Just minutes ago, Mark Warner just won the Senate race in Virginia. The difficult task facing Republicans of preventing a filibuster proof Democratic majority in the Senate just became a little bit more difficult as the Old Dominion, a state that has not voted for a Democratic Presidential candidate since 1964, is now about to elect two Democratic Senators in back to back election cycles.
The voting hasn't even started yet for the November election, but today's Republican convention in Virginia nominated by the narrowest of margins former Governor Jim Gilmore over Delegate Bob Marshall. And by narrowest, I mean 5,222.3 votes to 5,156.97.
As I outlined in my first post, Governor Jim Gilmore was the last Republican to occupy the Governor's Mansion in Richmond. He was elected over the liberal Volvo-cars salesman Don Beyer in 1997 based largely on an economically conservative message of cutting taxes. Once in office, he allowed out of control spending to position Democratic Party Chairman Mark Warner to run as a "fiscal conservative" and a "businessman" who would fix Virginia's budget.
Candidate Mark Warner promised not to raise taxes; Governor Mark Warner raised taxes. The lack of Republican credibility on budgetary issues, largely created by Governor Gilmore, is what allowed this to take place. Today, Virginia's Republicans nominated the same man who created the mess that first swept Warner into office to try to stop him from bringing his tax-raising liberalism to Washington.
It didn't have to be this way. There was another candidate: Delegate Bob Marshall.
First, Delegate Marshall is a 100% pro-life Republican who would have been able to stand up to the activist judges that recently struck down Virginia's partial-birth abortion law.
Second, has has taken a strong stance in opposition to illegal immigration in a state that is already suffering from an increase in crime perpetuated by gangs linked to illegal immigrants.
Third, he is a fiscal conservative who opposes taxation and regulation of the Internet, the economic engine of the 21st Century. Delegate Marshall has NEVER voted for a tax increase. He opposes No Child Left Behind and he opposes fiscal smoke and mirror to "balance the budget" by borrowing from Social Security.
It is my hope that Delegate Bob Marshall will continue to seek higher office, particularly with an eye to taking on Jim Webb in 2012. He represents the traditional small government conservatism that has worked in Virginia and the rest of the country.