Search

Why Do Virginia Beach Democrats Get Suckered by Republicans Pretending To Be Democrats?


Tracie Liguid (D) & Kim Melnyk (R)-- both running in the Democratic primary

I'm sure you know by now that Virginia is an off-cycle state for legislative and gubernatorial races-- that means THIS year (2021), not 2022 like most states. The primaries are June 8. That's why we talk about Virginia so much. And... I just came across a very flippable district in Virginia Beach that needs some attention. The House of Delegates district still has a Republican incumbent-- Glenn Davis, one of the last of the GOP moderates still in Virginia elected office-- who is simultaneously running for Lt. Governor. He has no shot at the Lt Governor nomination-- way too close to being mainstream for the completely Trumpified Virginia GOP base. But his decision to run gives the Democrats an excellent opportunity to pick up his House seat, which has been drifting blue. Although Trump narrowly beat Hillary here in 2016 with 49% of the vote, the district backed Ralph Northam for governor in 2017 (with 52%) and the following year voted to reelect Tim Kaine to the Senate (with 54%).

The district has a huge Filipino-American community and the Democrats are running a Filipino woman, local educator and Democratic Party activist Tracie Liguid, and she was looking like she could take the seat. So what does the transpartisan-but-very-conservative establishment do to prevent that? They draft a Republican pretending to be a Democrat to run against Liquid in the Democratic primary.

Yesterday, Virginia Beach school board member Kim Melnyk jumped into the race. Now people don't register to vote by party in Virginia, so the way you know how they self-identify is by looking at which parties' primaries they've voted in. Melnyk has a 25 year history of only participating in Republican primaries; 12 primaries in 25 election years; most recently, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020-- ALL Republican primaries. She has voted sporadically, but exclusively in Republican primaries going back to 1996. Then there are the political contributions-- she and her husband donate to Republicans-- and not to Democrats.



Matt Rogers of Politidope-- and a House candidate himself-- told me this afternoon that he's "all about new people coming into the process and becoming Democrats. What I'm not into is life-long Republicans given free rein to paper decades of financial and political support for Republicans-- even as recently as just last year, without anyone asking about what caused the change of heart. Did a change of heart happen? When did it happen? What are your policy positions? Why should the Virginia Beach Democrats trust you over the person who announced several weeks ago? Is it a good look for the Virginia Beach Democrats to push out an AAPI candidate who has been talking with a local AAPI individual who serves in the House of Delegates? I think the individual could have fantastic answers to these questions, but they must be asked."

561 views