The Score: Nick Freitas, E.W. Jackson, Rob Bell, Infinity War

This week on The Score we have interviews with U.S. Senate candidates E.W. Jackson and Nick Freitas, a look at the 2018 General Assembly session with Delegate Rob Bell; Tim Hulsey’s review of Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War and much, much more.

With fewer than six weeks to go before the June 12 Republican primary that will decide the party’s nominee for the U.S. Senate and the principal challenger to incumbent Senator Tim Kaine, the three candidates for the Virginia GOP’s nomination are criss-crossing the Commonwealth in search of voters, volunteers, and money.

Senate Candidates
Nick Freitas Charlottesville headquartersLast weekend in Charlottesville, two of those candidates held public appearances. Delegate Nick Freitas opened up his local campaign headquarters with pizza and soft drinks, attracting a crowd that was about half students from the University of Virginia and half long-time activists and volunteers from Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville.

I caught up with Delegate Freitas just before he went inside his new headquarters building. I asked him not only about his Senate campaign, but also about the recent General Assembly session, which will reconvene on May 14th to deal with a still-unfinished state budget.

A couple of days after I spoke with Nick Freitas, another candidate for the U.S. Senate nomination came to Charlottesville to deliver a speech on race relations. E.W. Jackson, who was also the GOP nominee for lieutenant governor in 2013, addressed a crowd of between 130 and 150 people that was, ironically – given the nature of his topic – about 95 percent white, or Americans of European ancestry. A majority of the audience looked to be older than sixty years of age, as well.

E.W. Jackson Charlottesville DoubletreeBefore his speech, I had some one-on-one time with E.W. Jackson to ask about his campaign, evangelical support for Donald Trump, and how Tim Kaine is vulnerable in November. My first question was about his campaign’s fundraising, which, according to finance reports, is lagging behind his opponents.

Later in the show, E.W. Jackson is featured in our “From the Archives” segment. That interview took place almost precisely six years (April 28, 2012) before our most recent chat (April 29, 2018), when Jackson first ran for the U.S. Senate in Virginia.

There’s politics outside Virginia. Not long ago, I had an opportunity to interview the Mayor of Johannesburg, South Africa. While that was a lengthy interview, this brief excerpt has a lot of heft to it. I asked the Mayor how Johannesburg is able to create sufficient employment for the many people who migrate there from the countryside and from nearby countries like Zimbabwe.

General Assembly
Delegate Rob Bell represents all of Greene County and parts of Albemarle, Fluvanna, and Rockingham counties. He is one of three Members of the House of Delegates who share the surname “Bell.” (The others are Dickie Bell of Staunton and John Bell of Chantilly.) Two Republicans, one Democrat named Bell make up 3 per cent of the House of Delegates. Go figure.

When I ran into him at the opening of the Freitas for Senate campaign headquarters, I asked Delegate Rob Bell about the recent General Assembly session – or current session, since it reconvenes on May 14 to deal with the budget. Again.

Local History
Virginia has a lot of history in it, as you would expect from the state that had the first permanent English colony in North America, dating to the establishment of Jamestown in 1607. Giants of American history have roamed Virginia’s mountains and valleys, including George Washington, Patrick Henry, and the three presidents who came from the Charlottesville area – Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe.

In the shadow of these national figures is local history – belonging to the individuals, families, businesses, and civic groups that contribute to the prosperity, politics, and sometimes scandals of our towns, cities, and counties.

I spoke to Will Lyster, who recently became president of the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society and promptly had the bylaws changed so his title is now chairman rather than president. I asked him about the importance of local historical societies like the one he heads up and what we can learn from local history.

At the Movies
Film critic Tim Hulsey is back and his review of Avengers: Infinity War is sure to stir up some debate. The movie stars Chris Hemsworth, Tom Holland, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, and scores of other super heroes and super villains. I expect we’ll be getting comments below from lots of listeners after they hear what Tim has to say about the Marvel Cinematic Universe. (MCU fans are jealously protective of their film domain.)

Little Pink HouseSpeaking of movies, Little Pink House (which Tim reviewed last week) is slowly making its way around the country in an unusual arrangement at odds with normal film distribution patterns. There may be a screening in Charlottesville on June 28, if enough people buy tickets in advance. The Score will talk to Nelson County property rights activist Doug Hornig in the episode scheduled to air on May 19.

Next week’s episode of The Score will tentatively feature interviews with Randolph Byrd, former chair of the Fifth Congressional District GOP Committee, and Eric Xu, editor-in-chief of the Virginia Review of Politics, an undergraduate publication at UVA.

Podcast Producer’s Note: Over the next few months, The Score will be seeking out and interviewing candidates for Congress in Virginia and elsewhere. We invite any candidate who is certified for the November ballot to be on the show, regardless of political party. Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Green, or independent — we want to hear from you. The Score will not endorse any candidate but I aim to be fair in the questions I ask. Our goal is to elicit information useful to voters and interesting to listeners.