Southside Virginia spent over a century as a Democratic stronghold, and this seat- long based in Halifax County- was represented by Democrats until the 2001 redistricting when Ted Bennett decided to retire. Elected to replace Bennett was Clarke Hogan who quickly rose through the House ranks, earning the nickname "Vice Speaker" for his close relationship to Speaker Bill Howell. Hogan quickly burned out though as his personality wore on his colleagues in his own caucus, and he announced his own retirement in 2009. Bennett announced a comeback campaign, but then quickly dropped out. Halifax Supervisor James Edmunds won the seat uncontested by Democrats that November, and was re-elected in 2011 without Democratic opposition again.
House District #60 (map here)
47.9% of the vote in Halifax County
26.4% of the vote in Prince Edward County
16.9% of the vote in Charlotte County
8.7% of the vote in Campbell County
2012 Major Party Election Results
Mitt Romney 17,820 (51.9%)
Barack Obama 16,537 (48.1%)
George Allen 18,235 (52.6%)
Tim Kaine 16,448 (47.4%)
Robert Hurt 18,181 (54.9%)
John Douglass 14,930 (45.1%)
NORTH CAROLINA- The state the Presidential results most closely match with. North Carolina had a margin of 2.1% for Romney, while the 60th Delegate District of Virginia had a margin of 3.7% for Romney.
The diversity and strong African American vote across this district is the primary driver of a very competitive election in each locality. Halifax County cast their votes for Mitt Romney over Barack Obama by a 8,694-7,766 (52.8%) vote. In Prince Edward, voters went for President Obama over Romney by a 5,132-3,952 (56.5%) vote. In Charlotte it was back to a Romney win, by a 3,311-2,503 (56.9%) margin. Finally the district shifts for just a couple precincts out of southside Virginia and into strongly Republican Campbell County where Romney won a 1,863-1,136 (62.1%) victory. That small sliver of Campbell that was put into this area in redistricting was to add some slight GOP re-enforcements. In fact Romney's 727 vote margin in those Campbell precincts is more than half of his 1,283 districtwide margin.
In all three of the southside counties George Allen ran ahead of Mitt Romney's percentage. We've seen this in many areas with a strong African American vote- adding to the evidence that Allen's strongest crossover group in Virginia was African American voters. In Halifax, Allen defeated Tim Kaine by a 8,878-7,649 (53.7%) vote or a 0.9% crossover vote above Romney. In Prince Edward, Kaine prevailed by a 5,118-4,100 (55.5%) vote, or a 1.0% crossover for Allen from Romney. In Charlotte, Allen won a 3,364-2,516 (57.2%) vote, with a smaller 0.3% crossover above Romney. Only in Campbell County did Tim Kaine win the crossover vote- falling to Allen by a 1,893-1,165 (61.9%) margin, or a 0.2% crossover for Kaine above Obama.
This entire district is in the 5th Congressional district, and Robert Hurt led the GOP ticket in each county. In Halifax where his ties to uranium mining may have "hurt" him, Hurt won his smallest crossover- 1.5% above Romney with a 8,593-7,235 (54.3%) vote. In Prince Edward, John Douglass won a 4,464-4,237 (51.3%) vote, a crossover of 5.2% for Hurt over Romney. In Charlotte County, the electorate supported Hurt by a 3,439-2,239 (60.6%) margin, or a 3.7% crossover. Finally in Campbell County Hurt won a 1,912-992 (65.8%) vote, also a 3.7% crossover.
As noted above the big issue in this district right now is uranium mining and James Edmunds is leading the charge against it in Richmond. That should be enough to secure this seat for him in the upcoming election- probably unopposed for a third time. This one is a seat to watch if it opens up- a known local candidate who could pull a stronger percentage of the white vote here than statewide Democratic candidates do could easily flip this seat back into the Democratic column. For now, as long as Edmunds is sticking up for his constituents against the uranium lobby it is hard to imagine what would spur a successful challenge.
Previous Districts Covered
House District #1- Terry Kilgore (Utah)
House District #2- Mark Dudenhefer (Delaware)
House District #3- Will Morefield (Utah)
House District #4- Joe Johnson (Wyoming)
House District #5- Israel O'Quinn (Wyoming)
House District #6- Anne Crockett-Stark (Oklahoma)
House District #7- Nick Rush (Kansas)
House District #8- Greg Habeeb (Arkansas)
House District #9- Charles Poindexter (West Virginia)
House District #10- Randy Minchew (North Carolina)
House District #11- Onzlee Ware (Rhode Island)
House District #12- Joseph Yost (Virginia)
House District #13- Bob Marshall (New Mexico)
House District #14- Danny Marshall (North Carolina)
House District #16- Don Merricks (Mississippi)
House District #17- Chris Head (Tennessee)
House District #19- Lacey Putney (West Virginia)
House District #28- Bill Howell (Florida)
House District #30- Ed Scott (Montana)
House District #32- Tag Greason (New Hampshire)
House District #33- Joe May (Alaska)
House District #50- Jackson Miller (Michigan)
House District #51- Rich Anderson (Ohio)
House District #52- Luke Torian (Hawaii)
House District #87- David Ramadan (Washington)