As extreme as the Republican Party is today, you’d think there’s no way it go even further off the right-wing deep end. And yet, this Tuesday, the Virginia GOP certainly could move even further to the (far-far) right. But just briefly, before we get to where the Virginia GOP could be heading after this coming Tuesday, let’s take a quick look at where it just went: in early May, Prince William County Republicans nominated John Gray, who Kenny Boddye accurate describes as “represent[ing] the xenophobic views of Corey Stewart, and the transphobic views of Bob Marshall,” over relatively normal conservative Martin Nohe. That tells us a lot right there. And then there’s the continued, nasty Republican infighting over the HD97 nomination, with Del. Chris Peace and challenger Scott Wyatt making the case to Republican voters for how uncompromising and hard-right they are.
The question is, will this lunacy continue on Tuesday, or will Republican take a deep breath for once and perhaps nominate…I dunno, conservative-yet-sane people instead of complete lunatics? A few key Republican primaries to watch, in this regard, include:
- SD13 (Loudoun County, Prince William County; 55% Northam district), where conservative Ron Meyer and faaaaar-right Geary Higgins are fighting (almost literally) to succeed bat****-crazy Sen. Dick Black (for more on him, see If Alex Jones Were a Virginia State Senator, He’d be Dick Black). Check out the screen shots, below, from Higgins’ campaign, and note his attacks on Meyer as supposedly not anti-women’s-reproductive-freedom enough, not pro-gun enough, not anti-government enough. Also note that Higgins has now been endorsed by our old pal Ken Cuccinelli, who says that Higgins is “exactly the type of conservative we need in the Virginia Senate.” Which, of course, means the exact opposite to anyone in the mainstream of the Virginia or U.S. political spectrum. But given the “base” that shows up for Republican nominating contests, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Higgins prevails on Tuesday night. In short, as the Democratic Party of Virginia puts it: SD-13 (OPEN): GOP PRIMARY IS A RACE…TO THE FAR RIGHT.
- Then there’s the crazy Republican primary in SD24 (Augusta, Rockingham, Culpeper, Greene, Madison, etc.; 66% Gillespie district), where relatively normal conservative Republican, Sen. Emmett Hanger, is being challenged by off-the-rails-right-wingnut Tina Freitas, wife of also-off-the-rails-right-wingnut Del. Nick Freitas. See below for some screenshots that give a flavor for how Tina Freitas is attacking Sen. Hanger, on his supposed sins of voting against “constitutional carry,” “school choice,” “pro-life,” blah blah blah. Oh, and worst of all, Hanger – along with many other conservative Republicans – supported Medicaid expansion, which according to extremists like Freitas, is apparently EVIL because FREEDOM! LIBERTY! AND STUFF! And yeah, screw the people in her district who desperately need access to affordable, quality health-care coverage, because…FREEDOM! LIBERTY! AND STUFF! So we’ll see how this one goes, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Freitas beat Hanger, given how hard-core the Republican “base” is these days.
A few other Republican primaries to watch on Tuesday, in part to see how much further the party lurches to the right, include:
- SD7 (Virginia Beach, Norfolk; 54% Northam district): Jen Kiggans vs. Carolyn Weems appears to be “crazier vs. craziest,” so either way, it looks like Republicans will nominate someone far outside the mainstream.
- SD17 (Spotsylvania, Orange, Albemarle, Louisa, Culpeper, etc.; 50% Gillespie district): Sen. Bryce Reeves, a hard-line right winger who is being challenged by…another hard-line right winger, Rich Breeden.
- HD28 (Stafford County, Fredericksburg City; 51% Northam district): Del. Bob Thomas, who has vowed to bring an Alabama-style abortion ban to Virginia, is being challenged by Paul Milde, who says he will “fight for the rights of the unborn,” that he will be “100% Pro-Gun,” that he favors “reversing Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion,” etc.
So buckle up, this could get even wilder than it’s already been. Which, of course, is a pretty hard thing to do, given that the Republican Party is now 100% the Party of Trump, Ken Cuccinelli, Corey Stewart, etc.