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In decisive fashion, LaRock ousts May in GOP primary

LaRock wins primaryTimes-Mirror Staff Photo/Beverly Denny Dave LaRock of Hamilton, left, smiles at voters leaving the Hamilton Baptist Church polling place shortly before closing while state Del. Joe May, second from right, does the same. LaRock defeated the twenty-year incumbent in the Republican primary for the 33rd District.
Dave LaRock established his political reputation around this time last year as he lobbied tirelessly for the local Board of Supervisors to opt out of the multi-billion dollar Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project.

It was all about taxes then, and it still is.

LaRock now hopes to take his fiery conservative pitch to a wider audience, Virginia's House of Delegates. On Tuesday he defeated 20-year-incumbent Del. Joe May in the House of Delegates 33rd District GOP primary, capping a heated, months-long race that featured an arrest record, trespassing, Grover Norquist and a much-hyped adult entertainment roadside sign.

With 31 of 32 precincts reporting late on election night, LaRock had unofficially secured 57 percent of the vote.

A staunch conservative from Hamilton, LaRock becomes the 33rd District Republican nominee for November's election. He'll square off against recent Democratic nominee, Purcellville's Kathee Myers, in the conservative-leaning district comprised predominantly of western Loudoun County.

The chief owner and operator of LaRock Builders, LaRock also serves as director of The 1789 Project, a conservative advocacy organization designed to “help concerned citizens find and support candidates in close, winnable races for the U.S. House and Senate,” according to the group's website.

LaRock has been a vocal opponent of two of the commonwealth's most significant transportation initiatives in the past year – the extension of Metro's Silver Line into Loudoun County and this year's transportation funding reform bill – because of the costs and taxes attached.

LaRock's campaign could not immediately be reached for comment following the victory.

“This entire campaign has been a team effort, with countless volunteers knocking doors, calling phones, donating, hosting events, and praying for us,” LaRock, a signer of Grover Norquist's anti-tax pledge, stated on his campaign website June 11. “Many people have told us that, whether we win or lose, our campaign has been worthwhile as we have opened their eyes to our opponent's voting record, and presented a clear, issues-centered conservative message.”

In the 2013 General Assembly session, May voted in favor of the historic transportation bill, something for which he was relentless attacked by LaRock, who considers the bill a massive tax hike on Virginians, and specifically those in Northern Virginia.

May hadn't seen a primary challenger since 2005, when he defeated Republican Christopher Oprison by nearly 20 percent. He was unopposed in the previous two general elections. The last time he had a general election challenge was in 2007, when he defeated Democrat Marty Martinez, now a Leesburg Town Council member, by nearly 20 percent of the vote.

Speaking to a group of supporters at a Purcellville restaurant, May focused on a message of “you haven't seen the last of Joe May.”

He said he will be visible and active in the community and will help secure victories for Loudoun's Republican incumbents in the statehouse.

"While I wish that the election had turned out differently it did not,” May said to his supporters on Facebook. “Dave LaRock won fair and square and I have just called him to acknowledge his victory. I sincerely thank all of you for your help and friendship. While we gave it our best effort, it just wasn’t enough. I genuinely appreciate all that each of you have contributed to my experience serving the 33rd District and on my campaigns over the years."

The Republican duel had gotten personal in recent weeks, with the May campaign calling attention to a criminal citation against LaRock; an incident that stemmed from LaRock's removal of a roadside advertisement for an adult novelty shop in West Virginia.

On Memorial Day, LaRock entered a May campaign call center to, according to LaRock, have a discussion with some of May's supporters about “nonsense” they were writing in letters to the editor in the local media.

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LaRock doesn’t even have a college degree…..

Some of you may want to acknowledge the coming wave…..and get onboard….or out of the way. If you are a tax-hiking liberal…or a republican….we’re coming for you. This will not stand. Joe May was but one of the first casualties.

No malice intended on my part. I just know that the radius from the corner of the church would prove they’re both legal.  I wonder more about the third picture.

And no, this guy will NEVER ever be a future president of USA!

Not talking about the line on the ground, or the “voter parking” sign, but the sign with the universal “no” barred circle.  It resembles ones sometimes placed at polling places over here, where they also sometimes are kind enough to come out with chalk or masking tape in the morning and actually draw a line for those whose enthusiasm sometimes needs specific bounds.  If whatever it is prohibiting is something else, I apologize for the mistake.  It simply resembles the electioneering boundaries I’ve seen, and it made me laugh.

The line marks a parking space, both candidates are legal.  If you knew the layout of the church parking lot, you’d know that. Last year, I saw volunteers and a supervisor cross the imaginary line and follow voters toward the door. One poll worker was chiding young voters about their age, a volunteer told a voter incorrect information about id requirement; thank goodness, lawyers were present.

Just noticed something very funny about the photo at the top of the article:  see the sign indicating the distance marker from the polling place, beyond which no campaigning can occur?  One candidate outside the line, one within.  Yes, yes, a time-honored LoCo tradition in some quarters, to push boundaries.  But quite subtle and funny!  Well done, Ms. Denny!


Yes, once again at least one political party in Loudoun thinks we’d all be better off with another reactionary right-wing nut serving in Richmond.

Tea parties are for little girls and their imaginary friends.

Let this be a lesson to other VA lawmakers who voted for Bob McDonnell’s largest tax increase in state history. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!

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