A proliferation of “Paul Best for Sheriff” signs has begun to mass, particularly in Charlottesville’s Greenbrier neighborhood. The surprise, early success of Best’s independent candidacy has Charlottesville Democrats scrambling to shore up support for Democrat Sheriff candidate, James E. Brown, III.

“Best” signs are appearing in the yards of angry, disaffected “yellow dog” City Democrats, many of whom supported establishment (i.e. white) candidate, Mike Baird, in the May Democrat primary.

Baird was thrown under the fire truck (along with running mate, Democrat City Councilor Julian Taliaferro), by “new” City Democrats (Norris, Szakos, Hamilton, etc.) intent on toppling the “old guard” Charlottesville Dems (Conover, Daugherty, Fife, O’Brien, Elwood, etc.), who have for decades dominated the City and its politics with an iron fist.

A precipitous attempt to “unite” the Party now is underway as evidenced in the newly contrived “Your Charlottesville” campaign. This effort seeks to tie the Sheriff’s race into the City Council race, and effectively is running Norris, Szakos and Brown as a united Democrat “ticket.”

Here is the email announcement courtesy of Tim Sims, joint campaign communications director:

Charlottesville City Democratic Candidates
Unite Under “YourCharlottesville” Banner

Charlottesville Democratic nominees for City Council and Sheriff plan to announce their joint campaign for the November 3 general election. Dave Norris, Kristin Szakos (candidates for City Council) and James Brown III (candidate for Sheriff) will launch their joint campaign under the banner “Your Charlottesville” on August 11 at 11 a.m., with the unveiling of at the Free Speech Monument in front of City Hall.
In May, the three candidates were elected as the Charlottesville Democratic Party nominees in what was a record turn-out for a local primary in Charlottesville.+ The Party held the Unassembled Caucus primary on May 9 at Burley Middle School from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Campaign communications director Tim Sims said the joint campaign plans to reach out to all Charlottesville voters, as a reflection of the candidates’ commitment to represent all Charlottesville residents, not just Democrats.+ “Partisan politics don’t make that much difference at a local level,” Sims said.+ “All three of these candidates are committed to using their knowledge, ability and experience to address the needs and concerns of the whole city.”

Aside from the obvious desperation expressed in this communication, it is fascinating to note two conspicuous concessions from the Charlottesville Democrat Machine:

  1. The candidates have committed “to represent all Charlottesville residents, not just Democrats.”
  2. “Partisan politics don’t make that much difference at a local level.”

Well, Mr. Sims, we’re glad to see you publicly concede what captive Citydwellers know all too well: elected Charlottesville Democrats for years have shunned, ignored and even vilified non-Democrats in every imaginable way (socially, politically, economically, etc.). Case in point: a non-Democrat constituent called the home of councilor Julian Taliaferro shortly after his 2006 election, seeking help with a city issue. Mrs. T answered the phone and upon learning the identity of the caller said, “Why do you want to talk to Julian? I thought you were a Republican.”

Secondarily, Tim, we’re pleased+ you now realize that partisan politics are not that important locally. But, if you really believe that (and we know you don’t), then why aren’t the Charlottesville Democrats calling for non-partisan local elections? And why are there only Democrat candidates on your united “slate”?

Whatever the outcome, the Best candidacy, and the resulting defection of stalwart, white, City Democrats is certain to exacerbate the Charlottesville Democrats’ race relations nightmare.

Wake up! John, Virginia, Francis, Nancy, and Mary Ann, the times they are a changin‘, and your long-time, Byrd-inspired castle of corruption may be about to crumble.


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