Down here in VA-01, which is safe Republican territory, a local Tea Bagger announced this week that God has called her to challenge our incumbent Republican Congressman. Last fall she almost knocked off our Democratic representative in the Virginia General Assembly, so, she has a following.
Is a Republican civil war in VA-01 likely?? Who would benefit??
Catherine Crabill announced this week that God has called her to run against our incumbent Republican Congressman, Rob Wittman, in the Republican primary.
You may have heard of Crabill -- last year she ran for a seat in the Virgnia General Assembly held by Democrat Al Pollard and she came close --Pollard won by 52-47 percent in a district he should have carried handily. Crabill's strength came from an active 99th General Assembly District Tea Party. They meet twice a month, have signs along the roads in the district, and their recent meeting featured a conservative African-American telling them they need to attract more African-Americans.
You also may have heard of Crabill because of her comment at a 4 July 2009 Tea Party rally where she proclaimed "If we don't win at the ballot box, we'll take it to the bullet box."
In case you're wondering, Crabill is full-tilt, industrial-strength batshit crazy. She's off the Bachmann-Palin Crazy Scale and she's about 2/3 strength on the Orly Taitz Wackjob Meter.
She has a loyal, almost rabid, following among the local Tea Baggers and there are a LOT of them around here.
Now -- here's what makes this interesting. VA-01 Democrats have two strong candidates that we must choose between at our convention in early May.
Scott Robinson, a retired Army colonel, is a local boy with deep roots in Northumberland County. Since he retired, he's been all over the district, speaking to civic clubs, meeting the ol' boys at the coffee shops, and raising money.
Krystal Ball (yes, that's her name), also has deep local roots but has not been campaigning as vigorously as Robinson.
One of Robinson's strengths is his military background because VA-01 includes the very large military presence -- active and retired -- in the Norfolk-Hampton-Newport News-Virginia Beach area.
VA-01 has been a safe Republican seat since about the time John Smith explored the Chesapeake Bay. However, this year, if Crabill and Wittman split the Republicans with a civil war between the Tea Baggers and the Real Republicans, and if we VA-01 Democrats select a strong candidate and work our butts off . . .
Can we be bold enough to hope for an unexpected Congressional pick-up?