Home 2022 Elections Winners/Losers: VA04 Democratic “Firehouse Primary” Edition

Winners/Losers: VA04 Democratic “Firehouse Primary” Edition

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See below for a quick, abbreviated, off-the-top-of-my head (and a few others who I asked) “winners and losers” list from the VA04 Democratic “Firehouse Primary” that I believe are worth highlighting. As always, this list isn’t even close to comprehensive – nor is it intended to be – so please add winners and losers of your own in the comments section if you’d like…

Winners

  • Donald McEachin, whose tremendous legacy was touted by everyone, including by Jennifer McClellan, who vowed to continue it in Congress; and Colette McCeachin, whose husband got the massive kudos he deserved, and who also endorsed Jennifer McClellan (who won in a landslide over Joe Morrissey, who she blasted as someone who would “embarrass” the district).
  • Jennifer McClellan and her team, which absolutely did NOT take this for granted, but instead worked their butts off and came away with a massive, landslide (84.8% of the vote!) victory with huge turnout. Impressive! Also, note that this marked a huge comeback politically for McClellan, after her not-great performance in the 2021 VA Dem gubernatorial primary, in which she finished third (with just 11.8% of the vote) to Terry McAuliffe and Jennifer Carroll Foy.
  • VA04 Dems Chair Alexis Rodgers and the VA04 Dem Committee (and DPVA, which worked closely with the VA04 Dems), which had to scramble after Glenn Youngkin set a February 21 special election date, which in turn required that the two parties choose their nominees by the end of this week. It wasn’t easy, but they made it work, with massive turnout of nearly 28k votes, rivaling some regular primaries which had months of time to campaign. Impressive. We’ll see what Rodgers does next politically, but this certainly raised her visibility in a good way.
  • Everyone who volunteered to help make the process work, including those who stayed up all night counting ballots by hand. Thank you for helping make democracy work!
  • Lamont Bagby, who made a VERY smart move by dropping out of an unwinnable race against Jennifer McClellan, endorsed her and campaigned for her, and now is in great shape if he wants to seek her State Senate seat.
  • Tim Kaine, who is very close with McClellan, endorsed her and campaigned hard for her.
  • Lashrecse Aird, who is running for State Senate against a potentially weakened Joe Morrissey after his crushing loss in this nomination process. Now, we’ll see if she can capitalize…
  • VA04 voters/citizens, who will get SUPERB Congresswoman in Jennifer McClellan.
  • Aaron Rouse, whose election now becomes all that more important, given the fact that Democrats only have a 21-18 majority in the State Senate right now, and could be as low as 21-19 if Rouse doesn’t win (and then 20-19 after McClellan heads off to the US House). So let’s make sure Rouse wins, which will get the Dem majority up to 22-18, and at worst 21-18 after McClellan resigns.
  • Virginia, which will gain a superb representative in Congress, as well as make history by electing its first African-American WOMAN to Congress!

Mixed

  • Levar Stoney, who endorsed Lamont Bagby initially, then quickly pivoted after Bagby dropped out to endorse Jennifer McClellan. Not sure this helped or hurt him, particularly; probably a wash.
  • Team Terry McAuliffe, which was supporting Bagby, possibly in part because they weren’t happy that McClellan called them out at the last “Netroots Nation.
  • The VA Senate Democratic Caucus, which will be losing Sen. McClellan – one of the best legislators in that body, btw – at some point, hopefully AFTER the 2023 session ends, but which will then gain that solidly “blue” seat back.

Losers

  • Joe Morrissey and his team, including right-wing radio hosts who pushed his candidacy (and for Republicans to vote in the *Democratic* firehouse primary)
  • People who sued over the Democratic process, claimed (falsely) that it was rigged/voter suppression, blah blah blah. In the end, the Democrats’ nomination was a huge success (with 27.9k votes cast at multiple locations across the district), while the GOP process was a complete joke (a few hours at one location, just 563 votes), something the people who attacked Democrats completely ignored.
  • The VA GOP and its chair, Rich Anderson, who ran a ridiculous process for their nominee, had almost nobody show up to vote, and now will see their far-right-extremist nominee get CRUSHED by Jennifer McClellan on February 2.
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