Virginia House of Delegates 2005 Elections

Keeping You up to date on the status of Virginia's 2005 Delegate races!

Friday, July 08, 2005

6th District (#8 on the Dirty Dozen)

Outlook: Leans Democratic

In the 6th district, Benny Keister is seeking his fourth term in the House. Keister was the only Democratic pickup in 1999, winning an open GOP seat in a landslide. However since the redistricting Keister's numbers have fallen and in 2003 he was re-elected by just 56 votes.

Republicans have recruited Wythe County Board Chair Anne Crockett-Stark to challenge Keister this year.

But unseating Keister may be a little tougher than just winning 57 more votes.

First, this is a district Mark Warner carried, and Tim Kaine was also able to win it by 17 votes. While this district takes in parts of five counties the population is distributed as follows:

Pulaski County 37%
Giles County 25%
Wythe County 19%
Tazewell County 10%
Bland County 9%

Keister's near defeat was caused by his underperformance in Pulaski County, which is also his home base. Much of the credit for that lies with the strong campaign of the 2003 GOP nominee. Crockett-Stark will have a tough time holding that Pulaski overperformance, which will offset her expected gains in Wythe.

For Crockett-Stark to emerge as the winner here, she will have to run a strong districtwide campaign, and not assume to have the 2003 GOP numbers in her pocket at all. To do that she will have to have a strong fundraising operation, so we should know more about her chances on July 15th at the next financial filing.

If she can do that, the strong Jerry Kilgore numbers in this district could help put her over the top.

The other factor at play here is Crockett-Stark is a woman. The nearest woman legislator is over 100 miles away in Lynchburg. While she has broken the glass ceiling in Wythe, it will be interesting to see if this district is ready for a woman as its Delegate.


At 2:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

psst - 4th = FOURTH (not forth)

At 2:24 PM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

I hate it when I misspell and get a word spell check doesn't get! :0

At 2:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what's the deal with the double name "crockett-stark"

At 3:32 PM, Blogger not paul goldman said...

NLS-I agree with your analysis. However here we have another Republican without a primary who has not raised any money. Is there a reason to beleive that her July 15 report will be impressive? Did she file to run in such a fashion that she did not have to file a report on June 1?

At 4:26 PM, Anonymous Larry Sabato's Hairpiece said...

Wow, this is a totally misguided analysis. She will not need much money and this race is going to be the end for Benny.

The 2003, Morgan Morris raised less than $3,000 from the district. The balance of his roughly $50K came from other delegates and caucus funds. Hardly a money raising machine.

Worse, Morris was a trainwreck of a candidate. He had been convicted of a misdemeanor for threatening to kill his ex-wife. His campaign was generally a clueless mess which lurched back and forth on message. He had no experience and was far from anyone's first choice to run. And yet he still got within a handful of votes of an incumbent. That was not the result of a good campaign. That was a demonstration of how poor Keister is viewed at home.

This time, the challenger is an elected official and appears to have a clean criminal background. Her only downfall is she is not from the most populous part of the district. That alone will not save Benny. If a candidate as bad as Morgan Morris could get within recount distance, then Annie Crockett-Starke is going to blow by Keister, especially with Kilgore on the ticket.

At 5:16 PM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

Her only downfall is she is not from the most populous part of the district.

She's also a woman hairpiece. That is not going to help her here. If she can run a viable campaign this could certainly be a tossup. Let me also remind you that large swings happen in SW Virginia all the time from year to year. Remember Cranwell winning by 71 votes in 1997- then winning two years later with 68%?

At 5:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Benny is no Dickie

At 5:28 PM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

At 5:29 PM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

NPG- Just saw your comment. Correct, there was no June 1st filing.

At 5:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess even though that woman was elected to the BOCS in that part of the state, her being a woman is going to hurt in that samepart of the state for the GA?

I give this round to hairpiece. A male, unknown, criminal wife threatener, who raised no money and ran an awful campaign came within 57 votes of Benny bu an elected official is going to have it tough because she's a woman and is not from his county.

Oh wait, I forgot. Also that part of the state can swing wildly (see Cranwell). Let's tighten up our logic here.

Hairpiece 1 - NLS 0

Disclaimer - I am not nor have I ever been "hairpiece" - nor do I know who "Hairpiece" is.

At 5:44 PM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

Let's ask John Behan. John, how many cases have you prosecuted for men threatening to kill their ex-wives? Would a charge like that hurt or help in SW Virginia?

At 7:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

NLS, I assume that was in jest? It's a good point though that men in that "section" of Virginia choose to treat women poorly.

At 9:50 PM, Blogger Not Virgil Goode said...

I think Benny will be in trouble with Kilgore running strong in the Southwest. He came within 60 votes of losing last time and he was at the top of that ticket. He spent 168,000 and his challenger spent 55,000. This one really doens't look good for the incumbent. As for women representing the area. Dave Nutter's (Montgomery/Radford/Blacksburg)seat was for years represented by Joan Munden a Democrat who served prior to Jim Schuler.

At 11:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well NLS you are on the record here.

As you said -

"Let's ask John Behan. John, how many cases have you prosecuted for men threatening to kill their ex-wives? Would a charge like that hurt or help in SW Virginia?"

I wonder what the folks in Southwest or rural parts of Virginia would think that you believe a man threatening the life of their ex-wife may be a positive.

I cannot wait until the day we know who made this post, because then maybe there will some accountability.

At 12:04 AM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

That was very clearly a joke.

At 11:26 AM, Blogger Virginia Centrist said...

Back to work!

At 12:01 PM, Blogger Virginia Centrist said...

Back to work!

At 12:15 PM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

I was mowing the lawn! Will finish #7 now.

At 12:21 PM, Blogger notpastorjohn said...

the presence of nambla is strong here. take this blog down, or i will be forced to do so myself.

not pastor john's homo free house of delegates prediction site

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