Election '08: Ron Paul Republicans and Some Guy Named "Buddy"


The Dems and GOP have made their big choices, but there are still federal primaries popping up every week or so until September. Tonight, the polls close in three races that reasonoids have been watching, two in Virginia (7 p.m.) and one in South Carolina (8 p.m.).

Virginia-08: The Republican primary for this House seat pits Mark Ellmore against Ron Paul Republican Amit Singh, who was profiled in this month's issue of the magazine. It's been a short, strange trip. Singh jumped into the race in March, running on a modified Ron Paul/libertarian platform against de facto candidate Ellmore, who'd been running since he lost the 2006 primary. He assembled a staff of young conservatives, conducted a poll that showed him extremely competitive, and quickly raised $60,000—more than half as much as the last GOP candidate raised for his entire campaign. Ellmore countered by calling himself a Paul fan and, in the last few days, fabricating a quote from Singh about whether he'd vote for John McCain in November. I don't know who has the edge here, as Singh has been running hard, but a few endorsements they expected didn't come through. But I'll be at the victory party tonight with a report to follow.

Libertarian Republican Vern McKinley, who appeared at reason's May event on the libertarian vote, has been running for more than a year against incumbent Republican Rep. Frank Wolf. ("When he was elected," McKinley jokes, "Rudy Giuliani was still married to his first wife." A McKinley win would be a miraculous upset, and I don't know anyone who expects it, but watch the vote totals.

South Carolina, U.S. Senate: Republican activist Buddy Witherspoon is running against immigration-compromising Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham, and our own Kerry Howley noticed "The Spoon" (as I, and no one else, call him) when he ran this ad:

He'll lose tonight.