Don't you dare miss the newest Republican purge of a "moderate" up in Virginia.
Sen. H. Russell Potts Jr. of Winchester has denounced "this radical, extreme, out-of-touch element in the Republican Party" that's ruling Virginia and a good deal of everything else and vowed to run for governor of Virginia as an "independent Republican" against the anointed candidate, Jerry W. Kilgore, the former state attorney general.
Last Monday the Winchester City Republican Committee declared that Potts was no longer a Republican, at least not one they recognized, and they called on Potts to resign his state senate seat. Republican big-wigs are calling on the Republican caucus in the state senate to strip Potts of his committee assignments, including the chairmanship of the Senate's Education and Health Committee. "From that perch, he has led a majority of the 15-member committee in blocking some conservative social legislation from reaching the Senate floor."
You're an apostate, Mr. Potts, and you know what Republicans do to apostates, don't you? Our advice: steer clear of any big piles of kindling.
Potts is not going easy: "They don't have the power to tell me whether I'm a Republican or not. Only God and myself have the power to do that," he said. "It's the party of my forefathers .... I will not yield...."
If Potts' principled stand attracts public support -- and it could -- his candidacy could spell trouble for the Republicans' attempt to take back the governership of Virginia. He needs just 10,000 signatures to get his name on the ballot. Said Winchester City Council President Charles T. Gaynor, "I'm a moderate Republican, and there are a lot of us around here. Russ has abandoned the Republican Party, but I'm not so sure the Republican Party has not abandoned a lot of us."