House District 83 was supposed to be low hanging fruit for Virginia Democrats this year.
After a court ordered redistricting changed the partisan baseline of the district from a 7-point GOP district to a 6-point Democrat district, Del. Chris Stolle was supposedly a goner.
Someone forgot to tell the voters that, though. And now Democrats are hitting the panic button. Billionaire Michael Bloomberg — best known for his anti-gun efforts — has poured another $330,000 in TV ads into the district.
Funneled through his “Beyond Carbon” campaign, Bloomberg’s last minute TV buy is one of the largest buys against any Republican on the ballot in Virginia. Oddly enough, the buy is aimed at a Republican who has a strong record on environmental issues.
Stolle has been one of the leading voices on fighting coastal flooding. Stolle won an award from the Sierra Club for his work fighting “Climate Change and sea level rise.”
Stolle said Tuesday that he’s running on his record — and voters know it.
“I have spent my time in the General Assembly proposing bipartisan, common-sense solutions to the effects of climate change,” he said.
“Hampton Roads has been recognized as a national leader in flooding adaptation and mitigation because of the work that I and then-Senator Northam began in 2012 with HJ 50. Voters should be insulted by this bad faith attempt by New York Billionaire Michael Bloomberg to buy the House of Delegates for his fellow Democrats.”
It’s probably too late to do any good, according to observers.
“It’s a panic buy,” said one Republican consultant watching the race. “TV advertising takes more than week to work. Messages have to be repeated over and over again. This big of a buy this close to election day is just going to annoy voters.”
Democrats need a net gain of two seats to take control of the chamber. The court-ordered redistricting was supposed to lock in the Democratic flip.
This last minute buy from Bloomberg strongly suggests that not only is the flip not happening, but some “goner” seats are in much better shape than previously thought.