Thoughts on the 2008 VA Beach race for Mayor.

Why isn’t John Moss the front runner in this race? – by Reid Greenmun

I think the problem is that many VOTERS in VA Beach do not know Will Sessoms past record and his strong relationships with the local “who’s who” of the “insider’ business lobby. We have a lot of turn over in our city – due in part to the military folks being transferred and due in part to the changing job market in our region/city.

Because of our City Council election being moved to November (for the first time this year) a whole lot of folks that do not normally vote in City Council elections will be voting this year – and a whole lot of those “new” voters will be voting for Barack Obama. Folks, Meyera is the only person in the Beach mayoral race that is openly a DEMOCRAT. She should benefit quite well from that association.

Will Sessoms and John Moss are identified as REPUBLICANS. Scott Taylor is an independent.

From what I observe, the Republican Party base in our city is fractured and largely unenthused at the GOP choice of John McCain for President. Meanwhile, it seems to me that the Democratic faithful are highly energized, rowdy, and very enthusiastic! They are actually anxious to go to the polls! You can here the glee from the sharks as they smell blood in the water. Finally – the dark days of “Bush” and his “neo cons” have come to an end – let the party begin! Wa-hoo! Universal healthcare for all! Say good bye to Iraq – at long last. This joy within the Democratic community does not bode well for Conservatives. I also wonder if some of the older Conservatives living in our city are unaware that the City Council elections have moved from May to November? This is the first time. You never know.

Meanwhile … the business lobby and the “regionalists” (one in the same for the most part) are salivating at the prospect of having Will Sessoms replace Meyera Oberndorf as our next Mayor. I believe that the business community realizes that the residents are FED UP with our City Council and this time around Meyera is on her way out. They are scared to death John Moss would get elected. Thus, they have written checks like there is no tomorrow and the powers-that-be have seen to it that we now have a 4-way race for mayor. It is obvious to me that DEVELOPER Scott Taylor is in the race to split off votes from John Moss. I believe that Meyera and Will are splitting votes from each other. Just witness William Bailey’s attacks on Will Sessoms. Mr. Bailey is an attack dog for the city’s unions. It appears the Union has cast their lot with Meyera and not Will.

No matter how you look at – this year’s Mayoral race in Virginia Beach is going to be very interesting – and I really can’t tell how it will go. I do know that John Moss CAN WIN – but the fans of lower taxes and less city spending have a lot of work ahead of them to counter Mayor Oberndorf’s name recognition and Will Sessom’s half million dollar media buy.

Oddly, while the local media really does not ‘get it” (really, they don’t) – the REAL STORY of this race is that John Moss is the man to beat – and it is everyone else that is out to prevent John Moss from winning. The media actually believes this is a two-way race between Meyera Oberndorf and Will Sessoms. They really don’t understand what is going on. Face it .. The Pilot has lazy, junior reporters ever since they put their Liberal rag on the auction block in hopes of selling it before it is completely worthless to any potential investor. Sad … this race is REALLY interesting to watch unfold!


20 Responses to Thoughts on the 2008 VA Beach race for Mayor.

  1. Brian Kirwin says:

    Reid, your first paragraph made the point. Hardly anyone knows Will Sessoms. He was last on the ballot in the 90s, and only elected in May elections (15-17% turnout).

    Will has the money to pump up his name ID and write his own history.

    Now, money doesn’t do anything, but if you’re going to beat an 92% name ID incumbant who has never lost, and a half-million dollar challenger who also has never lost, you have to work at it.

    John can’t be a weekend warrior and win. He has to raise money, advertise, and campaign hard, not just to the same breakfast crowd over and over again. He’s got a cohesive message, but the last time he was in a divided field against an incumbent, he ran the same way, and got the result he’ll likely get here.

    Nothing personal. Neither Meyera nor Will are unflawed. But if John doesn’t let 170,000 people know why he’s better, he’s not winning.

  2. Reid Greenmun says:

    Thanks Brian – good advice for John to take to heart. BTW – I learned from Ken Golden (VA Beach GOP) that Scott Taylor has recently joined the Republican Party – City committee. So, my post is incorrect as I listed Mr. Taylor as an Independent. I think this means that meyera enjoys an even better advantage as the sole Democratic Party choice for Mayor.

  3. Henry Ryto says:

    As for The Obama Factor, the big question is who gets the AAPAC endorsement. AAPAC has been organizing for months. The African-American community leadership has traditionally backed Meyera, However, they’re taking a long and hard look at Scott Taylor. If Taylor gets the AAPAC endorsement, the Mayor’s race gets very interesting.

    Moss should be the frontrunner?!? He only got 30% against Rosemary in May, 2004 with a softer undercard. I’ll be shocked if John breaks 20%.

    Yes, Meyera has been there too long, but she’s my default if Scott Taylor doesn’t blossom.

    Will Sessoms? A disaster as Vice Mayor who is touting a nice platform. I’d never vote for him, but stand ready to work with him if he wins.

  4. Reid Greenmun says:

    Henry, there is signs that a lot of newly registered voters will be going to the polls in Virginia Beach this November. We know that the Democratic Party has been out working their targeted GOTV efforts. You even made a reference on your blog that you noticed them targeting HRT transit riders, yet they seemd to ignore whites such as yourself. Do you think that many of these newly registered voters that are expected to turn our for Barack Obama will even know who the “AAPAC” is – let alone which candidate for Mayor of Virginia beach they endorsed? How does the AAPAC communicate with these new voters? Just curious.

  5. Henry Ryto says:

    AAPAC has a large grassroots network, through predominately black churches, minority civic groups, minority media, etc. There are two people in the African-American community leadership that I know who have their own public relations firms. Therefore, as long as AAPAC endorses far enough out, they should be able to get the word out.

  6. Reid Greenmun says:

    Thanks for the info – PR firms; Delcino Miles and who else? Louisa Strayhorn? What does Gorgeanna Allen do for a living?

  7. Henry Ryto says:

    Delceno and a gentleman (I forget his name) that I met at one meeting.

    Georgia Allen. I know what she used to do, but haven’t talked to her about the “day job” in quite awhile. Our discussions always focus on public affairs.

  8. William Bailey says:

    Reid: I am a proud union member but I am not an “Attack Dog” for anyone. I agree I’m on the attack ,but I represent my views in VB politics as I have resigned my position as the VBCOPE political director. I have other duties that take me out of town so I do not have time to run the local political operations everyday. So your use of my name as the union attack dog in your original post isn’t correct.

    Frankly my attacks on him are because I believe he was a very poor Vice Mayor and was bad for our citizens and taxpayers for 12 years on council. One look at his record and it is easy to see why I’m attacking him at every turn. Look at his signs: Who puts their face on an election sign? Nobody I’ve ever seen before. I guess his ego made him do it. He is an elitist and only represents the oceanfront community in any role he fills. I expect Mayor Oberndorf will win in November. Make no mistake, I’ve gone against her many times since 2001 but in this race, she is the best candidate IMO.

    FTR: I am the Virginia Firefighter’s 6th District Vice President for the state FF’s Union and a member of the International Association of FF Union (IAFF). I support the rights of Public Safety Employees to bargain, unionize and have a safe (relative term) workplace. And I’m not ashamed to go toe to toe with anyone for a cause but I’ll work in a bipartisan manner with all who are willing to set up to the plate and lead.

  9. Reid Greenmun says:


    I stand corrected. I apologize for mistakenly and incorrectly portraying you as something you are not.

    Speaking of unions, I heard that roughly 25% of the delegrates at the DNC convention are union members and that the Unions have invested heavily in the Democratic Party.


    Because you are a member of the Unions, is your support for Mayor Oberndorf because she is a Democrat and not a Republican?

    I am just curious.

    I agree with your views on Mr. Sessoms. After reading the list of his campaign contributors it is clear to me for whom he will be working – and it isn’t the homeowners and residents of Virginia beach – not unles they also happen to be involved in Real Estate Development, which makes up over half of the $400K he has bank rolled to buy, um, er-I mean pay for his campaign.

  10. Reid Greenmun says:

    Here is a link to Henry Ryto’s Blog where he discusses this story;

    It is interesting to note that on this blog William Bailey states that he feels that Scott Taylor is a “plant”, but not intended to target John Moss, rather to take military votes away from Meyera Oberndorf.

    That is an interesting thought.

  11. William Bailey says:

    The VB City Council races are nonpartisan so a R or D tag doesn’t matter. If you know the history, you know I have attacked Mayor Oberndorf on issues in the past. We do not agree on many points but she deserves one more term given her success with Virginia’s largest city.

    Frankly Sessoms is not in the best interests of anyone who doesn’t own a business at the oceanfront and he’ll set the city back many years if we won the election. If you own an oceanfront hotel or business, then he is your man. But IMO he is going down in flames in November

    The IAFF is the most bipartisan union in the country and we’ll endorse and support both parties and anyone who supports the working men and women of this country. I’ve supported both R’s and D’s and frankly it makes no difference to me as I just look at the record and results. If you are a Dem and think you will get an endorsement and support just because of a party tag, you better think again. BTW: IAFF Firefighters for Obama in 2008. Obama is our choice in the Presidential race before us. While I respect his military history, McCain is not supportive of the working men & women in our country. Take care.

  12. Reid Greenmun says:

    Thanks William. I appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts here.

  13. Brian Kirwin says:

    The IAFF endorsed Obama in 2008 (originally endorsing Chris Dodd), John Kerry in 2004, Al Gore in 2000, Bill Clinton in 1996 and 1992, Mike Dukakis in 1988.

    Yeah, Bill, most bipartisan union in the country! Must just be a coincidence.

  14. William Bailey says:

    Brian: It is really embarrassing when a political junkie like you doesn’t take the time to look at the endorsed candidates the IAFF has endorsed across America. Sure you can always pick out a single race but that isn’t the entire story but you know that. We are supporting Republican’s & Democrats nationwide even if you do not want to face the facts. If you took a minute to do a little research instead of spinning the negative comments you always post, you would not publicly embarrass yourself in this manner. I and the rest of the Tidewater region’s political folks know your negative approach and comments by heart. Frankly anytime you start that negative crap, I count it as a plus for our candidates. So please continue…

    Or for your own personal wellbeing, get some counseling to put something positive into your approach and life.

  15. Brian Kirwin says:

    Pick out a single race. It’s PRESIDENT. i didn’t just randomly pick an office out of a hat. I think 100% Democratic endorsements for the highest office in the land tell us where your union is politically.

    As far as your personal attacks on me, they reflect more on you, as the EMS folks will gladly tell anyone who asks.

  16. Brian Kirwin says:

    By the way, why do you consider your Democratic endorsements “negative crap?”

  17. William Bailey says:

    See just more negatives… BTW: I’m more interested in the opinions of those folks whose lives have been saved as a result of hiring those EMS folks. Hard to find a negative in firing 40+ paramedics but you did! Thank you again.

  18. William Bailey says:

    That would be HIRING ans Not firing as I typed… It is late…

  19. Brian Kirwin says:

    Please tell me how pointing out your union’s Presidential endorsements constitute “negative.”

  20. ego-w says:

    cheap ego-t…

    […]Thoughts on the 2008 VA Beach race for Mayor. « Tidewater Liberty[…]…

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