Fairfax County Republicans will run a primary election in August. The vote came during an official meeting of the Fairfax County Republican Committee (FCRC) held last night in a packed high school cafeteria. The 53 known candidates will now be required to fundraise and campaign against one another in a county that can hardly afford to lose a single seat, and would have stood a chance to win critical seats on the board of supervisors.
Having no opinion on the matter coming into the meeting, I was quickly persuaded to join those advocating for a convention-style nomination process. Considering the relatively brief period between the primary date set for Virginia and the generals, it would have made more sense to hold a convention in, say, May. This would allow the nominees to save money and time to build credibility in their districts (whatever they look like after final redistricting). Secondly, a convention would make selecting conservatives much easier. As is with several other states, the Commonwealth of Virginia holds open primaries. While proponents of the primary chuckled off the “myth” that democrats cross the line to vote in Republican primaries, the potential for democrats to choose our candidates was enough for me to support a convention. Conventions have proven fruitful for Virginia conservatives, as our current governor, lieutenant governor, and state attorney general were selected in the 2008 Virginia Republican Convention. Third, and probably most salient point for me, as a voting member of the FCRC, is the purpose of having a committee in the first place! If it did not provide endorsements, the FCRC would be totally useless if it failed to hold a convention. Why do I bother paying my membership dues if I’m going to give away my influence to those who don’t? Seems like a sucker’s game to me. This is a critical election cycle in Virginia. We have virtually every seat up for grabs. We will require a pretty heavy turnout in November in order to claim the State Senate – not to mention the school board and the county board of supervisors.
Further, is the fact that a primary is wholly unnecessary for the majority of the countywide races! There is one race which is loaded with a good crop of conservative candidates all vying to unseat Dave Marsden (S – 37, this is Ken Kucinelli’s former State Senate seat). The only other contested race (that I am initamately aware of) is for Fairfax County Sheriff – which pits an elderly veteran of the NYPD/Secret Service/FBI against a young, recently retired 23 year veteran of the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Department.
As a veteran of the military service, who – while deployed – did not take part in the 2008 presidential primary, I was particularly put off by the mother of serviceman now in Afghanistan. She made a compelling argument in favor of the primary, stating that her son is Afghanistan protecting democracy. Of course he wouldn’t be able to participate in a silly convention, but could cast an absentee ballot in a primary. I’m not sure what her soldier-son would have thought about his service being interjected into this debate, but it struck me as rather odd. While her story rubbed me the wrong way, the committee president also voiced his opposition to a convention – sited financial concerns to facilitate a convention – that probably persuaded those on the fence.
As disappointed as I am in result, I will work my butt off to get conservatives elected in my district, county, and state.
Crossposted at Unified Patriots