates, Todd has always put service above self. As I prepare to move on, I can’t think of a better person to run for this seat than Todd Pillion and I look forward to supporting him wholeheartedly.” – Sen. Bill Carrico, 40th District

“I’ve known Todd for a good chunk of his life. His character, commitment to his family and communities demonstrates what a true and tireless advocate he is for Southwest Virginia. He has been an effective member of our delegation and is great example of the leadership our region needs.”  – Delegate Terry Kilgore, 1st District (Lee, Scott, part of Wise, City of Norton)


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