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One of Virginia’s First Political Bloggers Appears to Be Frontrunner for Republican Nomination in SD38 [UPDATE 1/22: Hackworth Defeats Dotson]

Chad Dotson was, an presumably still is, VERY conservative.


Those of you active in Virginia politics back in the mid 2000s – when I launched the blog “Raising Kaine,” and when the Virginia political blogosphere was flourishing, on both sides of the proverbial political “aisle” – almost certainly remember Chad Dotson, aka “John Behan,” aka “Commonwealth Conservative.” Well now, Dotson is running as a Republican for Virginia State Senate in deep-deep-“red” SD38, which is open due to the recent death of State Sen. Ben Chafin (R) of “complications from COVID-19.”

Based on the long list of endorsements for Chad Dotson – former Governor and Senator George Allen, Del. Terry Kilgore, Del. Will Wampler, Del. Nick Rush; several Wise County Supervisors; the Dickinson County Commonwealth’s Attorney; the Pulaski County Chairman of the Board of Supervisors; the Buchanan County Sheriff, Treasurer and Commissioner of the Revenue; etc.; it looks like the former blogger – and also “a professor and dean of students at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy…former judge and commonwealth’s attorney in Wise County” – could very well be the frontrunner for this job.

Note that the 38th Senate District Republican nomination will be determined this Thursday, with the special election set for Tuesday, March 23. Of course, in this deep-red district (went 75% for Trump in 2016), the Republican nomination is, for all intents and purposes, the election (also, currently, there’s no Democratic candidate for the position). And right now, Dotson – once known as “the top conservative, Republican blogger in Virginia”; also founder of “the Old Dominion Blog Alliance, a network of conservative and Republican blogs throughout Virginia” – looks like he’s got a good shot at winning it.

By the way, see the Internet Archive’s “Wayback Machine” if you want to check out  what Dotson was blogging about at “Commonwealth Conservative” back in the day. Here are a few sample headlines:

  • Get out the vote for George Allen!!!”  (obviously, Dotson was a huge fan of Allen’s, even after “macaca” and everything else made Allen’s noxious views on race, the Confederacy, etc. crystal clear)
  • My predictions (Dotson predicted just before the 2006 U.S. Senate election here in Virginia that George Allen would beat Jim Webb by 3 points – wrong – and that “The GOP will retain control of the Senate” – wrong again, as Democrats took back the U.S. Senate, in part thanks to Webb defeating Allen here in Virginia)
  • Only one issue this Election Day (believe it or not, Dotson actually agreed with the view of another blogger that “There is only one issue in this election that will matter five or ten years from now, and that’s the War on Terror.” Uhhhhh…no, not even close to being accurate.)
  • Absolutely disgusting, part two (In which Chad writes, “Remember last month, when Mark Warner threw a ton of money at the Kos nutjobs, holding a lavish party to court those people?”)
  • Turning Virginia Blue? (In which Chad opines on whether “Virginia might vote Democratic in 2008’s presidential election” and concludes, “That’s wishful thinking. Unless Mark Warner is on the top of the ticket.” Of course, as we all know, a guy named Barack Obama went on to win Virginia in 2008, by six points no less…LOL)
  • Bush/Kilgore rally (Just before the November 2005 gubernatorial election, which Tim Kaine won handily, Dotson wrote, “People, I feel more confident of a Kilgore victory than I did a week ago. Get those people to the polls!” A few days earlier, he predicted, “Republican Jerry Kilgore will defeat Democrat Tim Kaine by no fewer than three percentage points. You heard it here first, and I am very confident about this.” Nope, not even close.)
  • The conservative case for Kilgore (In which Dotson touts a column by none other than far-right nutjob Ken Cuccinelli, or as Dotson writes, “Our good friend Sen. Ken Cuccinelli has a column in the Washington Times today, making the conservative case for Jerry Kilgore as Virginia’s next Governor.” Gack.)


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