Candidates Are Rob Bloxom (R) & Willie Randall (D)
After looking over Bloxom’s (www.robbloxom.com) and Randall’s (www.randallfordelegate.com) campaign sites and newspaper reports, I decided to do a list of geopolitical advantages and disadvantages for each.
Rob Bloxom Republican candidate
- He lives in Republican-leaning Accomack County (red marker on map), which holds the most voters (22,000) in District 100 (outlined in red on map).
- Bloxom’s father served in the Virginia House of Delegates for 25 years.
- He is a small business owner, who has served his community.
- His campaign is well funded, including more than $60,000 from Dominion Leadership Trust (Virginia House Speaker Bill Howell’s PAC) as of February 20. It is worth noting that Dominion Leadership Trust has received $508,000 from the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC), which funnels out of state contributions from donors, like the Koch brothers and their industries. RSLC was run from 2010-14 by Ed Gillespie, current Republican candidate for Virginia’s U.S. Senate seat.
- District 100 is considered Democratic leaning.
- He has not previously run for elective office.
- His father supported McAuliffe for governor, angering some Republicans.
- He did not support Wayne Coleman for the Virginia state senate in a special election on January 7, 2014, which earned him a RINO alert.
Willie Randall Democratic candidate
- His residence, in heavily Democratic Northampton County (blue marker on map), has 9,000 voters in a district that is 30% Black.
- He has won elective office before, as a member of the Northampton County Board of Supervisors, 2009-2013.
- Lt. Governor Ralph Northam and Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim endorsed him (Norfolk has 18,000 voters in District 100).
- Money appears abundant for his campaign, including about $62,000 from Democrat’s Virginia House Caucus; and most of its money comes from individual campaigns, such as $525,000 from Terry McAuliffe for Governor.
- District 100 is a political battleground, favoring Democrat McAuliffe for governor by 2% in 2013, but swinging to Republican Obenshain for attorney general by the same margin.
- Randall lost his reelection bid for the Northampton County Board of Supervisors in November 2013.
- The NRA endorsed Randall’s opponent (see below). Apparently, Randall did not respond to NRA queries, which made the easily offended NRA quite hostile.
So Who Will Win?
The election next week on Tuesday, February 25, will likely be decided by a relatively small number of voters (I would guess around 8,000, depending on the weather). Democrats swept the statewide offices in November and have won all three special elections since then—but the winning margin for the state senate election on the Eastern Shore was razor thin (9 votes out of some 20,300). Virginia is a purple state, and it seems Republicans are due a win.
Yes, I predict that Rob Bloxom will win this election. Why? I think Mr. Bloxom’s base in Accomack County will provide enough votes to carry him to victory. Mr. Randall could win with a surge of votes from the Norfolk area, but this seems unlikely due to previous special election turnout in the Norfolk precincts (see analysis).
If Bloxom wins, Republicans will have 68 delegates versus 32 for Democrats in the House of Delegates. Mr. Bloxom strikes me as a pragmatic Republican; he often states “I’m not a politician, but a concerned neighbor.” He will likely work with Democrats for Virginia and the Eastern Shore. He may lose Republican votes, but he will gain independent voters and maybe even some Democrats.