Deeds Blames State Agency for Son’s Death

Virginia state Sen. Creigh Deeds blames a local mental-health agency for the tragic events last week that ended with the senator recovering from stab wounds and his son taking his own life. 

Deeds’s son, Austin, was released from state-ordered mental-health care just one day before Austin and the senator had an argument ending in Austin reportedly stabbing his father and then taking his own life.

Read more at the Washington Post.

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Republicans Enter Race for Senate Vacancy

As of Monday, state Senator Mark Herring is the certified new attorney general of Virginia. Barring any recount drama from Mark Obenshain, Herring will leave a vacancy in Virginia’s senate.

Herndon resident Ron Meyer, 24, has announced his candidacy on Tuesday for the empty Loudon County seat. Meyer is a public relations professional who contributes conservative political analysis to Fox News. Jon Whitbeck, chairman of the Republican Party’s 10th Congressional District Committee, announced his candidacy Monday.

Both candidates stress their continued support for Mark Obenshain, Herring’s opponent.

Read more at the Washington Post.

Terry McAuliffe Adds to His Team

Aubrey Lane, a member of the Commonwealth Transportation Board, will be the newest member of governor-elect Terry McAuliffe’s team as his Secretary of Transportation. Layne’s addition to his team is another sign of the bipartisanship that he is aiming towards with his cabinet. 

Layne has worked under Tim Kaine (governor in 2009) and Governor Bob McDonnell in 2010. Layne also became chair of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel Commission in 2012. McAuliffe’s cabinet is starting to fill up with officials who have proven themselves to effective in their past experiences.

Mark Bowles, executive vice president at McGuireWoods Consulting, Catherine Reynolds, chairwoman of the Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation; and Rusty Conner, managing partner at the DLA Piper law firm have also been added to McAuliffe’s cabinet this past week as finance co-chairmen.

McAuliffe’s team is quickly being built, as he gets ready to take office in January and succeed Governor Bob McDonnell.

Mark Herring Wins Attorney General Race, Officially

As of yesterday afternoon, Democrat Mark Herring came out on top in the extremely close and dramatic attorney general race. Out of 2.2 million votes cast, Herring won by only a mere 165 votes over Republican Mark Obenshain.

Obenshain has made no moves towards filing for a recount yet, but we will not be surprised if that’s what he decides to do. According to the Augusta Free Press, this is the closest political race in Virginia’s history, making it highly unlikely that Obenshain will take the loss without a fight.

Obenshain commented, “Margins this small are why Virginia law provides a process for a recount. However, a decision to request a recount, even in this historically close election, is not one to be made lightly. Virginia law allows 10 days to request a recount. We will make further announcements regarding a recount well within that time, in order to ensure the closure and confidence in the results that Virginians deserve.”

He has 10 days to file for a recount before he would have to take the loss to Herring. This has been a very hectic political season for Virginia, to say the least.

Attorney General Race Will Most Likely End in Recount

Mark Obenshain (R) and Democrat Mark Herring have been anxiously awaiting the count of the attorney general race for three weeks and it’s looking like there will be a recount. Out of 2.2 million votes, the difference in the race is only a mere 165 and is the closest race in modern Virginia history, reports ABC 7.

Mark Obenshain hasn’t made a formal announcement that he will be asking for a recount. However, in an email to the Associated Press, spokesman Paul Logan writes, “With such a historically narrow margin, Virginia voters expect and deserve a careful process that ensures that every legitimate vote is counted.”

Mark Herring and his campaign team are expecting the victory tonight, but with a race this close there will be no surprise if Obenshain does go through with the recount. In Virginia, a candidate can request one if the difference is less than 1%, which there is no question about in this case. Spokeswoman for Mark Herring commented on a recount saying, “We anticipate the Herring victory will be certified on Monday – and no statewide recount has ever overturned a certified result.”

We will get the results of the election by the end of the night and a recount will be of no surprise to any of us.

Gov. McDonnell Speaks Out About Ken Cuccinelli

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There have been plenty of conversations going on in Virginia about Republican Ken Cuccinelli’s loss to Terry McAuliffe, and now Governor Bob McDonnell is speaking his mind. McDonnell thinks that the government shutdown and fundraising deficit did more damage for Cuccinelli than anything else, including all of the scandals.

In an interview with The Washington Post, McDonnell said, “I think what we saw was the government shutdown, which I strongly opposed, about five weeks out caused a really significant shift in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads, where we’ve got a lot of federal workers. I think that was probably the biggest factor along with a great money deficit as well.”

McDonnell is currently being investigated for taking $160,000 in gifts from fellow businessman and friend, Jonnie Williams. The spotlight was on Cuccinelli during the race, too. Cuccinelli received $18,000 from Williams, but claims he donated the money from the gifts.

In the interview, McDonnell talks about how he’s taken responsibility for the things he’s done wrong, but not for being a reason that Cuccinelli and the Republicans lost the race. The race is over, and Cuccinelli lost, but many are still searching for a reason why.

Gun Control Activist Added to McAuliffe’s Team

Thursday, Terry McAuliffe chose Virginia State Director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Lori Haas, to join his bi-partisan team announced earlier this week.

McAuliffe’s stances on gun control throughout the election earned him an “F” rating on the NRA’s scale, according to The Washington Free Beacon. The group spent $500,000 campaigning against him. McAuliffe made public statements about his opposition to guns and specifically applauded Colorado for their gun control rules.

Lori Haas and the rest of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence are against the NRA’s ideologies, which make them the perfect ally for the new governor of Virginia. This doesn’t sit well with the NRA though, and they’ve released a statement saying, “Despite claiming support for the Second Amendment, Haas’s appointment to this position to help assemble his Administration sends a very clear message to gun owners and sportsmen in Virginia that their rights are already under attack in Richmond.”

The election is over but the drama just keeps continuing. It’s going to be interesting to see if McAuliffe appoints anyone else to his team and what repercussions the appointment may have.

Senator Deeds Released From Hospital

After spending three days in the hospital with multiple stab wounds, Senator Creigh Deeds was released from the University of Virginia Medical Center earlier this morning. Eric Swensen, spokesperson for the UVA Healthy System confirmed this in an email published in the The Washington Post and also said there are no other details that he is able to provide.

The Senator also turned to social media and posted, “I am alive so must live. Some wounds won’t heal. Your prayers and your friendship are important to me,” on both his Twitter and Facebook pages.

We wish the Senator and his family well as they try to recover from this horrific tragedy. Stay tuned to the Vibe for more updates on the investigation as it unfolds.

Austin Deeds Released From Psychiatric Care

Monday, the day before 24-year-old Austin ‘Gus’ Deeds stabbed his father, Senator Creigh Deeds, and committed suicide, he was released from a psychiatric facility. Virginia’s inspector general is investigating the reasons behind that decision.

The original story was that there were no beds available for Deeds; therefore, he couldn’t be admitted. Other facilities in the area have said they had a spot for him but nobody reached out to them. G. Douglas Bevelacqua of the Office of the Inspector General said, “We’re going to investigate the circumstances that led up to Austin Deeds’s release at the expiration of the emergency custody order.”

Bill Hazel, Virginia’s Secretary of Health and Human Resources, is also looking into the void in communication with releasing him. The authorities have released information saying that there was a “non-emergency call for assistance” placed to the sheriff’s office on Monday from the Deed’s home but they will not confirm whether or not it was to take Austin in for his psychiatric evaluation or if it was because of another problem.

There was an emergency custody order issued for Austin, but without an available bed, they cannot hold him for more than four to six hours, which is why he was released. Contrary to what the other facilities have said about not being called, Dennis Cropper, head of the Rockbridge Area Community Services Board, said he did place the calls. He cannot be reached for comment and we now know that there were beds available at other places.

The inspector general will continue to investigate the story and we will keep you updated with any new information.