Race to Replace Cosgrove in the 78th House of Delegates District takes shape

I have to explain a few things before I can get to the meat of the story. With the special election date of August 6, 2013, fast approaching for the 14th Senate District candidates John Cosgrove and Kerry Holmes, more than a few things are becoming clear.

As is indicated by the candidates financial reporting on the Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP), the Virginia Democratic Party isn’t giving any money to their nominee Kerry Holmes. In fact, the only person giving money to Holmes is….nobody. Link here: http://www.vpap.org/candidates/profile/home/229233

This is a safe Republican Senate District, one that Cosgrove should handily win on August 6, 2013. Apparently, even the Democratic Party of Virginia agrees given their lack of financial support for Holmes. With this election on it’s currently trajectory, what comes next assuming a Cosgrove win?

A special election for the 78th House of Delegates District can only really be called for when a vacancy occurs in the 78th House of Delegates District. So, in this scenario, a Cosgrove win in the upcoming State Senate special election in August would trigger his resignation from the 78th House of Delegates Seat.  With that resignation, only then would a vacancy actually exist for that seat which would then prompt the Governor to order a special election to fill the vacated House seat. With no incumbent in the race, the Legislative District Committees for the Republican and Democrat Parties in the 78th District will set the nomination methods for their prospective candidates. The methods of nomination for the 78th may include one of the following methods: primary, convention, canvass, or the collective members of either the Republican or Democratic 78th District Legislative District Committees may take a simple majority vote amongst its members to determine the nominee.

With that said, who are the front runners for the Republican and Democratic nominations in the 78th District?

On the Republican side, current Chesapeake School Board Chairman Jay Leftwich appears to have locked down the support of the commonsense conservatives in this Chesapeake centric district. Link here for a bio on Leftwich: http://www.cpschools.com/school_board/members_new.php

On the Democratic side, everyone appears to be lining up behind political newcomer Linda Bryant. She is the only Democrat in the 78th District that is raising significant money for a candidacy and she’s the only Democratic candidate who is filing financial reports with the State Board of Elections, link here for that information from the Virginia Public Access Project: http://www.vpap.org/committees/profile/home_financials/4022?end_year=2013&start_year=2012

Bryant, along with other Tidewater area Democrat candidates running challenger campaigns for the House of Delegates, made an appearance in Norfolk last week with Democratic Gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe. There was no other Democrat candidate at that event that was announced as running for the Democratic nomination in the 78th District, link here: http://bryantfordelegate.com/democrats-introduce-candidates-to-hampton-roads/

Bryant set up her House of Delegates campaign account on or about April 1, 2013. Of note, Bryant apparently has zero confidence in Kerry Holmes’ Senate campaign because [highlight]even her campaign hasn’t given money to Holmes and his Senate District race overlaps with the House District race she is running for in the City of Chesapeake. [/highlight]Ouch. But wait, there’s more! Making matters worse for Holmes, Charniele Herring, Chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Virginia, didn’t even invite Holmes to attend last week’s candidate roll out in Norfolk that was designed for all of the Tidewater Democrats running for General Assembly seats in this election year.  DPVA Chairwoman Charniele Herring is pictured with the Democrat General Assembly candidates at the Norfolk roll out event last week–all candidates less the uninvited Holmes, link here: http://bryantfordelegate.com/democrats-introduce-candidates-to-hampton-roads/

Bryant can’t even bring herself to financially support Holmes? Why? Because she needs for Delegate Cosgrove to win in the upcoming Senate Special Election in the 14th District on August 6, 2013, in order for her to be able to run for the vacancy in the 78th District once Cosgrove resigns from the seat.  It’s a much easier task for Bryant to run for an open seat versus taking on a popular incumbent Republican in a solidly red district.  Charniele Herring appears to be in agreement with Bryant given the DPVA’s lack of funding for Holmes’ candidacy.

So, the race to replace Cosgrove is well under way. The Democrats are clearly planning on a Cosgrove win given their lack of support for Holmes.

UPDATE:  There is a “Libertarian” candidate running in this race named David J. Foster. Also, there was another Democrat  in this race named Matt Mattson who has since withdrawn and there is a Republican named Brent L. VanNorman who has filed the paperwork to run and is listed as a candidate.  Still, Leftwich and Bryant will win their respective party nominations and the general election will feature those two candidates. Link here for the other candidates: http://www.vpap.org/offices/profile/200?election_id=6685


  • BrianKirwin

    I see more candidates in VPAP for the 78th than just that. Since you were researching there, why didn’t you notice?

    • Wayne Ozmore

      that was the only name that popped up when I clicked on the 78th….I’ll go back in an amend the post to read “major party candidates” if other candidates are listed….is there a Libertarian running? Inconsequential in any event.

  • Rosanna Bencoach

    By law, a “primary” can only be called when it would be held on the normal date for a primary, which this year has already passed. There are no “special” government-conducted primaries. Party-conducted “firehouse primaries” are a different matter.

  • Wayne Ozmore

    Rosanna: you are correct…..”nomination methods may include” does not indicate “shall include”…..my bet is the Legislative District Committee will simply vote to determine the nominee….who knows.