2009 was a busy election year in the state of Virginia. Not only did we elect a Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General, but we also elected one hundred members to the House of Delegates and numerous other city and county officials. In this season, I worked in the 93rd House district, an area comprising the northwest portion of the city of Newport News as well as the eastern most portion of James City County. On the middle peninsula, there were four competitive house races: the 64th, the 91st, the 93rd, and the 94th. The 64th pitted longtime Democratic incumbent Bill Barlow against the Republican Stan Clark. The 91st was a three-way struggle between Republican incumbent Tom Gear, Democratic Sam Eure, and the Republican leaning Poquoson mayor Gordon Heslel. The 93rd featured Republican Phil Hamilton versus the Democratic attorney Robin Abbott. Rounding out the bunch, Democrat Gary West took on Republican Glenn Oder in the 94th. There were other delegate races too such as Delegate Pogge’s, but as these candidates ran uncontested, there isn’t too much to talk about concerning them.
Over all, 2009 proved to be a smashing success for the Republicans statewide. They won all three top ticket seats as well as numerous pickups in the House of Delegates. Of course not every Republican candidate won, but the party as a whole suffered only two net losses. The first was the 52nd, where ousted RPV chairman Jeff Frederick was not seeking re-election. The second was the 93rd.
Throughout the next series of posts on the Virginia Conservative, I’ll share with you my thoughts and impressions concerning this potentially surprising and heated race as we seek to discover how a 21-year incumbent loses in an otherwise stellar Republican year.