Senate Majority Leader Richard Saslaw said Monday that Democrats do not plan to field a candidate to replace state Sen. Robert Hurt in his largely Republican district because Saslaw doesn't want to "waste our money."
"I know what we can do and what we can't do,'' said Saslaw (D-Fairfax).
Now I'm sure that Saslaw has every reason not to contest this seat, which is almost certain to vote Republican. But there was an outside chance that likely nomination of Franklin County lawyer and 5th District Republican Party Chair Bill Stanley could set up a dynamic in which Democrats can play the geography card and argue that the state senate seat needs to be kept in Pittsylvania-Danville hands. The best candidate to do this? Pittsylvania Supervisor Hank Davis.
Why isn't Saslaw even playing with the idea of putting his weight behind Hank Davis in the special election?
As with any election, the leaders of the state party turn to "trusted" sources to determine if a candidate has a shot at the election. Years of local service are unlikely to get the attention of Richmond. No, what gets the attention of Richmond are lobbyists and money. And when it comes to Southside Virginia, no one speaks louder in the state party than former Danville Delegate turned Richmond Lobbyist Witt Clement.
Clement, who among his clients counts Virginia Uranium, was dismissive of Hank Davis as a potential candidate when the big dogs in Richmond started to ask around about the special election. Why? Is it because he doesn't think Davis, who's manage to win election in one of Virginia's most Republican counties, isn't electable? Or because Clement doesn't want an opponent of uranium mining in the Virginia State Senate?
Virginia Uranium just purchased a State Senate seat thanks to the good work of Witt Clement. Are they about to purchase the Chairmanship of the DPVA too?