Five years ago, when Bill Bolling announced he was running for re-election instead of taking a shot at the Governor’s chair, every candidate for LG backed out with 24 hours, except one: Corey Stewart. For a brief moment, Corey could have taken the anti-tax-hike, anti-3202 mantle and spoke for the angry Republican activists who were even then bringing Bob Marshall to within a whisker of the Senate nomination and about to sweep Jeff Frederick into the RPV Chair. Instead, Corey decided to wait, and became the last LG candidate for 2009 to back out.
Now, five years later, just as Barkley plummeted from a sure-fire first round pick in 2012 to a fourth-rounder in 2013, Corey Stewart is finding that his decision to wait to run for LG set off a chain of decisions that could ruin his career.
Last night, Jim Riley presented the case that Stewart was behind a slew of semi-anonymous criticisms of Scott Lingamfelter’s record, and completely anonymous smacks on Pete Snyder’s private life. As Greg L of BVBL notes, the latter is not just bizarre, but also illegal. To top it all off, yet another anonymous source magically appeared to try dumping it all on Susan Stimpson (Shaun Kenney, who saw through that like it was Saran Wrap). It’s getting so bad that Mike over at Write Side has decided to skip Richmond’s convention entirely.
Still, even as one tries to avert the eyes from a campaign flying itself into a mountain, there is a black box to recover, and things to analyze in the wreckage. What I find interesting is the different nature of the missives. The stuff used against Lingamfelter was fairly accurate – based on actual votes and donation records – and had an “organization” behind it. In other words, the i’s were dotted and t’s crossed.
The hits on Snyder, by contrast, were sloppy and amateurish (Jim has the details), besides being illegal. This reeks of desperation (as does the bizarre hit on Susan), and a sign that a campaign knows it is in deep, deep trouble.
So what can we take away from all of this? A few things, I think.
- Stewart: the new mountain man
- Snyder: Clearly on the up, or this wouldn’t have happened to him
- Stimpson: Also on the up, or this wouldn’t have happened to her
- Lingamfelter: although what hit him was accurate, victimhood by association will likely give him a boost
- JMDD: may be a surprise benefactor of the Stewart crash. Locally, Stewart had some establishment cred, some of those who backed him because of it may go to her
- Jackson: No impact, although he can likely use it as part of his fresh-face, outsider campaign
- Martin: Um……
That’s how I see it, FWIW. Convention day is two weeks from Saturday.