Notebook: Virginia Beach GOP backs candidates in nonpartisan local races; Wagner has fundraising edge in mayor’s race

Ed. — From the Sunday, Sept. 20, print edition.


VIRGINIA BEACH — The Republican Party of Virginia Beach recently endorsed a number of candidates in nonpartisan local races on the general election ballot this year. 

The endorsed candidates include incumbent Mayor Bobby Dyer, who faces challengers R.K. Kowalewitch and Jody Wagner as he seeks reelection as mayor. 

For City Council, the party supports incumbent Rosemary Wilson in the at-large race, challenger Eric Wray in the Centerville District and incumbents Jessica Abbott in the Kempsville District and Michael Berlucchi in the Rose Hall District. 

And, for School Board, the party supports incumbent Victoria Manning for an at-large seat and challengers Luis Cortes in the Centerville District, Jennifer Franklin in the Kempsville District and Joanna Moran in the Rose Hall District.

Endorsing candidates in nonpartisan local races was a major issue in the recent campaign between Bill Curtis and Jimmy Frost to be the chair of the city GOP committee.

Curtis won.

Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer, who is seeking reelection, was among the candidates for nonpartisan local offices endorsed recently by the Republican Party of Virginia Beach. [David Hollingsworth/For The Independent News]

Campaign finance reports were due to the state this month, and one of the two challengers who want to unseat Mayor Bobby Dyer this year reported a sizable haul.

Jody Wagner’s campaign committee reported raising $136,550 in contributions between Wednesday, July 1, and Monday, Aug. 31, according to a campaign financial disclosure filed with state elections officials. The campaign reported $170,112 in its coffers at the end of the reporting period.

In comparison, Dyer’s campaign took in $45,825 in that same period, and it had $59,318 on hand at the end of the period.

R.K. Kowalewitch, the other challenger in the race, raised $3,000 and had $129 on hand, according to the disclosure report filed with the state.

One notable contributor to Dyer is the campaign organization of former City Councilmember Ben Davenport, which is still active though Davenport in 2018 was defeated by Dyer in a special election to replace former Mayor Will Sessoms.

Davenport for Mayor contributed $2,000 to Dyer’s 2020 campaign, records show.

Dyer won that special election two years ago despite being outspent.

Challenger Jody Wagner has a fundraising edge in the race for mayor of Virginia Beach. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]

Democratic Party of Virginia employees have unionized into two bargaining units, The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported on Monday, Sept. 14. The newspaper’s Carolyn Kaster reported that 52 campaign workers have ratified a contract and eight members of the office staff are engaged in a contract negotiation.

In a statement, via The T-D report, DPVA Chairperson Susan Swecker said, “Campaign workers and staff at DPVA have spent years working to elect pro-worker candidates who fight for organized labor. It’s only right that we as a party live up to our values and recognize the right to join a union.”

The T-D reported that a number of campaigns of those seeking to be the party’s presidential nominee unionized this past year, and former “Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign is the first of a major-party nominee with a ratified union contract.”

Virginia Beach Circuit Court Clerk Tina Sinnen has endorsed incumbent Virginia Beach City Councilmember Michael Berlucchi for reelection in the Rose Hall District, according to the Berlucchi campaign. Berlucchi faces two challengers, Garry Hubbard and Conrad Schesventer, in the district race this year.

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., and U.S. Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Virginia 2nd District, have endorsed challenger Jody Wagner in the mayoral race in Virginia Beach, Wagner’s campaign announced recently via social media. Wagner faces incumbent Bobby Dyer and challenger R.K. Kowalewitch in the general election.

And now a reading from the apocryphal Book of the Glass Is Half Full. As before — and presumably for at least two or three more four-year terms —President Trump’s words are rubricated for emphasis and ease of reading:

And so on Wednesday, Sept. 16, the President, who seeketh reelection, did give unto the people a press conference via the fake news media, and the President did point toward charts so both the bad enemies of the people and the good and true stenographers alike might understandeth how bad the death toll from Covid-19 might have been in the hypothetical otherwise.

And he did gesticulate toward the chart, praising one mound representing the actual American dead compared to another mound representing the potential American dead, and he did note that one mound was better than the other because it was smaller than it might have been. 

And the President did tell the fake news to relay unto the people how this was good.

And that’s despite the fact that the blue states had tremendous death rates,” he sayeth unto them. “If you take the blue states out, we’re at a level that I don’t think anybody in the world would be at.

Yet, as of this writing, the blue states remaineth. So does mathematics, speculation and partisanship.

Mileage varies, it is said.

And, lo, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention did later tweet that cases of Covid-19, a disease the novel coronavirus can cause, has declined in many states recently but “is widespread in many areas, particularly in the upper Great Plains, Midwest and South.”

And CDC Director Robert Redfield, who is a doctor but not a president, on Wednesday, Sept. 16, told lawmakers wearing a mask is more effective in preventing the spread of the disease than would be a hypothetical vaccine and, alas, a vaccine might not be ready until next year. 

But the President did undermine Redfield, who he appointed, by contradicting the apparent timeline. 

Sayeth Trump, “I think he made a mistake when he said that. It’s just incorrect information. … As far as the masks are concerned, I hope that the vaccine is going to be a lot more beneficial than the masks.

More than 196,000 people have died of Covid-19 in the U.S.

So far. 

Also, the fake news veteran Bob Woodward did releaseth a new book and tape recording of the President admitting to purposefully downplaying the severity of the virus as far back as February. The President, speaking in March, said unto Woodward, “I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.

On Tuesday, Sept. 15, the President did say unto George Stephanopoulos and others, “I didn’t downplay it. I actually, in many ways, up-played it in terms of action. 

Per The New York Times, he addeth, “It is going to disappear — it’s going to disappear, I still say it. You’ll develop herd — like a herd mentality. It’s going to be — it’s going to be herd-developed, and that’s going to happen. That will all happen.

The term is “herd immunity,” but there are no mistakes — only opportunities. 

Please wear a mask or a face covering made from cloth, as is safe or practical. 


Notebook runs announcements of endorsements and events as space allows. Reach

© 2020 Pungo Publishing Co., LLC

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