A GOP state lawmaker says he’s willing to step aside as a candidate, if it means voters in his district can get a Republican on the ballot. The election in central Virginia could impact party control of the statehouse.
Delegate Nick Freitas represents Madison, Orange and parts of Culpeper Counties. He, and the local Republican Committee there, both missed filing deadlines for his re-election effort.
An official with the Virginia Department of Elections now says the GOP can’t add Freitas, or anyone else, to the ballot this November. That’s because the deadline to file paperwork is passed.
Freitas says he’ll petition the Board of Elections to intervene. They meet next Tuesday.
“I’m willing to say right now that if they will do the right thing and allow the Republican Party to have someone on the ballot I’ll step aside,” Freitas says.
The Board of Elections has forgiven other candidates for missing deadlines this year, a Republican and a Democrat -- allowing them to appear on the ballot despite the fact that their local nominating committees filed forms late.
An official with the Department of Elections says Freitas’ case is different because two forms were late. In addition to the local committee not filing a form, the candidate himself also missed a deadline.
Freitas says if his appeal fails, he won’t give up.
“I will mount a write-in campaign and we will win it,” he says.
Quentin Kidd, at Christopher Newport University, says normally write in candidates are at a big disadvantage. But in this case the district is heavily Republican.
“It would still take a really well organized Republican campaign to do that. And I’m not saying the campaign can’t do it or can do it,” Kidd says. “But of course the Freitas camp is in this boat because they weren’t well organized enough... to get all their paperwork in on time.”
Republicans hold a slim majority in the statehouse, and they’ve lost all recent statewide elections.
Democrats say this is the year they can take control of the House of Delegates, and with a formerly safe seat like Freitas’ in play, their odds get that much better.