After a bruising and contentious lead-up to the 6th District convention, a last minute KO from Republican contender Chaz Hayworth saw the popular Republican bow out and endorse Rockbridge Delegate Ben Cline, preventing the convention from heading to a second round and allowing the nomination to be carried on the first round with 52% against RNC Committeewoman Cynthia Dunbar, who managed to secure a respectable 39% of the weighted floor vote.
Despite the contention, Dunbar did ask the floor to unite behind Cline — a move that was met with high applause from the convention floor. From the Roanoke Times:
Cline and Dunbar, the top two contenders in an eight-candidate field, both pitched themselves as supporters of President Donald Trump. But the contest exposed deep divides among the party’s base by pitting a seasoned conservative legislator against a combative outsider who denounced “career politicians.”
After the result was announced, Dunbar took the stage and moved to nominate Cline by acclamation, ending the day on a note of unity.
Cline got a boost early in the afternoon when another candidate, Rockingham County Circuit Court Clerk Chaz W. Haywood, withdrew and urged his supporters to back Cline. Trailing far behind in the voting were the remaining candidates — Douglas D. Wright, Elliot Pope, Michael Desjadon, Eduardo Justo and Kathryn McDaniel Lewis.
Just to give folks a peek at how… well, downright normal the proceedings were, take a quick peek at the Roanoke Times live blog.
If there was a Democrat out there hoping for a divided and bitter 6th District Republican Committee, they will be sorely disappointed.
Meanwhile, Cline has already been on the march, contacting former rivals and turning them into key allies — a critical step forward and, for those who know Cline, a classy and entirely expected move from the multi-term state delegate.
With the Democratic congressional generic vote now in freefall — from a high of 11.4 in early 2018 to a scant and Republican-friendly D+4 in mid-May — Democratic prospects for carrying any of the Virginia congressional seats seem to be taking a southward turn, as visions of Antifa and tax hikes aren’t precisely mimicking the “rush to the center” the Democrats championed during their 2006 wave.
To mimic that will take a centrist form of Democrat. To date? The Democrats have chosen to go full progressive…
…which does not bode well for them, and bodes very well for working class Virginians and their defenders within the Republican Party.