The State Board of Elections met today to determine the fate of 8 candidates for Congress who filed their paperwork late. In a 2-1 decision, former Dels. John O’Bannon (R) and Bob Brink (D) voted to approve an extension that would apply to all 8 candidates, with Secretary of the Board Jamilah LeCruise voting against it.
Wait a minute — eight candidates?
You read that right — here’s the full list:
– Bob Good* (R-5th)
– Nicholas Betts* (D-6th)
– Nick Freitas (R-7th)
– Peter Greenwald (R-7th)
– Andrew Knaggs (R-7th)
– Jason Roberge (R-7th)
– Aliscia Andrews* (R-10th)
– Rob Jones (R-10th)
Notably, this list includes three candidates who already won their nominations (Good, Betts, and Andrews). It also includes four of the six Republicans running in the 7th did as well.
We already knew about two of them – Bob Good and Nick Freitas. This news was broken by Brandon Jarvis of the Virginia Scope. Not just broken, but confirmed by SBE. But when that news broke, there was no mention of the other six candidates.
The news immediately became fodder for opponents of Good and Freitas: newspaper articles, social media posts, even digital advertising showcasing the two candidates who couldn’t shoot straight. One argument went that Freitas didn’t have any excuse because none of the other candidates running in the 7th filed late.
Except that they did. This isn’t just two Republicans who made a goof – instead, it speaks to a systematic and bi-partisan issue that affected four different districts. To be sure, ultimately it is the responsibility of the campaigns to get their paperwork filed on time – and they would’ve faced the consequences of that if the SBE voted the other way.
But why did the SBE confirm, on the record, about Good and Freitas in the first place?
I’ve confirmed that GOP congressional candidates @NickForVA and Bob Good have both failed to file the correct paperwork with the Virginia Department of Elections to be on the November General Election ballot. The VA Dept of Elections confirmed this with me early this morning.
— Brandon Jarvis (@Jaaavis) June 12, 2020
And why didn’t they correct the record when the news about the other six candidates – including one Democratic nominee – weren’t mentioned at all? Aliscia Andrews won the Republican nomination in the 10th District on June 20th – a full week after this news broke. Yet I can’t find any mention of her also missing this deadline from any digital source.
In the end, it would’ve been difficult for the SBE to vote the other way on this. Voting against the extension would’ve meant kicking three nominees (and maybe a fourth) off the ballot, and certainly would’ve resulted in a lawsuit. Brink seemed frustrated to be put in this position, but ultimately fell on the side of allowing voters a choice. Would things have been different if it were just one or twos, or only candidates who weren’t already the nominee? Who knows.
A larger question remains, though: why did the SBE selectively pick and choose only 2 names to confirm on the record?