This evening, Republican representatives from across the 24th Virginia Senate district gathered in Elkton to discuss the pending lawsuit against the State Board of Elections and the Incumbent Protection Act. At the beginning of the meeting, it was also restated that only one candidate, Dan Moxley, had properly filed to be a candidate at the upcoming convention.
Then, one of the attorneys handling the lawsuit got up and briefly discussed the details of the case. He was of the opinion that the chances of getting the Incumbent Protection Act declared unconstitutional should be pretty good. Following that, the committee moved to a closed session and all of the oberservers were asked to leave.
For quite some time, we milled about in the hallway, engaging in random conversations about politics. I appreciated the opportunity to speak with several activists from Greene County with whom I worked in 2012.
When we finally returned, the conversation took a strange turn as they began discussing preparations for the upcoming convention. This talk seemed very strange, especially given the earlier declaration. After all, they said at the beginning that there was only one properly filed candidate and, according to the rules of the call, if there was only only candidate then the convention would be cancelled. It was at this point we learned that a fellow named Mr. Sheets had also filed to be a candidate. It was exceedingly peculiar news. Was the earlier information wrong? Did the attorneys encourage the 24th district to bend or break the rules of the convention? It was all rather confusing and disconcerting.
I have to confess that on the drive back to Harrisonburg that I felt that Mr. Moxley had been cheated a little tonight. Sure, I doubt Mr. Sheets will be able to mount a credible challenge, but why should the Moxley campaign have to put in the time and money to prepare for a convention if indeed he was the only candidate to properly pre-file according to the rules in the call? It didn’t seem fair.
Although I’m glad that they seem optimistic that the lawsuit will be successful at striking down an unfair law and I appreciated the chance to speak with many good folks that I’ve met in my political journey, I sorely wish that the 24th district GOP would have either announced there were two candidates at the beginning of the meeting or not allowed this potentially questionable newcomer to skirt the established rules.
So that’s the political intrigue from this part of the state tonight.