In case you haven’t heard, Nick Freitas of Culpeper County is running for Virginia House of Delegates in the 30th District. He is seeking the Republican Party nod over incumbent Ed Scott.
Delegate Scott has served in the House since 2004 and has not fielded a Republican challenger since 2005. However, he has drawn the ire of some conservative and libertarian Republicans due to his support of the 2013 transportation tax increase, a tax increase which in the 2013 elections led to the defeat of both Delegate Bev Sherwood (29th-Frederick County) and Delegate Joe May (33rd-Loudoun County).
On Thursday, January 8th, the Freitas campaign will officially begin at 6 PM at the Silk Mill Grille in Orange, VA. Their featured guest is Susan Stimpson. Mrs. Stimpson, who ran for the GOP nod for Lieutenant Governor in 2013, is also running for office this year, challenging Speaker of the House of Delegates Bill Howell (28th-Stafford County).
A few hours ago, in one of the most long-awaited political announcements in recent Shenandoah Valley history, Dan Moxley of Augusta County officially declared his intent to seek the Republican nomination for Virginia Senate in the 2015 elections. He spoke in front of a crowd of about forty at a local business in Fishersville. After an introduction from Tina Freitas of Culpeper County, Mr. Moxley talked of his principles, what motivated him to get involved, and a brief history of his political activity. Promoting the ideals of limited government and liberty were scattered throughout his speech.
After greeting members of the audience, the Moxley campaign packed up their materials and headed off to Madison County where they plan to repeat this announcement on the other side of the district later today.
At this point, three people are wrestling for the GOP nod in the 24th, incumbent Senator Emmett Hanger, Augusta County Supervisor Marshall Pattie, and former Republican Party Chairman Dan Moxley.
Last night, while attending a meeting of the JMU College Republicans, I received word from the Marshall Pattie campaign that Dan Moxley had resigned his chairmanship of the Augusta County Republican Party. For the record, both Pattie and Moxley are challenging State Senator Emmett Hanger (R-24) for the Republican nomination in the 24th district in 2015.
The Augusta County GOP has been in a renewed turmoil as of late. Not only is has there been tension between the Moxley and Pattie camps, but a recent disagreement over the Republican nomination for a county supervisor position made the situation far more tenuous. Rumors were rampant that some Pattie supporters were attempting to launch a coup in order to remove Moxley from his position as chairman.
Nevertheless, this news of resignation did come as a surprise to me and thus I sought additional verification. Yesterday, the following message was posted on the Augusta County Republican Facebook page:
From the ACRC Chairman, Dan Moxley:
Dear Committee Members,
I am writing to inform you of my decision to resign as Chairman of the Augusta County Republican committee, effective immediately. I appreciate the opportunity I was given to serve in this capacity. The responsibilities of family, business, the critical 2014 US senate race, and my own Commonwealth senate race of 2015, necessitate that I leave the extensive administrative duties of the county committee to another individual. I look forward to working together with you to elect Congressman Bob Goodlatte and nominee Ed Gillespie this November.
Daniel J. Moxley
Although Augusta is one of the most Republican counties in the state of Virginia, the county has been plagued by years of political infighting. Although the actors may be different, the Pattie/Moxley feud is not a new phenomenon, but rather a continuation of a long-standing rivalry for the direction of the Augusta County GOP. Regardless of whomever will be the new chairman of the party, one thing is relatively certain; the war for Augusta is not over yet.
In Waynesboro yesterday, Marshall Pattie announced that he is running for the 24th District seat in the Virginia Senate. A little over thirty people attended this brief conference. Presently, Mr. Pattie serves on the Augusta County Board of Supervisors.
Since 1996, the 24th district has been represented by Emmett Hanger. However, his support of a handful of tax increases over the years and his recent push for Medicaid expansion has drawn the ire of some conservative groups and voters. He last faced a Republican challenger in 2007, when he bested businessman Scott Sayre by less than a thousand votes.
The timing of Dr. Pattie’s announcement might seem curious given that the Republican primary is almost a year in the future, but considering the rumors of two other candidates potentially challenging Senator Hanger, presumably Dr. Pattie wished to get a jump on his possible opponents and possibly clear the field for a one-on-one showdown between himself and the incumbent.
The 2014 elections may be far from over, but the 2015 election season has begun in the 24th.