Wednesday, November 6, 2013

2013 Virginia Election Results: Now it’s Time for You to Contact Your House Representative

Update November 11, 2013: 

Some interesting facts about how a special election date is set in Virginia (see link to OpEd below). 
Personal and Political Party agendas can deprive an entire District from having a representative at the yearly General Assembly session if the Governor wants to stack the deck for his/her party or legislative agenda.  
This issue needs to be resolved with legislation! 
Editorial: A post-election scramble - and wait, November 11, 2013


Original Post:
Most citizens wrongly assume that what happens in Washington, D.C. when it comes to passing new laws is much more important than what is happening in their State Legislature. The majority of laws that affect our daily lives are State laws, not Federal.

Most laws affecting Registered Sex Offenders are State laws, not Federal. 

Our Virginia Representatives (U.S. Congress members /U.S. Senators) in Washington D.C. have NOTHING to do with the legislation being proposed and debated at the yearly Virginia General Assembly session in Richmond, Virginia.

Most laws affecting Registered Sex Offenders are State laws but they were inspired, mandated and funded by Federal laws including The Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act 1994, Megan’s Law 1996, The Pam Lychner Sex Offender Tracking and Identification Act of 1996 ,  The Jacob Wetterling Improvements Act of 1997, The Protection of Children from Sexual Predators Act 1998, The Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act 2000, Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to end the Exploitation of Children Today (PROTECT) Act 2003 and the Adam Walsh Act 2006 (AWA) also known as the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).  

Our Virginia representatives in Washington D.C. don’t have anything to do with the yearly General Assembly sessions in Richmond or the legislation being proposed and debated there but new Federal legislation and hearings on the above Acts and new proposals do still occur.  

This is why the 2013 Virginia election for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General and the House of Delegates was so important. Any new proposals against Registered Sex Offenders will be written, patroned (sponsor), co-patroned, debated, voted on, tie-breaker, pass or fail and vetoed or signed into law by these elected officials, not by folks in D.C.  

I am going to go ahead and publish this post but will update it later today where needed. 

Election Results for Governor, Lt. Governor and Attorney General-

Election Results for 100 Virginia House of Delegates Seats-

Virginia Governor- Elect is:                          Terry McAuliffe                 (D)
Virginia Lieutenant Governor- Elect is:     Sen. Ralph Northam        (D)
Virginia Attorney General- Elect is:            Too Close to Call at this time 

All 100 seats of the Virginia House were up for re-election. 46 Districts were uncontested. Either they only had the House incumbent (current Representative) running unopposed or the brand new nominee from the same party as the retired Representative was running unopposed*. 

1st District                            28th District                       62nd District                        81st District
4th District*                         36th District                        63rd District                        83rd District
5th District                           39th District                        64th District                        89th District
8th District                           46th District                        66th District                       80th District
9th District                           48th District                        70th District                       90th District
11th District                         52nd District                        72nd District                        91st District
15th District                         54th District                         73rd District                       92nd District
20th District                        56th District                         74th District                       96th District
24th District                         57th District                        76th District                        97th District
25th District                         58th District                        77th District                        99th District
26th District                         59th District                        79th District
27th District                         61st District                         80th District 

There were 12 Districts/House seats with no incumbent running, all new people running. The winners in these districts are: 
4th District*-       A. Benton Chafin Jr. (R)                 53rd District-       Marcus Simon          (D)         
6th District-         Jeffrey Campbell       (R)                 55th District-       H.F. Buddy Fowler   (R)                
16th District-        Les Adams                  (R)                78th District-       J.A. Jay Leftwich       (R)                
19th District-        Terry Austin               (R)                82nd District-      Bill DeSteph Jr.         (R)
29th District-       Mark Berg                   (R)                84th District-       Glenn Davis Jr.          (R) 
33rd District-       Dave LaRock              (R)                85th District-       Scott Taylor                (R)    

As for Party changes in House seats:
2nd     District-    Michael Futrell   (D) was previously held by (R).
93rd  District-    T. Monty Mason (D) was previously held by (R).

The newly elected members of the Virginia Administration and of the Virginia House of Delegates don’t actually take office until mid-January 2014 after they are sworn in at the Capitol in Richmond Virginia. Even though the 2014 Virginia General Assembly session begins on Wednesday January 8, 2014. 

The mid January 2014 Virginia inauguration will also delay the House Committee assignments which in turn delays Committee hearings on bills for the G.A. session. Since 2014 (an even year) is a 60 day session (regular / long session) as opposed to a 30 days session (short session) not many bills are worked on in the first two weeks. 
Because Senator Ralph Northam is now the Lieutenant Governor- Elect that leaves a vacancy in Senate District 6 which includes
-          Accomack County (All)
-          Mathews County (All)
-          Norfolk City (Part)
-          Northampton County (All)
-          Virginia Beach City (Part) 

So a special election is needed to fill the 6th District seat. 

Current Governor Bob McDonnell will announce a special election for the vacant Senate seats. 

If you live in District 6 and the soon to be determined District you should make every effort to cast a vote in the special election that will be held most likely in January 2014. 

For the first few weeks of the 2014 General Assembly session the constituents in District 6 and District TBD will not have a Representative. But the newly elected Senators will be allowed to submit bills even though the official deadline will have Usually the Governor and the Attorney General take advantage of this situation, asking the newly elected Representatives to patron bills from their Legislative Agendas. Yes, not only do the 140 Virginia lawmakers have legislative agendas, but so do the Governor and Attorney General and their bills aren’t publically announced until after the patron has filed the bill. 

Do you have a new House Representative or the same one? You should know. 

Have you ever contacted your current/re-elected Delegate before? You should.  

Look up your current State Delegate and Senator . 

If you have a brand new Delegate contact them this week, before the holidays are upon us and before the start of the 2014 session. Introduce yourself, tell them what issues concern you and ask them if they remember the email’s Mary Devoy sent them over the summer about the issues surrounding the Virginia Sex Offender Registry and current sexual statutes. Ask them what they think about these problems. Have your family and friends do the same with their Districts Representative. 

They will not have official State email addresses or Richmond phone numbers until January 2014 so use the link above from the Virginia Board of Elections document or go to their campaign websites for current contact information. 

Delegates and Senators listen to their constituents and they know if you’re a registered voter or not and if you are a voter then they listen much more intently. 

Thank you for following this blog and for those of you who went out and voted yesterday, thank you for exercising that right.