Virginia House of Delegates 2005 Elections

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

Thursday, July 14, 2005

75th District (#3 on the Dirty Dozen)

Outlook: Leans Democratic

The 75th District has the potential for the biggest upset of the year.

This rural district with a large minority population just outside Hampton Roads has been home to the longest serving Democrat in the House Paul Councill. Paul stepped down this year and we called this as a Safe Democratic seat for the winner of the June 14th primary.

The often complicated Democratic coalition got involved.

In the 75th district two things are true:

1) The margin that makes this a Democratic district are white Democratic votes

2) White Democrats are very much outnumbered by black Democrats in primaries.

As we have said before, in this part of Virginia, race absolutely matters. It's a fact we have to include in the analysis.

In the primary Roslyn Tyler used an excellent African American voter turnout operation to defeat Jerry Flowers by a couple of hundred votes. She will now face Carson Saunders in November. Flowers is bitter and complained to the press that he lost after running "the perfect campaign" (without a website or apparently understanding the demographics of his district). Finishing a distant third, but with more votes than the difference between Tyler and Flowers was Delegate Councill's son Jim Councill.

In the newspaper after the election it noted Flowers and Councill would have likely won if the other had dropped out because they were seeking the same voters (i.e. whites)

So what does the outgoing white Democratic incumbent say:

(From the Tidewater News- Thanks to Not Virgil Goode)

J. Paul Councill doubts this Democrat can win district

For the man who held this seat for 32 years, this political year is proving to be a great disappointment.

...

In a conversation with the Tidewater News Councill said the Republicans have a real chance to take this district in November- which in his experience is a total aberration.

...

"It's been a Democratic district, but I think this year may be different with the nominee we have."

"I think a lot of people are going to question the Democratic nominee. And I think Republicans will make a concerted effort to promote their candidate, and I think a lot of Democrats will support the Republican candidate."

...

"I don't believe she can successfully represent this district and I don't think she has enough support districtwide to adequately represent the district."

...

"This was a black and white race, pure and simple," Councill said. She preached to the blacks..."

...

"In addition to doubting Tyler's ability to become the elected Delegate, Councill said the loss of the seat to Republican Carson Saunders would prove an embarrassment to district Democrats.

"I think they are all going to have egg on their face because we could have put someone up there who would have been a viable representative. "

--------------------------

Tyler has an advantage here, but turnout could be a problem for her. George Bush got 43% here, so all Saunders needs to do is pull white Democrats and he will win. That of course is going to be tough- they are still Democrats for a reason. But this election could test that, and it is near the top of the list because of the explosive nature of the next few months. The RPV is already in the 75th with a truckload of salt to throw in every Democratic wound.

Democratic leaders in Richmond are very upset over this outcome, and not pleased at all that they will have to spend their dollars to defend a seat that should be an easy win.

22 Comments:

At 5:55 PM, Blogger Not Mark Rozell said...

What an unfortunate thing for Paul Councill to say..."the blacks." It is frustrating that views such as his still exist decades after we supposedly doomed racism to extinction.

I was hoping Councill's childish moves were the result of his son's defeat by Tyler, but his comments belie that. What a shame for the Democrats.

 
At 6:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That area may be Democratic but it's never been progressive. Still I think you have to give the edge to Tyler, although it could be close. There isn't a Republican base area in that district, except for Lunenburg. Even Kerry won most of the localities.

 
At 7:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this louise lucas' district?

 
At 7:42 PM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

Parts of it are. It's a good question, I will get the breakdown on that as well as Louise's numbers here.

Louise was for Flowers in the primary in case anyone didn't know that.

 
At 6:41 AM, Blogger Not Mark Rozell said...

Interesting about Lucas. Do you know why she supported Flowers over Tyler, who was supposedly the "African American candidate?"

I'm intrigued by this race in a district where I have few moles. :)

 
At 8:17 AM, Blogger Not Karl Rove said...

There are only 2 Lunenburg precincts in the 75th. Louise allegedly backed Flowers over concerns about the baggage Tyler brings to the race.

 
At 8:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So you assume Lucas should have fallen in line with Tyler simply because she (also) is African American?

Did you know that Lucas supported Leslie Bryne over Viola Baskerville? Or that in 2001 she supported John Edwards over Donald McEachin? Or that earlier in her career she supported the recall of an African American Portsmouth mayor?

I don't know why she supported Flowers but she obviously does not kow-tow to racial politics. We ought to have more politicians of all ethnicities who follow this mindset.

Let's get over these stereotypes of what we think African American elected officials and voters should do, NMR!

 
At 8:25 AM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

One thing everyone can agree on is no matter what Louise does, she looks good doing it.

 
At 8:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

...and has the distinction of bouncing on the biggest rims in the Senate.

 
At 9:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

8:22 Anon-Its called crab barrell politics...

 
At 9:17 AM, Blogger Not Mark Rozell said...

Anonymous: That's exactly what I was looking for, thanks. :)

 
At 9:17 AM, Blogger Not Mark Rozell said...

Anonymous 8:22, that is.

 
At 9:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I take back my comment about crab barrell politics. She supported Jones in '01 for LG.

 
At 10:03 AM, Blogger not paul goldman said...

Lucas served in the Senate with Edwards and Byrne which may explain her support of them. Also Flowers has been a strong supporter of any number of African American cnadidates over the past few years. (including Lucas) That would explain her support for him. Has Tyler ever done anyting for Lucas? I am sure she supports her now. Also long time political activist Michael Brown worked for Flowers and has worked with Louise in the past.

 
At 10:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

NMR, let me make sure I am correctly interpreting your "crab barrel politics" remarks about Lucas.

Are you suggesting she has simply supported a number of white candidates
over African American because she does not want other African American politicians to get ahead?

 
At 10:31 AM, Blogger not paul goldman said...

anon 8:22-I agree with you, however, there are lots of Paul Councills in this world. They are all for AAs supporting white Ds. But when its time for reciprocate, they make comments like what NLS has reported.

 
At 10:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

NPG, I totally concur with you about Councill and a number of white Democrats.

My only point it that is insulting to African American voters and politicians like Lucas to assume they automatically support other African Americans in contested situations.

 
At 12:59 PM, Blogger Not Mark Rozell said...

10:18 anon, I wasn't suggesting anything. I think Councill removed all doubt about whether race was a factor in this district through his remarks to the media.

My questions were geared to trying to figure out what exactly is going on here. From what little I've heard, it seems safe to say that Councill and Tyler are both having an enormously polarizing effect on this district. Beyond that, I can't say anything.

 
At 6:20 PM, Blogger Not Karl Rove said...

Interesting discussion, Not Mark and Anon. 10:18. I think the situation with this is less about race than ideology. Paul Councill is THE most conservative D in the House. His son and Flowers are also centrist D's. Tyler is not. Councill is likely well aware that many white D's in the district will find Tyler hard to swallow. I suspect Lucas wanted to avoid another embarassing Fenton Bland style D.

Race is often the third rail in politics with many squeamish about discussing it. The racial politics of the June 14 D primary were evident in the vote. Nothing unusual there, but Flowers and Councill both seemed to have some black support, though the low turnout could easily mask the numbers somewhat. It appears Tyler had very little white support. If that trend continues into the general election, the race will be competive in a district that wouldn't be expected to produce a race.

 
At 9:36 PM, Blogger Not Virgil Goode said...

Good analysis not Rove and not not Sabato. Tyler is a horrible candidate. If Saunders runs a good campaign(i've heard he's just another face in the crowd)this one just may be an upset.

 
At 11:57 AM, Blogger not paul goldman said...

NLS-I know this thread is kind of old now...I am not even sure you will see this post...but Saunders' numbers are horrible. He raised a little over 3K? I know Tyler did not burn up the charts here, but, she can be excused for taking a breather. Also the Black Caucus has targeted this race. Keep an eye on this one, but, its starting to feel like the Ds are going to save this one.

 
At 5:27 AM, Anonymous Scott Arthur Edwards said...

Hey, you have a great blog here! You really are very talented and deserve an honest compliment, congratulations! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a making easy money online site/blog. It successfully covers making easy money online related stuff.

Come and check it out when you get time, as I would be honored to help a hard-working person like you become successful in this business. Scott.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home