Home 2023 Elections Political Winners and Losers: Virginia Primary Elections June 2023

Political Winners and Losers: Virginia Primary Elections June 2023

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Here are a few winners and losers from this election cycle that I believe are worth highlighting. Note that 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. By the way, it’s important to point out that you can be a “winner” even if you’re a right-wing Republican (e.g., McDonnell and Cuccinelli in 2009 – or Youngkin in 2021 – were “winners,” even though they suck!) or whatever, and that you can be a “loser” even if you’re the greatest (or my favorite) Democrat in the world, because in this context “winner” and “loser” is all about whether someone “won” or “lost” politically in this election cycle, not whether that makes me happy or not or whether it’s normatively a “good” or “bad” thing, per se. Also, the lists aren’t in any particular order, except of course for the biggest loser from this election, which you can see below and is VERY obvious. 😉

Oh, one more thing – I’ve always asked people for their opinions, so some of the following aren’t originally by me, but I’ve chosen to include them because I thought they were interesting, because I agreed with them in full or part, etc.. Still, you’re welcome to blame me if you don’t like them. LOL

P.S. I’m obviously not going to include everyone who won or lost a primary in these lists, but only ones that jump out at me for whatever reasons.

Winners

1. Saddam Salim (D) and his campaign team (first and foremost, campaign manager Laura Stokes): One of the most impressive, inspirational, surprising wins on Tuesday night was political newcomer Saddam Salim’s 54%-46% upset of incumbent Sen. Chap Petersen in Fairfax/Falls Church. Salim’s victory seemed improbable a couple months ago, given Petersen’s large campaign war chest, high name ID, and Salim’s lack of both of those things. Also, a couple months ago, there were actually two Democratic challengers to Sen. Petersen, but then on April 20, Erika Yalowitz announced she was ending her campaign and endorsing Salim, and the race was on! Still, almost everyone  (myself included) had Sen. Petersen as the favorite in this race, although I strongly wanted Salim to win, endorsing him on April 23 and posting frequently about why Democrats should vote for him – and not for Sen. Petersen. So how did Salim do it? From chatting with his impressive, super-sharp, highly competent campaign manager Laura Stokes, and from observing his campaign, I’d say that they were very disciplined and smart; that their messaging and Salim’s bio really resonated with Democratic primary voters; and that they raised enough money to get their message out, even if they didn’t come close to matching Sen. Petersen’s financial resources. Anyway, great job by Salim and his campaign team (including folks like Wasim Entabi, who worked hard for Salim), and congratulations on an inspiring victory!

2. Former Delegate Lashrecse Aird (D): Less than two years after Aird narrowly lost her House of Delegates seat in the November 2021 election, she won a Democratic primary election on Tuesday night to the State Senate (SD13), absolutely DEMOLISHING (69%-31%) incumbent Sen. Joe Morrissey in the SD13 Democratic primary. In doing so, Aird did the two main things a challenger really HAS TO DO: a) strongly/clearly made the case why voters should consider ditching the incumbent; b) explained why voters should consider replacing said incumbent with her. So now, Aird has ended Morrissey’s political career, while vaulting herself into a position as one of the critical “bricks” in the Democratic “blue wall” in the VA Senate, standing up to Glenn Youngkin’s assault on Virginia public education, women’s reproductive freedom, the environment, voting rights, etc, etc. All of which is important in and of itself, but also when you consider the damage Joe Morrissey could have done if he had cut a deal with Youngkin or even switched parties, which…you never know with that guy.

2a. Planned Parenthood/Jamie Lockhart: Superb job in general by Planned Parenthood and Jamie Lockhart, but specifically I made this “2a” because they were indefatigable and crucial in helping Lashrecse Aird defeat Joe Morrissey on Tuesday.

3. Clean Virginia/Michael Bills and Sonjia Smith: Clearly it was a good night for Clean Virginia/Michael Bills and Sonija Smith (Bills’ wife); according to a press release from the group, “Clean Virginia supported candidates in 25 competitive primaries, 23 of which won their races.” Impressive! Now, after a successful primary season, the next goal, hopefully, will be to provide significant resources for candidates in key races this fall, to counteract Youngkin’s money, to hold the VA Senate Democratic majority and to gain back the majority in the House of Delegates. 

4. Former Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn (D): Big credit to Filler-Corn, for not only getting in early against Sen. Chap Petersen, but also putting in significant funds and work (e.g., not just putting out a tweet or press release), including (from what I hear) calling people like crazy for Petersen’s Democratic primary challenger Saddam Salim, who pulled the upset win of the night. In addition to that huge victory, several other candidates endorsed by Filler-Corn (Sen. Creigh Deeds, Joel Griffin, Amy Laufer, Andres Jimenez, Parisa Dehghani-Tafti, Alex Askew, Del. Delores McQuinn, Katrina Callsen, Destiny Levere Bolling, Sen. Dave Marsden, Sheriff Stacey Kincaid, Laura Jane Cohen, Russet Perry, Kannan Srinivasan, etc. Now, Filler-Corn did lose a few (very few) – Hala Ayala being the biggest one – and one race remains too close to call (Sen. Jeremy McPike vs. Del. Elizabeth Guzman, who Filler-Corn endorsed), but all in all, that was a VERY successful primary night for Filler-Corn (who, by the way, is a likely Democratic candidate for governor in 2025).

5. Sen. Mamie Locke (D): She had a good night because, in the (likely) upcoming battle with Sen. Scott Surovell to succeed VA Senate Democratic Leader Dick Saslaw, several members who probably would have supported Surovell (e.g., George Barker, Chap Petersen, Joe Morrissey, Lionell Spruill, possibly Jeremy McPike – stay tuned) lost Tuesday night. Also, with Sen. Louise Lucas (who presumably will back Sen. Locke for Leader) winning her primary, plus so many new/progressive/diverse new members of the Senate Democratic caucus, that all bodes well for Sen. Locke when new leadership is chosen late this year.

6. Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney (D): Stoney, who is another likely Democratic candidate for governor in 2025, endorsed a bunch of candidates this cycle, and a lot of them won (Lashrecse Aird, Lamont Bagby, Creigh Deeds, Joel Griffin, Russet Perry, Trish White-Boyd, Angelia Williams Graves, Destiny Levere Bolling, Delores McQuinn, Susanna Gibson). Stoney also endorsed Sen. Jeremy McPike for reelection over Del. Elizabeth Guzman, and right now McPike holds a narrow lead, with a recount likely. Anyway, a successful primary night for Stoney, as he gears up for his almost-certain run for governor in 2025.

7. Sen. Dave Marsden (D): I’m including Marsden in the “Winners” list because, unlike his colleagues George Barker and Chap Petersen, he not only survived a serious primary challenge, he won BIG (63%-37%), even though he was heavily outspent by his opponent (Heidi Drauschak). Very impressive, and from what I hear, the result of Marsden taking the primary challenge very seriously, knocking a ton of doors, and generally working his butt off in order to hold his seat. Which is what you SHOULD do if you’re an incumbent facing a serious challenge, but which not every incumbent actually DOES do.

8. Northern Virginia Progressive Prosecutors: Despite being targeted for defeat by Republicans, all three Northern Virginia progressive prosecutors – Fairfax, Loudoun and Arlington Commonwealth’s Attorneys Steve Descano, Buta Biberaj and Parisa Dehghani-Tafti – all won handily on Tuesday night (over Ed Nuttall, Elizabeth Lancaster and Josh Katcher, respectively), and will almost certainly be reelected this November for another four years. Which should be a relief to anyone who finds fear mongering on crime to be repugnant, dishonest, etc. [UPDATE: Whoops, forgot to mention that Parisa Dehghani-Tafti supporters Cindy Cunningham and her daughters Arianna and Laila were tireless in knocking doors and otherwise supporting Dehghani-Tafti’s candidacy; that makes them “Winners” for sure!]

9. Prince Willliam County Board of Supervisors Chair Democratic candidate Deshundra Jefferson (D): My understanding from people “in the know” was that Prince William County Board Chair Ann Wheeler wasn’t in any jeopardy in her Democratic primary against Deshundra Jefferson, but then…Jefferson won (!), 52.4%-47.6%, in possibly the most stunning upset in Tuesday night’s primaries. What on earth happened here? Was this a backlash against Wheeler’s support for data centers? Was Wheeler not popular among the Democratic base for other reasons? Did Jefferson out-campaig Wheeler? Other factors? Whatever the reasons, it’s stunning that a powerful incumbent who outspent her opponent 5:1 or whatever would lose like this. Wild.

10. School Board members who ran for higher office: Despite Youngkin’s and his fellow right wingnuts’ constant bashing of public schools and of Democratic school board members, several of them won primaries Tuesday night for higher office. For instance, Fairfax County School Board members Stella Pekarsky, Karen Keys-Gamarra and Laura Jane Cohen all won primaries for the General Assembly, while Loudoun County School Board member Atoosa Reaser is the Democratic nominee in HD27. So, apparently, Democratic voters don’t have the extremely negative attitudes towards School Board members that Republicans do. Thank goodness.

11. Lots of new, diverse, young, female candidates: It’s hard to even know where to start with this list, but just a few of the impressive new (in that they’ve never been elected previously), diverse, young candidates who won on Tuesday night include Rae Cousins in HD79, Adele McClure in HD02, Kimberly Pope Adams in HD82, Destiny Levere Bolling in HD82, Susanna Gibson in HD57, Katrina Callsen in HD54, Russet Perry in SD31, etc, etc. (plus, of course, Jennifer Carroll Foy, who left the House of Delegates to run for governor, didn’t win that primary but is now moving up to the VA Senate). Congratulations and good luck to all of them this November and beyond!

12. The fight for abortion rights, gun violence prevention, etc.: On abortion rights, Vox’s article (“Abortion was a motivating force in Virginia’s primaries”) nails it, explaining “Abortion continued to prove a motivating issue for Democratic voters in Tuesday night’s primaries in Virginia, suggesting that its potency hasn’t waned in the months since the midterms,” with “[t]he starkest evidence of that…incumbent Democratic state Sen. Joe Morrissey’s loss to Lashrecse Aird.” And, Vox adds, “Abortion will likely continue to be top of mind for voters heading into the fall as they decide control of both chambers of the state legislature in a key swing state.” On gun violence prevention, the nomination of Democratic candidates like Saddam Salim, Jennifer Carroll Foy, Stella Pekarsky, etc. who are strong on this issue, replacing in at least one case (Chap Petersen) a Senator who was NOT strong on this issue will hopefully make a difference once Democrats regain a “trifecta” (hopefully in 2025).

13. Ben Tribbett/”Pocket Aces”: They worked on four big races/candidates this cycle – Sen. Louise Lucas, Sen. Lamont Bagby, Del. Angelia Williams-Graves, Stella Pekarsky – all of whom won. Also worth noting is that two candidates (Chap Petersen, Ann Wheeler) who Tribbett/Pocket Aces had worked with previously did NOT work with him this primary and…both lost. Interesting, huh?

Mixed

1. Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R): On the one hand, Youngkin went 10/10 in contested Republican primary endorsements Tuesday, which would seem to put him in the “Winners” category. However, on the other hand, most of these were likely to win regardless, so they weren’t particularly courageous picks by Youngkin. Also, note that a lot (most) of these people are VER far right, and that Youngkin has shown no interest in standing up to the extremists in his party (in part due to cynical political calculation, in part because he’s extreme himself). So…Youngkin’s definitely not a “Winner” coming out of Tuesday night, but he’s also not particularly a “Loser” either…just sort of “Mixed.”

2. Virginia Democrats: The party mostly emerged from Tuesday’s many Democratic primaries unified against Youngkin this November, and with strong candidates for the most part. However, these primaries also cost a lot of money, which hopefully won’t hurt Democrats heading into the fall, when Youngkin will have pretty much unlimited $$$ to spend.

3. Blue Virginia’s endorsements: Most of our endorsed candidates won, but a few lost. The winners were Sen. Louise Lucas, Jennifer Carroll Foy, Saddam Salim, Russet Perry, Sen. Barbara Favola, Lashrecse Aird, Laura Jane Cohen, Adele McClure, Rae Cousins,  Destiny Levere Bolling, Alex Askew, Nadarius Clark, and Parisa Dehghani-Tafti.  The losers were Ben Litchfield, Heidi Drauschak, Sean Monteiro and Shyamali Hauth. So…I endorsed a lot more winners than losers, but still, I’ll put this in the “mixed” category just to be fair.

4. The Washington Post’s endorsements: I’ve been arguing for years that the WaPo’s endorsements don’t have a great deal of political “juice,” and also that Democrats shouldn’t listen to the WaPo editorial board, because they…suck, pretty much. Anyway, this time around, the WaPo endorsed a bunch of incumbents for VA Senate, such as Sen.  George Barker (who lost to Stella Pekarsky on Tuesday), Sen. Jeremy McPike (who may or may not lose to Del. Elizabeth Guzman…we’ll see), Sen. Chap Petersen (who lost to Saddam Salim), Sen. Dave Marsden (who won big), etc.  The WaPo also endorsed Arlington/Falls Church Commonwealth’s Attorney Parisa Dehghani-Tafti (who won); Ed Nuttall – who challenged Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano and lost; Elizabeth Lancaster – who challenged Loudoun Commonwealth’s Attorney Buta Biberaj and lost; plus Jennifer Carroll Foy (who won, but not because of the WaPo’s endorsement, as she was always strongly favored), etc. So yeah, a mixed bag, kinda random really, and no sign that the WaPo’s endorsement has much power behind it.

5. Sen. Scott Surovell (D): As noted above (see the “Winners” entry for Sen. Mamie Locke), Surovell wants to be the next Senate Majority Leader, and he still may achieve that goal, but…Tuesday night was kinda rough for him, as several of his presumed allies (Sen. Chap Petersen, Sen. George Barker, Sen. Joe Morrissey, Sen. Lionell Spruill, possibly Sen. Jeremy McPike) went down to defeat. On the other hand, Surovell may have gained a few allies, as Russet Perry, Suhas Subramanyam and Jennifer Carroll Foy – all of whom Surovell backed – won their primaries. We’ll see…

6. Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chair Jeff McKay (D): I’m putting McKay in the “Mixed” category because, although he won his primary Tuesday night (literally making him a “Winner”), he only got 56% of the vote against his pretty much unknown and unfunded Democratic primary opponent, Lisa Downing. To put it mildly, that showing was NOT a sign of strength for McKay, given that normally you’d expect a powerful incumbent with massive advantages in endorsements, name recognition, money, etc. to win by a huge margin (80%-20%? 75%-25%?). So what happened here? Is McKay really not that popular with Democratic primary voters? If not, why not? (note: I’m not going to link to Sinclair media, but back in April, they published a pair of stories about McKay “seen recklessly driving his county take-home car after he participated in a political fundraiser”).

Losers

1. VA Sen. Joe Morrissey (D): After months of horrendous publicity, serious accusations by his ex-wife Myrna, and pretty much every major Virginia Democrat endorsing his opponent, former Del. Lashrecse Aird, Sen. Joe Morrissey got crushed (69%-31%) in yesterday’s Democratic primary in SD13. That marks the second time in just six months that Morrissey got clobbered in a Democratic primary, the first of which was to Jennifer McClellan last December, and now this. The fact is, Morrissey  might have been the most overrated Virginia politician ove the years, as his reputation far exceeded his electoral success rate (e.g., Morrissey lost in 2015 for VA Senate, in 2016 for Richmond Mayor, in December 2022 for US House, and now for VA Senate to Lashrecse Aird). That includes his primary win over Sen. Roslyn Dance in 2019, which saw low turnout, was arguably an outlier (e.g., a referendum on Dance), and not so much a positive vote FOR Morrissey. This time around, Morrissey lost every precinct in Petersburg and the vast majority of precincts in SD13. And thus ends Morrissey’s political career, which has been…er, an adventure? Or something? LOL

2. Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chair Ann Wheeler (D): My understanding from people “in the know” was that Wheeler wasn’t in any jeopardy in her Democratic primary against Deshundra Jefferson, but then…Wheeler lost (!), 52.4%-47.6%, in possibly the most shocking (and out-of-the-blue) upset in Tuesday night’s primaries. What on earth happened here? Was this a backlash against Wheeler’s support for data centers? Was Wheeler not popular among the Democratic base for other reasons? Other? Whatever the reasons, it’s stunning that a powerful incumbent who outspent her opponent 5:1 or whatever would lose like this. Wild.

3. Republicans attempting to sway the results in Democratic primaries: Republicans were encouraged to show up and vote to “Boot Buta [Biberaj] in Loudoun County, to support Ed Nuttall against Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano, to back Josh Katcher over Arlington/Falls Church Commonwealth’s Attorney Parisa Dehghani-Tafti, to vote for Sen. Joe Morrissey over Lashrecse Aird in their Democratic primary, to support Sen. Chap Petersen over Saddam Salim, etc, etc. And pretty much, none of these seemed to move the needle…with the possible exception of Susan Cunningham and Natalie Roy for Arlington County Board  – both of whom were endorsed by a group that includes former Rep. Tom Davis (R) – but we won’t know who won those two races until Friday at the earliest, and it’s possible that one or both of those candidates could end up losing.

4. State Sen. Chap Petersen (D): Faced with a young, smart, aggressive, progressive primary opponent, Sen. Petersen ran a weak campaign with muddled/confusing messaging, didn’t figure out a way to appeal to core Democratic voters, was out-hustled (and out-messaged, etc.) by his challenger Saddam Salim, and lost…probably ending his political career. That’s quite a fall for Petersen, who had harbored statewide ambitions, but now essentially would have zero chance of winning a Democratic primary for statewide office – or even for State Senate, as it turns out, despite outspending Saddam Salim by a big margin. Of course, Petersen brought most of this on himself, through his bizarre comments about COVID, his lawsuit against Gov. Ralph Northam, his opposition to an assault weapons ban, his rhetoric against liberals/progressives, his defense of Confederate symbols, having one of the most conservative voting records among VA Senate Democrats, etc, etc. And, in the end, the district’s Democratic voters simply had had enough of Petersen – for good reason(s).

4a. Running on a “ticket”: Sen. Petersen also, for some strange reason, decided to run on a “ticket” with Commonwealth’s Attorney candidate Ed Nuttall and Sheriff Stacey Kincaid, branding it as a “common sense team,” whatever that was supposed to mean. Why did Petersen do this? Who knows, but it didn’t seem to work at all, with Nuttall losing, Petersen losing, and only Kincaid winning easily (against weak opposition).

5. Dominion Energy: Given that Clean Virginia is on the “Winners” list, it’s not surprising that their arch-nemesis, Dominion Energy, is on the “Losers” list. This primary cycle, Dominion Energy poured money into a bunch of candidates – Hala Ayala, Lionell Spruill, George Barker, Joe Morrissey, Susan Hippen, Natalie Shorter, Michele Joyce, etc. – who lost primaries Tuesday night. Dominion also gave to a few candidates who won primaries (e.g., Angelia Williams Graves, Glen Sturtevant, Tara Durant), but mostly Dominion Energy didn’t fare very well Tuesday night in terms of wins/losses. Plus, the company got a lot of bad publicity for its heavy-handed approach to funding candidates. Ergo, Dominion Enerfgy’s on the “Losers” list.

6. VA Sen. Amanda Chase (R): For years, Chase has been one of the most appalling state legislators in Virginia, and arguably in the country. For just a few examples of what I’m talking about, see Video: VA Sen. Amanda Chase (R) Says She’d “Absolutely” Back Trump Over Youngkin for President; Says Youngkin “irritated a lot of people” By “apologiz[ing] and send[ing] letters to Nancy Pelosi”, NEW: Amanda Chase Announces Plan to Introduce Total Abortion Ban in Richmond that Yesli Vega Promised to Cosponsor in Washington , Virulently Anti-LGBTQ VA Sen. Amanda Chase Attacks Her Main Republican Rival for Supposedly Voting to “allow Drag Queens to be hired as teachers in our public schools”, Video: Campaigning For Extreme Candidate in FL, Amanda Chase Argues Trump “Is Now” President, Spews Out COVID Misinformation, etc., Trumpist VA Sen. Amanda Chase (R) Says Glenn Youngkin Shouldn’t Smile or Shake Terry McAuliffe’s Hand, Should Treat Governor’s Race as “War” Against “Marxist Take Over”, Video: Amanda Chase Wonders What Dems Would Say If She Led a Hypothetical “White Republican Caucus”; Says Legislative Black Caucus Vice Chair Jennifer McClellan “should stop being a racist”, Audio: VA GOP Governor Candidate Amanda Chase Says “I reject the notion that there is racism…if anything, I would argue that we have reverse racism that’s going on in America right now.”, Video: Leading Up to Censure Vote, Sen. Amanda Chase’s Republican Colleagues Stand Up – One After Another – and Excoriate Her, Urge Her to Seek Help [UPDATED: Senate Votes 24-9 For Censure], etc. Anyway, on Tuesday night, Chase’s  disgraceful political career finally appears to have reached its end, with her loss to former Sen. Glen Sturtevant in the Republican SD12 primary. Of course, Chase accepted her loss with class, grace, and…yeah, right, hahahahaha, of course she didn’t do any of those things; instead, she’s been implying/alleging some sort of fraud, illegality, whatever. Bottom line: now that Chase’s political career hopefully is coming to an end, perhaps she’ll have the time to get the help she desperately needs?

7. Sen. George Barker (D): I’m including him on this list not because he lost, per se, but because of the main reason WHY he lost – namely, the redistricting amendment that *he* was largely responsible for passing, and which resulted in the drawing of a new district with hardly any of his long-time voters. In turn, that essentially negated Barker’s incumbency advantage, and contributed heavily to his defeat by Democratic challenger Stella Pekarsky.  Both appropriate and amusing…

8. Sen. Dick Saslaw (D): It was a bad night for the long-time VA Senate Democratic leader, who will be retiring (thank goodness) at the end of this year. Over the years, I’ve had major problems with Saslaw on policy/ethics/etc., for sure, but I’ve also never thought he was very effective at politics or had good political judgement. This election season, for instance, Saslaw stuck with slimy Joe Morrissey, despite voluminous evidence for why he shouldn’t do so (see above). Saslaw also stuck with Sen. Chap Petersen and Sen. George Barker, both of whom richly deserved to lose and DID end up losing. Saslaw also endorsed Sen. Louise Lucas’ granddaughter, Natalie Shorter, who finished third in her Democratic primary for House of Delegates; and Sen. Jeremy McPike, who may or may not end up defeating Del. Elizabeth Gumzan…stay tuned. Anyway, overall, it wasn’t a great night for Saslaw…or Saslaw’s buddies over at Dominion Energy (see above). [UPDATE: a smart Democratic politico pointed out to me, “Not to give Saslaw any credit, but Marsden was running in some of his old territory so that was a win for him”]

9. Former Del. Hala Ayala (D): As with Barker, I’m including Ayala on this list not because he lost, per se, but because of a few other things: a) she got absolutely crushed (63%-37%) by Jennifer Carroll Foy, despite Dominion Energy dumping money into her campaign in an attempt to save her, and despite the fact that it was always pretty obvious that Carroll Foy would beat her; b) this is Ayala’s second big loss in less than two years, the first being in November 2021, when Republican Winsome Sears defeated her for Lt. Governor, and now this doomed VA Senate run. What’s next for Ayala politically? It’s hard to see a future at this point, which is quite a comedown from being elected to the House of Delegates in the 2017 anti-Trump “blue wave”; then participating in the historic two years of Democratic “trifectas,” which passed hundreds of pieces of progressive legislation; then almost becoming Lt. Governor of Virginia. Politics can be a really rough business…

10. Former Del. Tim Anderson (R): For some background on this guy, see After Virginian-Pilot Calls Him Out in Editorial, “LGBTQ Americans need public support against efforts to erase them” VA Del. Tim Anderson (R) Goes on Tirade Against “woke, Marxist liberal mob intent on sexualizing and confusing children”, Video: Far-Right VA Del. Tim Anderson (R) Urges Parents “All Over Virginia” to Go to Court to Decide Which Books Children Should Have Access To; Cites “Gender Queer,” “A Court of Mist and Fury,” “Handmaid’s Tale,” etc., Democrat-Suing Attorney Tim Anderson Runs for Delegate and Says “You’re Not Gonna Want to Vote For Me” (Anderson’s positions have changed significantly since 2019, when he said “I believe abortion is a fundamental right” and supported “a national healthcare program through the government”), etc. Anyway, so this guy first announced in February that he wouldn’t be seeking reelection to the House of Delegates (because he knew he’d lose), then did an about-face in April, when he announced he’d instead move in order to run for the new 19th State Senate district, and now…he lost, 38%-33%, to Christie Craig. What’s next for Anderson?  Maybe he can go back to being Amanda Chase’s attorney, now that neither of them will be busy with politics? LOL

11. Del. Marie March (R): Just elected in November 2021, this far-right extremist (she “attended Donald Trump’s rally on January 6, 2021 prior to the attack on the US Capitol…claims to have left before the riot began”) basically got NOTHING done in the House of Delegates (her legislative “batting average” this past session was ZERO — 0/17), and now has lost her seat to fellow Del. Wren Williams (R) in a 67%-33% landslide Tuesday night. Helluva political career, huh? And if all that doesn’t get you a spot in this list’s “LOSERS” category, what on earth *would*? LOL

12. Any connection between Republican candidates’ rhetoric and facts, the truth, reality, science, moderation, etc.: Contary to some absurd “hot takes” in the media, the fact is that Virginia Republican candidates moved even further to the right, away from facts, the truth, reality, science, moderation, etc. For instance, former Sen. Glen Sturtevant used to be considered a relatively “moderate” Republican, but this time around, he moved HARD right in primarying insurrectionist/extremist VA Sen. Amanda Chase. And, very tellingly, the move to the hard right by Sturtevant WORKED for him, as he narrowly won the primary Tuesday night over far-right-extremist Amanda Chase. That’s just where that party’s at currently, which is why it’s so crucial that we all turn out in every single election and vote Democratic up and down the ballot!

13. The “mainstream media”: Another election cycle, another period of weak, thin, shallow, false equivalence, “both sides-ist,” “concern trolling” (like this), whitewashing (also see this crap), and/or nonexistent coverage of Virginia politics by the “mainstream media.” And when I refer to the “mainstream media,” I’m not even talking about blatantly the cesspool of social media and/or right-wing-propaganda media, like Sinclair (e.g., WJLA7 in northern Virginia), Fox “News,” far-right/MAGA talk radio, etc. Also, sadly, local papers continue to decline, with many Virginia news outlets mere shells of their former selves (although there’s also been a rise in online publications such as Virginia Mercury and The Cardinal, which have mostly been a positive force, but not a replacement for high-quality daily local papers). All in all, the political media in this country is a mess, and the consequences are VERY damaging to our democracy (given that an INFORMED citizenry is essential to democracy’s healthy functioning, even its very existence).

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UPDATE 9:20 am Thursday: Former Rep. Tom Perriello says, “Great summary of takeaways from VA primaries. Huge night for Black women on the ballot, @clean_virginia (23-2 on the night) & reform prosecutors (undefeated). Bad night for the ole ‘Virginia Way’ and their corporate sponsor Dominion.”

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