2017       General Election       Elected 53 – 47

Almost in conclusion about Virginia

Two more ways that Virginia is peculiar.  In addition to electing its state officers in odd years (This year, 2017:  the Governor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General as well as the entire House of Delegates, in 2019 the entire State Senate.).

  • The Governor is limited to one term
  • The Lt. Governor is selected and elected separately from the Governor. 

There is a consequence to these peculiarities.  The Lt. Governor often succeeds the Governor.  Political Note #35 describes Ralph Northam, the current Lt. Governor now running for Governor.  Independently elected, Lt. Governors can be independent politicians.  The last African-American Lt. Governor, Douglas Wilder was the first African-American Lt. Governor of Virginia and the first African-American Governor of Virginia.

There can be a more immediate consequence in the election of a Lt. Governor.  The Virginia State Senate is divided 21 Republicans, 19 Democrats.  If one Republican leaves office and is replaced by a Democrat, the deciding vote in the State Senate for its organization and for controversial partisan votes will be the presiding Lt. Governor. 

Justin Fairfax http://www.fairfaxforlg.com/ is the Democratic candidate for Lt. Governor.  He is a kind of wonder.  From as early as — it is not exactly clear how early, he has been politically ambitious.  Barely school age, after his parents divorce, Justin Fairfax’s mom moved him and his three older brothers and sisters to their grandparents house in inner city Washington, D.C.  He went to DeMatha High School, a nationally known Catholic School basketball power.  He went to DeMatha to study and to be part of the community.  He graduated with top honors and was president of his class before going on to Duke.

At Duke and afterwards, Justin Fairfax followed his political interest and ambition.  He became the briefing coordinator for Tipper Gore during the 2000 election.  Before going to Columbia Law School, he worked in Senator John Edwards office.  After law school, he clerked for a US District Court Judge. 

Justin Fairfax became an Assistant US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia — prosecuting embezzlement, fraud, armed robbery, carjacking, narcotics trafficking, international currency and narcotics smuggling, illegal immigration, and human trafficking.    He joined Venable LLP — not to be a corporate lawyer and, apparently, not to get rich. In 2013 while at Venable, he lost a race for Attorney General of Virginia. In 2014, he co-chaired Senator Mark Warner’s reelection campaignJustin Fairfax’s interest in politics and his ambition never stopped. 

Along the way, he married a dentist.  If it were not for his political ambition, Justin Fairfax and family would seem like successful, two-earner, ordinary upper middle class people.  They are not.  They are pioneers.  Not the very first pioneers, but they have entered political territory that few African Americans have traveled. 

The race for Lt. Governor should be close.  Polls for the Governor’s race are close — some showing an exact tie, some giving Northam a slight lead.  Polls for the Lt. Governor’s race are hard to find.   Help Justin Fairfax http://www.fairfaxforlg.com/ achieve his goal — and ours.  It is in all of our interests that Virginia elects a Democratic Lt. Governor.  A Democratic executive and legislature will make better, more humane choices for all Virginians.  A Democratic executive and legislature will remedy the congressional gerrymanders and will elect more Democratic Congressman.   Help now before the election is upon us.