(Writer’s note: My apologies for any typos. I broke multiple bones in my left hand, and arm wrist last week in a fall and a cast prevents me from using it to type or write. For a left-hander, that makes writing damn near impossible. Friends have pointed out some and they have been corrected.)
Voters in Floyd County. the Commonwealth of Virginia and much of the nation told the discredited hardcore politics of hate and lies take a hike in the off-year elections Tuesday.
In Floyd County, a clear majority of voters rejected a pathetic attempt by the county GOP leadership and the chairman of the county board of Supervisor Branscom to remove Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Branscom because he chose to enforce the law and not the vicious hate, violence and lies of the disgraced, criminally-indicted former president and court-certified rapist who controls their party.
Branscom, citing the law, opposed the efforts of supervisors who wanted the county to recognize the ragtag group of gun nuts who declared themselves a “militia.” But Virginia law says that only the governor can create or recognize militias and Branscom declared Floyd’s wannabes “a gun club, nothing more” and it faded into the obscurity it deserved.
When county board chairman Joe Turman wanted the county to “go on record” to oppose abortion, Branscom pointed out that county boards have ho jurisdiction on medical procedures, but the board passed the resolution anyway.
So, the GOP staged a votes-limiting, one-precinct six-hour vote on a Saturday that drew less thn 600 votes and Branscom lost by 62 votes. This week, he carried all-but one precinct. The voters had their say about who they wanted.
In Virginia, voters retuned Democrats to power in he Statehouse and, nationwide, they showed anger over increased abortion limitations.
Ironically, the county GOP selected Branscom several years ago when they wanted to get rid of scandal-scarred Gordon Hannett, who kept a “breast book” containing topless photos of local women in his desk and showed them to others.
After his defeat, Hannett removed the hard drives of the states’ attorney’s office because of suspected lewd material. He pled guilty to the theft and was convicted but remained a lawyer and later served with the Army’s Judge Advocate Generals Office in the Northwestern United States.
The county GOP later decided that Sheriff Shannon Zeman was “not enough of a Republican” after he appeared on TV praising Democrat Mark Warner for programs he brought to Floyd County.
The party picked Christiansburg police officer Doug Weddle, a Floyd Countian. to run but Zeman chose to retire and backed deputy Brian Craig,a choice of other deputies, calling him a better choice. Voters agreed and Craig remains a popular and successful sheriff.
Branscom, as the county’s prosecutor. has put drug traffickers, murderous and sexual predators in prison. several for life. He worked closely with Circuit Judge Marc Long on establishment of the county’s drug court and continues to do so with court judge Mike Fleenor.
The lawyer that the GOP wanted to replace Branscom. Travis Epes, is tfe party’s legal counsel and, we are told. a “hardcore conservative and Republican.”
We owe the county’s voters for rejecting politics of hate and lies from those who genuflect to a disgraced former president convicted of fraud and rape.
(This article originally reported a comment attributed to Epes, but he says it came from another candidate. My apologies and it has been removed.)