The Campaign Spot

Key Party Switch in Virginia? (UPDATE: Report: Switch Averted)

A well-connected source in Virginia tells me that at least one Democratic state senator is leaving the party’s caucus . . . “Not sure yet if he’s going Republican or Independent.” This is significant because the Democrats currently have a 21 to 19 majority; a switch could give Republicans control of the chamber, because the lieutenant governor, who presides and breaks ties, is Republican William Bolling.

And yes, this source used the pronoun “he.”

UPDATE: Jeff Frederick, chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia and member of the House of Delegates, via Twitter: “Apparently one dem is either switching or leaving the dem caucus. Negotiations for power sharing underway.”

I have called the lawmaker in question and am hoping to hear back shortly.

ANOTHER UPDATE: A Tweet from the Republican State Leadership Committee: “Reports from the VA House floor sort of confirm something big happening in the Senate.”

YET ANOTHER UPDATE: After intense reports of an imminent switch out of Richmond, the sources go silent. Perhaps the switcher got cold feet . . .

. . . which is what Virginia VirtuCon is reporting: “Dem. Maj. Leader Dick Saslaw recessed, Senate Dems proceeded to pile on Northam and he caved.”

AN ‘UH-OH’ UPDATE: From a Richmond source: “We’re hearing that it was the premature release of this info from Chairman Frederick via Twitter that scuttled the deal.”

A PERFECT SUMMARY: A reader suggests the headline, “Loose Twits Sink Shifts.”


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