Virginia GOP in trouble after lawmaker forgot to file to run and can't be on ballot


State Del. Nicholas Freitas 'flagrantly ignored' the rules and could hurt Republicans' chances of maintaining a majority after the November 2019 election.

Democrats hope to flip the Virginia statehouse from red to blue in November, and Republican state Del. Nicholas Freitas may have made that quest a little easier.

Freitas did not file paperwork with the Department of Elections by the mandated deadline, and a recent decision by that department denied his request to appear on the ballot, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.

Freitas vowed to appeal the decision, but if he fails, he will either not run for reelection or be forced to run as a write-in candidate.

Freitas and the local Republican Party made some questionable attempts to get his name on the ballot after the deadline had passed, but the Department of Elections didn't buy it.

"All applicable deadlines have passed and the Department is not able to accept the form," Election Services Manager Dave Nichols wrote in response to Freitas' last-ditch effort to get on the ballot. The Post obtained the response through a Freedom of Information Act request.

When asked about the situation, Trevor Southerland, Virginia House Democratic Caucus executive director, told Shareblue that the Board of Elections "made the right decision" and criticized Freitas for blaming the DOE "for upholding rules that he flagrantly ignored."

The state election board will meet on August 6 to hear the appeal from Freitas.

Freitas and each of the 140 members of the Virginia House of Delegates is up for reelection this November. (Virginia, like Kentucky, is one of a few states with major state elections in 2019.) At the moment, Republicans hold a slim 51-48 majority, with one vacancy. In the 2017 election, Democrats in the state picked up a historic number of seats, coming close to gaining the majority.

As Frietas is tied up in the appeals process, Democrats are moving full speed ahead with their candidate in Freitas' district.

"Democratic nominee Ann Ridgeway is on the ballot and running a campaign focused on expanding access to affordable health care and quality education in the 30th district," Southerland said.

Southerland also confirmed that Ridgeway has filed all appropriate paperwork to appear on the November ballot.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.