SD-37 Special: Candidate Profiles and Some Loose Ends

By VA Blogger

Alan Moore of the DC Examiner recently did a profile of each of the three Republicans in the race to succeed AG-elect Ken Cuccinelli; Chairman Tim Kaine recently set the date of the general election to Tuesday, January 12th. Here are some excerpts from Moore’s articles:


Marianne Horinko


“I am running because I have been blessed by a healthy family and career that I love,” Mrs. Horinko explained to, “I want to give back to my community.” She has been a Chantilly resident for 17 years. 


 Mrs. Horinko likes her chances in this election. “I am the candidate with the most leadership experience,” she told As Acting Administrator of the EPA she oversaw over 18,000 fulltime employees.


The article also makes clear that Horinko opposes federal cap-and-trade legislation.


Click here to read the full article.


Steve Hunt


If Democrats are to prevail then they will have to match the heart of a candidate like Steve Hunt. “Above all, I will represent the people of Virginia to their government, not the government of Virginia to the people,” he told the FCCE. “I will continue to fulfill the oath to defend the Constitution against enemies foreign and domestic that I first took as I became an 18 years old NROTC midshipman at Duke University and repeated as I became a Fairfax County School Board member.”


Mr. Hunt shows his passion for service in his words. Voters continually elect those who exhibit common sense, hard work, patriotism, and leadership skills that their public officials must have to inspire and to get things done. Steve Hunt certainly shows all of those characteristics.


Click here to read the full article.


Will Nance


This is his first attempt at elected office and he points to his stellar business record as qualifications to hold the job of State Senator. “Striving for quality, holding people accountable for results; these are the business principles that we need down in Richmond,” he said. “I think we need a few more MBA’s down in Richmond and a few less lawyers.”


“There are a lot of problems out there that need to be tackled,” Mr. Nance explained. “We’ve got to make sure we have citizen-centric solutions to make sure we have solutions to everything involved. I will approach those projects from a limited government, conservative philosophy. That is my commitment to you, that’s who I am, and what I’ll be about.”


Click here to read the full article.


Thanks to Alan Moore for writing these up and giving voters a proper introduction to each candidate. Hopefully this will clarify matters in the race.


For instance, the Lee District Democratic Committee recently highlighted the race on their blog, labelling each of the three “Right-Wing Nuts”. Though they mostly just profiled each candidate, they pointed out that Will Nance is the Executive Director of Greenspring Retirement Community, which is under the Erickson Retirement Communities umbrella, along with over 20 communities across the country. The LDDC points out that ERC recently filed for bankruptcy, and that its CEO, John Erickson, was a major donor to George Bush.


However, Greenspring is a “seperate, independent 501(c)(3) organization unaffiliated with Erickson”, that pays Erickson for management agreements the two have in place. As such, Greenspring is perfectly solvent, and Fitch Ratings says that ERC’s bankruptcy will have no impact on Greenspring due to the independent relationship the two have. The housing crisis has had a tremendous impact on retirement communities across the country, but well-managed facilities like Greenspring have weathered the storm. Greenspring also has only tepid connections to John Erickson and his political ties.


In the same vein, Greg over at BVBL asks the question of “Who is Marianne Horinko?”, but provides mostly speculation rather than answers, which is particularly unhelpful given that Greg’s preference for Steve Hunt has been well-established. Much is made of Horinko’s status as an environmental consultant, and a lot of whispers are out there comparing her to Christine Todd Whitman, who doesn’t inspire confidence among conservatives. To this end, Greg believes this raises “a few questions about their position on the job-killing “Cap & Tax” legislation moving through Congress.”


Yet this could have easily been “answered”, rather than speculated upon, by visiting the candidate’s website, where she states explicitly her opposition to attempts to “burden taxpayers with unfunded mandates like the new federal Climate Change Bill”, instead preferring tax incentives to promote energy efficiency.


Greg believes that Horinko should run for Supervisor first before trying for Ken Cuccinelli’s seat, an assertion as two-faced as it is insulting. Chris at Mason Conservative has expressed similar thoughts, calling Nance and Horinko “nobodies” and “johnny-come-latelies” because this is their first run for office. Of course, their only rationale for this belief is because Steve Hunt has run three times in the past, winning only one of them. Strangely, this prerequisite isn’t necessary for someone like Keith Fimian, who both strongly supported in 2008 (without a need for any “trial runs” for Delegate first), or even Ken Cuccinelli, who ran and won for the first time in 2002.


Chris goes a lot farther than Greg, believing that this race plays into his bizarre interpretation of recent events in Fairfax County. Chris decries that Horinko is part of the “the revolving door of private/public sector work involving consulting and government service” that apparently plagued the region under Congressmen Tom Davis and Gerry Connolly. Chris apparently is completely oblivious to the fact that Steve Hunt is currently a defense contractor at the same SAIC that employs Connolly and consults for private businesses and the U.S. government.


The importance of this special election has been stated elsewhere and can’t be overstated: it is crucial for regaining control of the Senate and impacting redistricting, not to mention to keep up the momentum from the Herrity, Cook, and McDonnell elections. Though Republicans now have five Delegate seats in Fairfax, this is our only Senate seat and it is at risk right now. To that end, I fully support our eventual nominee over carpetbagger and turncoat Dave Marsden, which is why my aim is to dispel false notions about any of the candidates and keep the campaigns, and their supporters, from sabotaging whisper campaigns or outright negativism.



  • Listening Lurker says:

    The nuanced point that I see that VA Blogger has grasped, but which Brian seems to be denying in his continued sparring with Chris is that our candidates DID win by running as conservatives – simply not by running OVERTLY as social conservatives.

    Brian – the point Chris and I are making here is that they ran as fiscal conservatives, did not DENY or run from their social conservatism, but focused their own rhetoric when they had the chance to pick the topic of discussion on what they sold as pragmatic and common sense solutions to address the concerns on the minds of the electorate – “pragmatic” and “common sense” solutions that derived heavily from hardcore ideological conservatism (at least of the fiscal variety).

    They ran as conservatives – they were simply more savvy at using language that appeals to moderates and independents and which dressed a profoundly conservative platform in moderate-sounding platitudes.

    And it worked. It worked because it united our coalition. Their approach HAD the meaty conservatism that conservatives were looking for AND the soft, pragmatic-sounding rhetoric that could convince moderates that they weren’t scary nutcases. It was profoundly conservative – it simply didn’t SOUND that way.

    It’s an extremely savvy approach that I hope more conservatives adopt in the future. Rather than running ads that say “I’m the pro-life candidate in this race and my opponent wants to kill babies” to every single demographic (or Jerry Kilgore’s death penalty ads), you run a campaign that says “I will work to get you jobs… by keeping taxes low, preserving right to work, drilling for oil, reducing overregulation, etc.”

    The result was that Virginia just elected three hardcore firebreathing social and fiscal conservatives to statewide office by huge margins. None of those guys are moderates. but they’re hardcore firebreathing social and fiscal conservatives who avoided preaching at the electorate and focused on talking about solving the problems on people’s minds.

    As Ken Cuccinelli has said for YEARS (and why some of us who know him knew he wasn’t going to run the braindead campaign that guys like Loudon Insider feared):

    “To fix abortion, you gotta fix potholes.”

    What this election really represents (as Chris has pointed out) is that conservative politicians in our party are starting to figure out that you can’t win anymore in the new Virginia simply by standing up and saying you’re pro-family and anti-tax. They’ve learned their rough lessons (finally) after being whalloped. But instead of becoming wishy washy moderates, which would fail because they’d lose their base (as 2007 and 2008 should teach us), they’ve learned to appeal to both.

    You cannot win if you scare off the middle and don’t offer them solutions, but you also cannot win if you have nothing meaty to offer your base. The solution to offer something your base finds meaty that can also be cast as a pragmatic response to present ills is so obvious of an answer that it begs the question of why more politicians haven’t figured such an elementary lesson out.

  • Cato to the rescue. Osbourne had damned near dragged this into the gutter, and the jackass who talks out his ass about Anna Lee should meet me behind the school house after class. I’ll show you how to respect some of the folks who do more in an hour for the party than you’ll do for it in a month.

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