One of the most interesting Senate races this year is in the 28th Senate district currently held by John Chichester.
Conservatives rejoiced when Chichester retired and they recruited local GOP activist John Van Hoy into the race. Van Hoy got heavyweight backing from Bill Bolling and Jim Gilmore.
But locals did not rally behind Van Hoy, in fact I could not find a single current GOP elected official in this district that endorsed him. In Stafford almost all the endorsements went to Jon Myers, a young marine from Stafford. In addition a third Stafford conservative who lost a Board of Supervisors election recently jumped into the race named Joe Graziano.
After conservatives blocked an open primary from taking place on June 12th, the only Democrat with a chance of winning here, former Delegate Albert Pollard got into the race.
Then this week Richard Stuart, a former Commonwealth's Attorney from the Northern Neck announced his candidacy. He was immediately endorsed by Chichester and Speaker Bill Howell. Because of the GOP bent of both Stafford and the Northern Neck (NN) it is widely assumed that any Republican who can keep the NN close will win because Stafford will put them over the top. I think that's a reasonable assumption and why Howell endorsed Stuart as the State Senate is vulnerable to Democratic takeover this year, and this is the last election before redistricting. A Pollard win would lead to a lot more conservative Republicans potentially being ousted during redistricting so Howell is focused on that and not Stuart's credentials.
However Stuart immediately hit potholes, having been a contributer to Pollard when he was the Delegate, and for buying tickets to attend Mark Warner's inaugural ball. One local Republican announced an "investigation" of Stuart and his eligibility for the nomination, but since he works for a consulting company linked to another GOP candidate, I wouldn't take his allegation seriously.
Any GOP nominee has a chance here because of the bent of the district, but this wild battle is getting very personal and leaving an already vulnerable seat in more trouble. I'll have more on the specifics and some of the emails being exchanged among Republicans and CC'd to the press here soon.