Virginia’s Other Candidate

The day after the election — as the AP was declaring victory for the Democrats in Virginia and, therefore, the Senate — the less-talked-about candidate in that squeaker of a race was on her way to Oklahoma, to check on one of her daughters who had been having health problems.

Glenda Gail Parker, a grandmother who received 26,102 votes on a pro-rails independent/conservative green ticket, said that not a single voter has asked her about “vote-splitting” in a race where a mere 7217 votes put the Democratic candidate, Jim Webb, above the Republican, George Allen. Some reporters certainly had asked, she said.

“We’re very pleased that we had a very strong impact on this election,” Ms. Parker said last night. “We feel that more participation is what our process needs, rather than less.”

During the election, Ms. Parker said she went to both candidates and offered them criteria for endorsement. Neither major party candidate met those criteria, so Ms. Parker settled on making a public statement: “That if folks could not vote for us because we were too conservative,” she said, “then for goodness sakes vote for a positive change. But we did say vote for change!”

A bit over 2.36 million votes have been recorded in the Virgina Senate election. Virginia has about 5.7 million residents over the age of 18.

Ms. Parker said she has begun organizing for future elections already. “We’re recruiting candidates,” she said. “We need 100 across the state, and 40 for State Senate, and candidates for local offices to advocate for rail and for a balanced budget.”

– Choire Sicha