Staunton, Virginia has been a Democrat stronghold for decades. Or used to be. But in their 2020 council election, the four seats up for grabs went to Conservative Republicans. Does this mean the state of Virginia is beginning to wake up? Could this be a harbinger of what is to come in November?
The seats up for grabs were won by Andrea Oakes, Mark Robertson, Amy Darby and Steve Claffey. It’s the first time in many years that they’ve had a Conservative majority on the city council. The candidate field included 8 people. Oakes was running for re-election, and was the highest vote getter among them, while the other three were brand new additions to the council.
The Augusta Free Press kept saying that the election results were “shocking” and “stunning.” They referred to Oakes as the “one token Republican” and were totally shocked at the results.
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The Augusta Free Press reported,
“How unlikely was this conservative sweep? Hillary Clinton won Staunton in the 2016 presidential election, Barack Obama had won the city in the previous two election cycles, and Democrat Jennifer Lewis pulled 56.5 percent of the vote in her 2018 Sixth District congressional race against Republican Ben Cline, who eventually swept to victory, winning 59.7 percent of the vote district-wide.
Staunton is the home of two Republicans – John Avoli and Dickie Bell – who have represented the 20th House District in the General Assembly for the past decade-plus, but both were in the minority voting bloc on City Council during their tenures.
The result is a shocker, to say the least, and if people in Richmond are paying attention at all, this one should be a wakeup call times ten.”
Staunton, Virginia, sits in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley near the Blue Ridge Mountains, and has a population of around 25,000. It was once home to the Staunton Military Academy, a prestigious all male school that was in operation for 100 years until 1976. It is home to Mary Baldwin College and several other historical facilities, many from the Civil War era or before. Democrat President Woodrow Wilson was born there.
Will Democrats continue to control the legislative body of Virginia? Or will Michael Bloomberg’s buying of the last election finally be seen by the good citizens of Old Dominion?
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