2011 Election Recap
From 8th District GOP Chairman Mike Ginsberg
As you know, the GOP had an historic Election 2011. The GOP captured two additional seats in the State Senate, resulting in a 20-20 tie with the tiebreaking votes being cast by Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling. We also gained seven seats in the House of Delegates, giving the GOP 68 seats in the House, a historic high. For only the second time since Reconstruction, the GOP controls the governorship and both houses of the General Assembly. Gov. McDonnell will now have the opportunity to continue and expand upon his extremely popular and extremely successful agenda.
Locally, we did not prevail in our State Senate races, but each of the candidates did extremely well and the numbers suggest that we are heading into 2012 in a strong position.
In the 31st Senate District, Caren Merrick took 42% of the vote. In the 32nd SD, Patrick Forrest got nearly 40% against longtime incumbent Janet Howell in a district specially gerrymandered for her. Miller Baker won 47% in the 39th Senate District, and Tim McGhee won 35%, which is solid for a very tough district for Republicans.
These results demonstrate that in Northern Virginia, there is strong and growing support for the Republican Party. Despite the extremely careful gerrymandering by the Senate Democrats of the State Senate districts in Northern Virginia, Republicans were still able to win more than 40 percent in these districts. Moreover, looking at all of the State Senate votes statewide, Republicans received more than 200,000 votes than Democrats. This bodes well for statewide races next year. (This fact was documented in Friday’s Wall Street Journal column by Kimberley Strassel.)
While we hoped to prevail in more races in Northern Virginia, the fact that we did not despite the strong showing is in large measure a testament to the effectiveness of the gerrymandering of the State Senate lines. Despite this, the GOP still managed to take effective control of the State Senate. Moreover, the effectiveness of our candidates in Northern Virginia forced the Democrats to expend precious resources here rather than in other parts of the state, helping to enable GOP victories elsewhere in Virginia.
Locally, our candidates acquitted them selves extremely well. Chris Marston ran a tremendous race in Alexandria for Clerk of the Court, Spike Williams ran a strong race for Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman, Bill Cooper ran a strong race for Fiarfax County Sheriff, and we had several candidates run spirited races for supervisor. John Cook was reelected as Braddock District Supervisor, and Pat Herrity and Michael Frey were also re-elected in their respective districts.
Thank you to all of our volunteers from 2011. With your help, we won a working majority in the State Senate and expanded our seats in the House of Delegates to historic highs. Your hard work and dedication, your donations, and your support made all of this possible.
Thank you to everyone who served as a precinct captain in 2011. Precinct captains are an especially vital part of our election operations. They contact Republican voters in their precicts to make sure they vote and get volunteers to distribute sample ballots at the polling place on election day. It’s an essential role in election operations, and a lot of work before and during election day. It’s greatly appreciated and we hope you will serve as precinct captains again in 2012. If you are thinking about getting more involved with the party, becoming a precinct captain is a great way to do that.
Now it’s on to 2012, and perhaps one of the most critical elections in our nation’s history. We hope we can count on your support next year!
— Mike Ginsberg
Chairman, 8th District Republican Committee
From Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling
Last Tuesday, Virginians gave our Republican party a historic victory, historic responsibility and historic opportunity.
In the House of Delegates, Republicans added 7 seats bringing our total to 68 Republicans – the highest number in Virginia history. In the State Senate, Republicans picked up 2 seats bringing our total to 20. When you add in my tie-breaking vote, that gives us an effective Republican majority in the Senate as well. This is only the second time Republicans have controlled the Governor’s Office, Senate and House of Delegates at the same time.
However, the number of seats we picked up in the House and Senate doesn’t tell the full story. Statewide, our Republican House candidates received over 757,000 votes, or 61% of the votes cast in all House races. Likewise, our Republican Senate candidates received over 771,000, or 57% of all votes cast in Senate races. We won 16 of 19 open seats, and every Republican incumbent seeking re-election won.
Through these decisive victories Virginians signaled their approval of the McDonnell/Bolling administration’s common sense, conservative and results oriented leadership. They understood the importance of giving us the team we need to implement our vision for the future of Virginia.
This is a responsibility we do not take lightly. As Governor McDonnell said last week, this is not a time for us to be arrogant. It is a time for us to lead. We will remain true to our conservative values and focus on fiscal responsibility, budgetary restraint, reforming government and providing economic opportunity for all Virginia families. We will also apply these conservative principles to provide solutions to the education, transportation and health care challenges facing Virginia today.
As a result of Tuesday’s election, Virginians have also given me a unique responsibility and opportunity in the Senate. With the Senate equally divided at 20-20, it will fall on me, as President of the Senate, to cast the deciding vote on many important issues in the months to come. This is a responsibility I take very seriously, and I assure you that I will do so with the utmost respect for the responsibility placed in me by the Constitution of Virginia.
Finally, I want to thank candidates from both parties for offering themselves up for public service. I want to congratulate all of those who were elected and re-elected. I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead. For the candidates who came up short, I hope they will remain actively involved in the political process and public service.
I also want to thank Governor McDonnell, Attorney General Cuccinelli, Senator Norment, Speaker Howell, Chairman Mullins and all of our congressional and legislative allies who worked so hard to make last week’s victories possible. Most importantly, I want to thank the thousands of grassroots activists who tirelessly made the phone calls, knocked on the doors and passed out the literature needed to deliver our positive message of common sense, results oriented leadership to every corner of the Commonwealth. Clearly, none of our successes would be possible without their selfless dedication to our common cause.
Now, let’s get to work!
Very truly yours,
Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling
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