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After Medicaid Expansion, Republicans Face Attacks from Their Own

Steve Helber



Party control of Virginia’s state house is up for grabs this November and Republicans are hoping they can keep the majority. But first some of them have to survive attacks from within their own party.


Delegate Chris Peace, a Republican from Hanover, is one of about two dozen Republicans who who voted to support Medicaid expansion. That’s fired up residents in his conservative district.

“The voters in these districts do not like the idea of expanding government healthcare,” says Craig DiSesa, who runs a conservative PAC focused on taking Peace down.

Peace isn’t the only Republican facing the heat. So is Senator Emmett Hanger in the Shenandoah Valley, and Delegate Bob Thomas in Fredericksburg.

“We’re out to send a very strong message to Republicans who flip flop on these very conservative values,” adds DiSesa.

Political analyst Quentin Kidd says the results of these races could be telling. If the far-right candidates lose, they might become a dying breed in Virginia. Kidd points to the fact that multiple conservative candidates have already lost statewide in recent years.

“You have to win in order to sustain yourself,” says Kidd.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Mallory Noe-Payne is a Radio IQ reporter based in Richmond.