He knew Democrats would put a bullseye on his back.
Conservative activists say that’s what happens when you take a stand against a budget that Virginia Family Foundation President Victoria Cobb declared was, “by far one of the most big-government, high-tax, pro-abortion budgets Virginia has ever passed.”
But Senator Bryce Reeves did not expect a fellow Republican would join Democrats in targeting his seat.
So Is the Richmond Establishment Striking Back Against This Conservative Senator?
This year’s primary cycle is nearing an end.
But it’s hard to accuse Senator Bryce Reeves of doing any of that.
Reeves voted against the 2018 budget bill packed with leftist goodies such as $6 million for Planned Parenthood funding, $600 million in new taxes, record spending levels, and Obamacare expansion.
At the time, he issued a scathing legislative update declaring, “Fans of big government will love this budget.”
Reeves warned that Virginia’s largest budget with Obamacare expansion, “does nothing to reduce Obamacare’s high – and growing – health insurance premiums or its exorbitant deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses” and that “Most consumers should brace themselves for another hefty hike later this year, fueled by Virginia’s decision to fully implement Obamacare.”
“When you increase spending this much, there’s a lot to spread around. From a bigger government to an ample supply of pork and earmarks, this budget undoubtedly has something for everyone. But, that spending is likely not sustainable beyond this budget,” Senator Reeves concluded.
With Democrats making Senator Reeves’ district a top priority in their quest to seize control of the State Senator, conservative activists are wondering why a fellow Republican would challenge his conservative record.
The Republican Running to the Left of Sen. Bryce Reeves in Tuesday’s Primary
Rich Breeden of Spotsylvania County launched his campaign against Senator Bryce Reeves in the 17th State Senate District last fall.
According to his Sorenson Institute profile, one of his favorite political podcasts is the favorite of leftist political operatives, FiveThirtyEight Politics, and the Virginia blog known best for smearing former Congressman and conservative-favorite Dave Brat, Bearing Drift.
Breeden has run a centrist campaign that is focused on his narrative of being an outsider who can’t be bought by special interest groups.
While Breeden hasn’t talked much about his political experience, he has been known to volunteer for candidates and campaigns in the past, such as failed House of Delegates candidate Nicholas Ignacio.
Breeden Backs Bernie Sanders’ Government Takeover of Political Campaigns
In a recent interview with the John Fredericks Show¸ Breeden stumbled in his response to the question, “Why are you running?” and showed little interest in discussing ideological differences with Senator Reeves’ voting record.
Instead, Breeden focused on lesser-known issues currently being championed by several Democratic Presidential candidates.
For example, Rich Breeden echoed Bernie Sanders’ support for publicly financed elections by claiming he wanted to take money out of campaigns, and that we are playing by the “Wild, Wild, West of rules” in Virginia.
Virginia currently has some of the more transparent campaign finance laws, where the occupation and employer of every donor contributing more than $100 to state-level campaigns is public information, and a ban on spending political contributions for personal use remains in place.
Breeden didn’t elaborate on how he wanted to “get money out of politics” other than alluding that someone who donated $25 to their preferred candidate didn’t have a voice.
Breeden’s Apparent Support For Democrat Redistricting Plan
When Republicans recaptured control of the State Senate in 2011 after Bryce Reeves defeated incumbent Democrat State Senator Edd Houck, Democrats knew they had to act.
Despite gerrymandering and losing their own districts in the Senate, Democrats in Virginia and nationally launched a campaign for so-called “fair redistricting” as a way to chip away at the Republican majority.
In that same interview, Breeden specifically pledged to back a redistricting plan by special interest groups that would all-but-guarantee Democrats would take and keep control of both the Senate and House in Virginia.
Virginia’s redistricting battle is just one of countless redistricting fights waged in state capitols and courtrooms across the nation. More often than not, they’re typically funded by the liberal mega-donor George Soros.
Unpredictable Outcome for Tuesday’s Primary
Since voter turnout is lower than general elections, Republican primaries in Virginia have long been unpredictable.
In 2013, two challengers took out Republican incumbents who ran afoul of conservatives when they voted for the largest tax hike in Virginia’s history.
In 2014, Dave Brat defeated Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
In 2017, Corey Stewart nearly pulled an upset against Ed Gillespie in the Governor’s primary.
In 2018, underdog Nick Freitas nearly did the same against Corey Stewart in the primary for the U.S. Senate.
With days left before Tuesday’s primary, both Senator Bryce Reeves and his challenger are campaigning to pick up last-minute support.
You can stay tuned to New Virginia Press for comprehensive analyses and Election Day results.