By Susan Lascolette
There’s no doubt that the Virginia House and Senate are operating under razor-thin political margins – a 2-seat difference in the Senate and a 1-seat difference in the House. The elections on November 5th may be a tipping point.
In the Senate: Eleven of the Democratic Senator candidates are running unopposed and another five have only an independent challenger. In contrast, only one Republican Senator candidate is running unopposed and another four have just an independent challenger.
So, even before the campaign begins, all other things being equal, the score in the Senate is likely 16 to 5. That leaves 19 seats contested by both a Republican and a Democratic candidate.
In the House: Twenty-two Democratic House candidates are running unopposed and another five have only an independent challenger. In contrast, seven Republican House candidates are running unopposed and only one has just an independent challenger.
The score in the House is likely 27 to 8. That leaves 65 seats contested by both a Republican and a Democratic candidate.
We only have to look at the 2019 General Assembly legislation to understand what the General Assembly agenda will be if we lose both chambers.
There is only one thing standing in the way of a Democratic victory –
We have proven time and again how important grassroots support is to campaigns. Voter involvement can and does make the difference in determining victory or defeat.
Please contact your Senator or Delegate and offer your help. Every campaign needs two things – money and volunteers. Contribute financially if you are able, but also volunteer! You don’t have to sign on as a full-time volunteer – even a few hours a week can make the difference. Volunteer to help answer telephones, put out yard signs, write Letters to the Editor in your local paper and the RTD, help with door-to-door canvassing, make phone calls, or any other task that every campaign needs. You will make a difference.
If there is no Senate or Delegate candidate in your district who represents your views, reach out to other candidates – Senate and House candidates in other districts or local Board of Supervisors, Constitutional Officer, and School Board candidates.
Tea party members are known for their passion for good government and support of candidates who share their values. This is not the time to take a back seat and hope for the best. Now is the time to lend a hand and secure victory in November.
There is one more thing – you can help at the polls in various ways:
Sign up with your local Registrar to be an election official. This requires training and a time commitment, but you will help watch the whole elections process from the inside and will be able to detect voting irregularities.
Volunteer be a poll watcher inside. You will sit behind the election official and watch how they validate voters and all other operations. This helps deter voter fraud. You will need an authorization form signed by an official of a political party.
Volunteer to work outside of the polls for a candidate. Contact your candidate of choice and they will gladly assign you to a polling location.
I don’t know about you, but I would rather fight the battle now and help get good candidates elected than fight bad legislation for the next two or four years.