Sources close to the Brat Pack are feeding information regarding a peculiar set of text messages being circulated in order to boost the candidacy of “independent conservative” Joe Hines against the GOP nominee Mark Peake — an open violation of the RPV State Party Plan.

Hines, who just recently announced his independent bid against the conservative replacement for Congressman-elect Tom Garrett, is a little known quality among Republican activists in SEN-22.  Which makes the involvement of the Rep. Dave Brat’s campaign apparatus all the most concerning.

To wit, The Jeffersoniad has obtained exclusive images of text messages sent by Brat campaign manager Nancy Smith to former Brat campaign architect Gray Delaney — who promptly rejected the offer.

Of course, as a duly nominated Republican candidate, Peake enjoys the protection of the RPV Party Plan, which states very clearly in Article I, Section 1, sub 2:

A voter who, subsequent to making a statement of intent, publicly supports a candidate in opposition to a Republican nominee shall not be qualified for participation in party actions as defined in Article I for a period of four (4) years.

Now while this action automatically removes Smith from the Republican Party of Virginia infrastructure, she can indeed publicly re-affirm her commitment to support the principles of the RPV Creed and the party itself if she takes advantage of Art. 1, Sec. 1, sub. 5 and express in writing her support for the nominee.

However, there is another wrinkle to this… one that makes this a bit more than a overzealous campaign manager (albeit one who is embedded in the Brat Pack leadership) — from a member of the 7th District Committee on background who was flabbergasted at recent activity to drain 7th District funds so that the committee could not support Mark Peake financially:

So Dave Brat’s campaign manager has been reaching out to Brat campaign staff to work for the independent candidate running against Mark Peake.  All while draining the 7th District fund to send to Brat instead of to the Peake campaign.

Obviously the first is corroborated with hard evidence, making the explanation for the second part of this tough to explain as something other than what it appeared to be from the inside — an effort to choke off support for Peake.

Now according to a third source, the committee did send $2,500 to Peake, but Brat chief of staff asked the committee to make another $5,000 donation to the Brat campaign — which did not receive so much as a motion in its favor.

Still, questions are raised.  Why is the Brat campaign apparatus asking the 7th District to bleed itself white while seeking staff to run against the GOP nominee in SEN-22?  Are they working in concert with Rep. Brat or in opposition to his wishes?

To make matters more odd?  Brat endorsed Peake just the other day… and so perhaps the right hand simply doesn’t know what the right hand is doing here — which is entirely plausible given Brat’s public actions vs. the machinations of his campaign staff.

…but it sure does look unseemly.

Nancy Smith was running to fill the slot for 7th District SCC Congressional yesterday evening as well, after having served a vacancy for State Central since January 2016.

Ron Hedlund, 7th District SCC at-large member, offered his thoughts:

My statement last night was to the effect that the reason why I was concerned about the vote for Nancy Smith was that she was Brat’s campaign manager, and just gave a presentation to the entire committee as Brat campaign manager.

Now you have Dave Brat the very same day endorse Mark Peake for State Senate, and now you have Brat’s campaign manager admitting that she [Nancy] is supporting the third party candidate in public?  That puts Brat in a very tough position, and that’s why we shouldn’t have this election tonight.

There were even folks stating clearly that folks are very uncomfortable having campaign managers serve on State Central Committee, after having been opposed to Cantor having staff serve on 7th District and State Central.  We were opposed to this as well.  So right now, technically Nancy Smith has automatically removed herself as a member of the GOP by her actions, so technically one could argue that there is a vacancy in the 7th District SCC representative seat.

Once again, Dave Brat is being under-served by his staff.  They might know rVotes, but they don’t know politics.

The vote tally was 12 to table, 4 opposed, two abstentions.  This action will more than likely be referred to RPV General Counsel for a declarative opinion.  Given how State Central treated the l’affaire Mark Berg?  Nancy Smith’s chances do not look positive…

Given that if the roles were reversed and Ron Hedlund were the one accused?  I doubt there would be much conversation about what would occur next.

Either way, all evidence points towards Nancy Smith as actively undermining our duly nominated Republican candidate by actively supporting another candidate — contrary to the endorsement of her boss.

That’s a problem.

  • Turbocohen

    Shaun, this is Horseshit. Nancy Smith is a stand up woman.

    • …who apparently has the support of certain insiders to perform her work. Interesting.

      Could have a part 2. Would prefer not to write that one, Turbo.

      • AnninVA26

        you’re wrong. this is nuts.

    • Eric McGrane

      Weird…I’m no longer seeing the author info for this piece.

      • AnninVA26


  • Eric McGrane

    I may have missed it…where in the screenshot of that text does Nancy Smith state that she’s supporting Peake? That she is personally working for Hines? Its entirely possible that she’s simply helping Cole due to prior relationships.

    There is a LOT of supposition here…color me unconvinced. Folks are really STRETTTTTCHING this one.

    • Reagan George

      I have known Nancy for years and have comminicated with her a lot. I have never heard or read her saying/writing “Nancy Smith, here”. This sounds really fishy to me.

    • AnninVA26

      I agree….she is a conservative. She was being cordial to these Hines people and I’ve heard her say she supports republicans.

  • Jeanine Martin

    Ron Hedlund? Seriously? You are quickly losing credibility.

    Oh wait, that ship sailed sometime back.

  • rdboyer

    Of course Mark Peake’s campaign manager, Josh Puccio, was last seen consulting for the campaigns of two Independents against Republican candidates for Board of Supervisors in Campbell County last year. Apparently that was perfectly ok.

    Don’t take my word for it. Check the campaign finance reports. Puccio’s company was paid major dollars for Consulting against the Republicans last year.

  • rdboyer

    Here’s the link to the Virginia Public Access Project and the $200 contribution from Josh Puccio’s Rebel strategies to Griffin for supervisor, the independent opponent to Republican Bob good for Campbell County supervisor in 2015.

    I’m waiting with bated breath to see if this outfit gets fired by Mark Peake. And yes, I do support the Republican nominee.

  • rdboyer

    And here’s the link to the expenditure by the campaign of independent John Ferguson against Republican County Supervisor Jim Borland last year. $200 to Puccio’s Rebel strategies.

  • rdboyer

    Mark Peake’s campaign manager, Josh Puccio, spent last year as the consultant and making donations to two Independents running against Republican candidates for Board of Supervisors in Campbell County. I think the term “reportable contribution” shows up somewhere in the party plan, doesn’t it?

  • rdboyer

    I wonder how long we’ll have to wait for the Exposé on this story?

  • rdboyer

    Shaun, are we going to get the story about Josh Puccio? It’s certainly at least as damning.

  • rdboyer

    And here’s the story where the Republican candidates defeated Josh Puccio’s independent candidates:

  • AnninVA26

    Nancy Smith has done more for the Republican Party in the 7th district than the next 10,000 volunteers combined. She worked tirelessly on the 7th District Convention and it went well – quickly and efficiently, for a change! She is a data-gathering, high-energy, smart person who Brat is lucky to have. I admire her work ethic and her devotion to the conservative cause. With Henrico and Chesterfield slipping away more and more to the democrats every election cycle, the republican party needs more Nancy’s! However, once again, the republicans don’t understand what it really takes to win in terms of organization and volunteers.

  • AnninVA26

    Once again, the republicans are missing the point! We have a PROBLEM here…when a “Sarvis-type” candidate appears out of no where, we lose. Concentrate on keeping control of the state senate people!!!!