Republicans are lining up up to run for Saxman’s seat.

Eight Republicans want the nomination to replace Chris Saxman in the HoD race in the Valley. Those eight—all men (and I’d bet cash they’re all white): Dickie Bell, John Beghtol, Charles Curry, Christopher DeWald, Ray Ergenbright, Cliff Fretwell, Charles Hawkins, and David Karaffa. I’m torn on what to make of the large number of candidates. Does it mean that there’s a healthy sense of inclusion and competition in the district? Or does it mean that they’re badly fragmented and without a bench?

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

14 replies on “Republicans are lining up up to run for Saxman’s seat.”

  1. I think people have been getting more involved in politics (a lot due to Obama), they think they might want to run, they see a very Red seat that they think is their’s for the taking, so they throw their hat in the ring.

    If Dave Norris didn’t run for city council, I would have to imagine a bunch of city Democrats would jump at the chance to run.

    So, good for them for getting involved. Even if they don’t win, I don’t really think having uncontested elections helps us as a whole.

  2. Maybe it’s just me, but I find it interesting that three of the 8 are in the health care field (a nurse, a hospital exec, a physical therapy exec).

  3. The bar to entry is lower than most political contests (a one week campaign) and the likelihood of winning the November election is high.

  4. Western State Hospital’s PR man? He should do great in the legislature, wish I could vote there :). He’s done an amazing job at keeping the DOJ out of Western and spinning public relation disasters such as the man in seclusion for 20 years. Not to mention lesser PR disasters such as molestation of a patient with dementia by a staff member, a fire and most recently an escape from a “secure” unit of the hospital. Yes, he’ll be great in politics………

  5. Waldo

    Since we’re talking about party division in the 20th, what do you think about Democrat Tracy Pyles calling Democratic-nominee Erik Curren an unelectable Buddhist?–Curren-s-faith-an-election-issue

    Personally, I commend Curren for not dropping out as Mr. Pyles wants. Curren was brave enough to volunteer to take on Saxman, he shouln’t have to move aside just because a more prominent D wants in now.

  6. Since we’re talking about party division in the 20th, what do you think about Democrat Tracy Pyles calling Democratic-nominee Erik Curren an unelectable Buddhist?

    I don’t really think anything about it. I have no idea who Pyles is. Some guy running against another guy calling his opponent “unelectable” is about par for the course in politics, I think. :)

  7. Fair enough. Those aren’t exactly the facts though. Pyles is an elected BOS member who is trying to bully another D to drop out so Pyles can take his spot. It isn’t that he said he’s unelectable. It’s that he said he’s unelectable BECAUSE he’s Buddhist. Guess I’m the only one that thought that was inappropriate.

  8. We’re agreeing here. We’ve got two guys vying for the same seat, and one of them says that the other guy is not electable. Whether not his religion will prevent him from being elected, I can’t say. I don’t know enough about the district. Presumably this Pyles fellow isn’t saying that Curren shouldn’t be elected because he’s Buddhist, but saying that voters may find it off-putting. That would be a bit more palatable if Pyles weren’t angling for the seat, but I don’t think that makes Pyles’ point any less valid.

    Personally, I can’t see that many people would care, at least on this side of the mountain. Buddhism is utterly harmless, in most Americans’ estimation. It’s completely compatible with Christianity and non-threatening.

  9. Chris Graham sees it this way.

    Final analysis: My bet is that Dickie Bell gets the nomination because I’m betting that local GOP leaders are going to want to play it safe. The David Karaffa option scares the Democrat in me, I have to admit. To me the analogy that comes to mind is choosing who you’d rather face in his prime in a heavyweight-title fight, Evander Holyfield or Mike Tyson. Bell, like Holyfield, will fight you fair and square. Karaffa, like Tyson, strikes me as the type who would bite your ear off if necessary.


  10. Whoa Chris–Remember that Holyfield won the match with Tyson! A piece of an ear is a small thing to give up for a title (or a majority in the House of Delegates).

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