In a tight statewide race, Trump-induced Republican Glenn Youngkin is the projected winner of the Virginia governor’s race Tuesday in a sweep of the Commonwealth’s statewide seats, but Floyd County voters rejected two hard-core right-wing extremists who tried to unseat the popular town mayor Will Griffin and Courthouse supervisor Jerry Boothe and both Youngkin and cowboy-hat wearing Marie March, which winners, did so with less than 70% of the vote, a drop in support for Republicans in the normally solid GOP county.
A write-in effort by David Whitaker, a Trump acolyte and often disruptive town-councilman, went down with Griffin collecting 82% of the vote and Boothe had 57% to remain as Courthouse District supervisor when another Trumpie, Jennifer Miller, fell short.
New delegate March, who campaigned in a bellicose style who bragged she is not “a wishy-washy, fence-ridin,’ yellow-bellied politician,” also tried to insert herself into the county election with vocal support of Whitaker while attacking one supervisor who questioned his tactics and claimed. Hypocritically, “we will not be bullied.”
Time will tell if she will work with the supervisors and town council as a true representative of her district or use the antics of the former disgraced president she genuflects before, to try and punish those who don’t drop to their knees and support her every whim.
The supervisors did not escape the threat of Trumpism, however, as Kalinda Bechtold, running unopposed in the hard-core Republican Indian Valley district, walked into the seat vacated by one-termer Justin Coleman of the county sheriff’s department. Bechtold, in an angry confrontation with the school board, threw down the mask that state regulations and school rules required in their buildings, and had to escorted out by a sheriff’s deputy when she refused to put it back on.
Courthouse and town results show gains by more progressive residents of the county.
At this point, many results in Virginia are not final because absentee ballots can still arrive through noon on Friday and must be in the count, but the outstanding ones are not considered enough to overturn any results in most elections.
In General Assembly delegate elections, however, the House is split 50-50 until the final district results are competed, but it looks like the Republicans will gain control. After trending leftward for a decade, the Commonwealth has again become a swing state.
Exit polls said Youngkin’s strategy of keeping his distance from Trump paid off, as many said they felt he was more moderate than the bombastic former president. Some college-educated voters in the state, who drifted away from Republicans in the Trump years, voted for Youngkin on Tuesday.
Note Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns in The New York Times:
The race illustrated that voters are chiefly focused on day-to-day quality of life issues related to the economy and the pandemic, and they blame Democrats for failing to fully address these matters.
The Virginia results also suggest that Mr. Trump’s exit has at least loosened the Democrats’ hold on the college-educated voters who powered their gains over the last five years.
It’s highly unlikely, however, that the former president will let other Republicans sidestep him in next year’s midterm elections the way Mr. Youngkin did. The party’s victory in Virginia may only lull Republicans into believing that Mr. Trump no longer poses a dilemma and can be indefinitely averted, the sort of thinking many party leaders have clung to for more than six years.
For now, though, it’s Democrats who will suffer the most as their moderate-versus-liberal interparty tensions flare in Washington and beyond and officials blame one another for the defeat.
Virginia’s results means trouble for the Democrats for the upcoming midterm elections next year. President Joe Biden’s popularity is dropping, and polls show most voters feel the country is still in trouble and headed in the wrong direction.