This Week in RSLC News: Virginia Republicans Post Strong Fundraising Numbers, Lieutenant Governors’ Inaugurations, and more

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Both chambers of the Virginia legislature will be up for election this November. Republicans hold slim majorities in both the House of Delegates and the state Senate and national Democrat groups have already announced plans to target both chambers. Recently released fundraising numbers show House Republicans under the leadership of Speaker Kirk Cox with a strong advantage to start the year. House Republican candidates and leadership committees reported a total of $5.7 million cash on hand, nearly $2 million more than Democrat candidates and their leadership committees. “Our strong fundraising efforts have allowed us to invest earlier than ever in our campaigns,” Delegate Rob Bell, the House Republican campaign chairman, said. “We have already invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in our targeted races, hired staff, implemented a best-in-class data operation, and have connected with voters through a robust field program.”


Maryland Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford was sworn in for his second term alongside Governor Larry Hogan on Wednesday. During his inaugural remarks, Lt. Governor Rutherford welcomed the opportunity to continue his efforts to combat the opioid epidemic in the state as well as working to lower healthcare costs. “We saw the promise and the potential of this great state. We met countless women and men from all walks of life,” Lt. Governor Rutherford said reflecting on the 2018 campaign. “However, too often we heard that they felt forgotten. That they wanted a government that would live within its means, that took less money out of their pockets and borrowed less against theirs and their children’s future.” 

In her opening remarks to the Iowa House on Monday, Speaker Linda Upmeyer laid out her policy priorities for the 2019-2020 legislative session. “We must continue to provide flexibility to our schools empowering them to make decisions that fit their communities and their schools,” she stated while also noting that the legislature has increased funding for education by over $750 million since 2011. She also stressed that “development and growth should not be limited to Iowa’s largest cities and counties,” and said Iowa’s rural communities are “not merely a part of our past, they are the foundation of our future.”

Newly inaugurated Georgia Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan was profiled by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in which he said he wants to improve access to healthcare for Georgians and “empower teachers to do what they want to do and love to do, and that’s teach.” As the lieutenant governor, Duncan will preside over the Senate chamber and said he wants to facilitate over “a chamber with a great atmosphere for strong, rigorous, fact-based debate.”  

West Virginia Delegate Caleb Hanna appeared on Fox and Friends on Tuesday morning to discuss his experience as one of the youngest legislators in the country. The 19-year-old Hanna was featured on the RSLC’s “18 in ’18: Races to Watch” and went on to defeat a Democrat incumbent in November. In his interview, Hanna stated he chose to run because he was disappointed in the direction of his state and said, “I told myself when I was old enough to have a chance to take a run at it that I would do it, and this was my first time I had the opportunity.”

Louisiana state Supreme Court Justice Greg Guidry was nominated by President Trump for a federal judicial appointment on Wednesday. If Guidry, who was recently re-elected, is confirmed his departure from the state’s highest court will trigger a special election. Justice Guidry holds a seat in the 1st District which includes St. Tammany, St. Helena, Tangipahoa and Washington parishes, as well as parts of Orleans and Jefferson parishes.