Reflections on the past elections

Published 11:37 am Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Just a few thoughts on the elections. Like them or not, only one candidate can win. Our role now is to show respect for the office and the winner of that office and to work the best we can to find common ground when possible. That is not quite what the Democrats did after the 2016 elections, but it is the right thing to do. After the 2013 election, when I first spoke with Governor-elect McAuliffe, I committed to him that if he would stay focused on the economy and workforce training we could work together.


The Democrats that I have talked to were expecting to defeat a handful of sitting Republicans, primarily in Northern Virginia. They never expected to win three times that. In the statewide elections, they were just as surprised by the margins each won.

A socialist wins

After the candidates were nominated in June, the Democrats realized that they had one candidate who is an avowed socialist. They were concerned that their support for him could be an embarrassment for them; therefore, they did not fund his race against the incumbent Jackson Miller. However, their candidate received a great deal of money from rich donors outside Virginia such as former Mayor of New York Bloomberg and George Soros.

Speaking of money

Once upon a time, the Democrats spoke of the evil Republicans spending too much on elections. I have noticed that since McAuliffe, Clinton and Northam each outspent their opponents. There are far fewer editorials on this issue of big money in elections. This year, much of the money from the California, Colorado, and New York billionaires was funneled to House campaigns outside the normal Democrat organizations.

As told to me by a Democrat insider, much of the funding by billionaires for the Delegate races in Northern Virginia was parceled out by one couple in the DC area. They knew and cared nothing about any individual candidate or their values. The only important issue to them was that they were running as a Democrat.

Postcard from Massachusetts

This week, I received a postcard from the Boston area stating that if I wanted stay in the state Senate, I should switch from the Republican Party to the Democrat Party. It made no difference to him what my views are. The only thing of importance to him was that I should switch parties to put the Democrats in power. I will thank him for looking out for my well-being, but I have never run to be in the party in power and I will not start now. For the board of supervisors, I was the only one who had run as a Republican. My time in the House of Delegates was mostly in the minority.

Changes sort of

Before the election, the Democrats controlled the offices of Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General. They still will. The Republicans controlled the Senate and House and probably will continue to do so in January.

Electoral College

Several have suggested that Virginia should change from a popular vote to one more like the presidential and use a Virginia Electoral College. They reached that conclusion because Gillespie carried about 10 times more jurisdictions than Northam. That would require a change in the state constitution which would unlikely be supported in those few population centers that Northam carried.

Frank Ruff represents Lunenburg in the state Senate. His email address is