Posts Tagged ‘VA Governor’s Race’
For the first time all four prospective candidates for Governor of Virginia met face to face in what was described as an “informal” debate in Richmond.
From the reports of the proceedings, the event appeared to be a hint of what is to come. Democrats squabbling amongst each other with the republican attempting to stay above the fray. It could stay that way until the Dems decide who their candidate will be.
Here is a recap from various papers around the state:
The Washington-Post focuses on the sparring between the democrats.
The Free-Lance Star talks transportation.
The Roanoke Times takes a general approach.
UPDATE… The McDonnell Camp is the first up with a YouTube video highlighting their candidate’s performance. See it by clicking here.
We aren’t quite in to 2009 yet and it is quite possible that these lists will shrink within the next few months, but right now there is a very crowded field of potential candidates for the three statewide posts up for election next fall. Many already have web sites, which I have linked to below.
Here is a rundown:
Attorney General Bob McDonnell
Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling
Brian Moran picked up some more grassroots endorsements today. This announcement is a continuation of his efforts to build a case that he is the choice of the Democratic base. For the average voter it may not seem like earth shattering news, but his campaign manger Mame Reiley said that they “have never had an endorsement like this before in Virginia that anyone can remember.” The news comes as a key Kaine supporter indicates that he will side with Terry McAuliffe. The Washington Post is also reporting that Moran is trying to decide if he will still run for his seat in the House of Delegates, along with running for Governor.
On the other side, Bob McDonnell today continued his efforts to remind Virginians that he is the Commonwealth’s Attorney General. Today he put out a press release, reminding parents to check the ratings of video games before buying them as gifts for their children.
I am sure if you are a regular reader of this blog you already have read Glenn Thrush’s piece on Politico’s front page today about Terry McAuliffe‘s ambitions to run for Governor of Virginia. It is a great inside look at where McAulifee is and what circumstances could lead to him becoming the democratic nominee.
While the piece talks at length about the pros and cons to a McAuliffe candidacy, I thought the most interesting bit of news revealed was the commitment that “The Macker”, as insiders call him, has made to support democratic efforts to take control of the House of Delegates. The lower half of the General Assembly is the last bastion of GOP power in Virginia (although the Democratic lead in the Senate is slim and their chances of holding on to the Governor’s mansion is 50-50 at best.)
According to the article, the prodigious fundraiser, plans to set a target and raise enough cash to fill the coffers of democratic candidates in Virginia right on down the line. They did not disclose a specific sum, but speculated that it could be as much as $75 million. That is an incredible sum of cash to use as a carrot for hardcore party faithful, that want help for their small time house races.
This strategy, plays right into the heart of Del. Brian Moran‘s base. Moran, while unknown in many parts of the state is a lion of the General Assembly and continually boasts of his support amongst grass roots democrats. The type of people who helped Tim Kaine and Mark Warner get elected. Moran, the house democratic leader, takes a least some of the credit for shrinking the republican majority and has worked hard to reach out to these supporters by being “one of them”. His hope is to draw the comparison that McAuliffe is an outsider who doesn’t know their process and hasn’t paid his Virginia dues.
Will that argument hold when these same supporters and potential and current candidates are presented with the possibility of big bucks to help topple a GOP institution in Richmond? McAuliffe has said that his commitment to the Democratic Party of Virginia is separate from his plans to run for Governor, but it would be hard to imagine that he would attack small time legislative races with the same zeal, were he not the candidate for Governor.
Another level of incredible intrigue in what promises to be a hectic primary.
Terry McAuliffe‘s bid for the Democratic nomination for Governor is becoming more and more serious. Today it was revealed that he has appointed Democratic political gun Mike Henry to run his campaign. Henry just finished helping Mark Warner cruise to victory in his Senate Race. He also has ties to Tim Kaine. Henry, however has a connection to McAuliffe in that they were both part of the Clinton campaign team. The Henry appointment comes after the choice of Mo Elleithee to operate his communications. Elleithee has played a key role in several Democratic wins in Virgina.
While McAuliffe staffs up, Brian Moran (who has been staffed up for close to a year) is working to build support with party faithful around Virginia. Moran today announced the support of a key group of Democratic leaders in Loudon county. A county that his press staff touts as a “bellwether”. No Democrat since 2001 has won statewide office without winning Loudon.
Continuing to sit back and enjoy the view is the Republican Bob McDonnell. He certainly had to love the quote from the aforementioned Elleithee in today’s Washington Post. The McAuliffe spokesman called the GOP candidate the “the strongest statewide candidate the Republicans have put up since George Allen in 2000.”
Tim Kaine turns down the chance to run the DNC (a job Terry McAuliffe used to have).
Jim Webb would like to close the gap between the requests he has received for inauguration tickets and the amount he has to distribute (26,000 requested: 500 available)
I will take a look at the Virginia Tourism Corporation‘s hopes to cash in on the Obama Inauguration frenzy. With 1 million people already expected to attend, they are encouraging more people to come. What will I-95 be like that week? I will have that tonight during our 11pm news.
I hope you didn’t think I was kidding when I said that Decision 2009 is already underway. We have a governor’s race on tap in the state of Virginia and already the battle lines are being drawn. But while candidates are lining up for 2009 and beyond, there are still quite a few lingering questions still out there from 2008 yet to be decided.
The biggest lingering issue in Virginia politics is the congressional race in the 5th District. Democratic challenger Tom Perriello declared victory in his race against Republican incumbent Virgil Goode. The race had it’s share of mud-slinging but has yet to identify a winner. The final tally had Perriello ahead by just about 750 votes. Goode, however has said that he is not ready to concede and this race appears to be headed to a recount. Goode can’t even ask for a recount until the vote is certified on Nov. 24th. If Perriello hangs on, it will cap an historic turnaround for Democrats in Virginia that not only saw them win the Presidential race for the first time in over 40 years, but also a U.S. Senate race and pick up three seats in Congress. (Rep. Thelma Drake lost her seat and the seat vacated by Rep. Tom Davis also went to a Democrat).
The current democratic domination of Virginia politics looms large over the 2009 gubernatorial race, but could the democratic brand be too popular? Three heavyweight candidates, Del. Brian Moran, Sen. Creigh Deeds and former DNC Chair Terry McAuliffe, are already committed to running for Governor as democrats. It is still very early, but if their problems are not resolved, the primary could turn into a slugfest which leaves the victor wobbly and wounded waiting for the anointed Republican Bob McDonnell to knock them out. (yes I was going for a record of boxing metaphors there)
McAuliffe has become a ubiquitous figure at Virginia Democratic events. He was all over the Democratic Victory party in McLean and even was the guest of honor for a Barack Obama debate watching party here in Richmond. (Where we asked him about running for Governor) McAuliffe’s early testing of the water has been met with some harsh reaction from editorial page writers and his potential opponents. Brian Moran’s communications director Jesse Ferguson said that “Given Mr. McAuliffe’s previous ambitions to run for Governor of Florida, he needs to explain to the people of Virginia if he’s doing this for the right reasons.”
However, he remains a formidable figure with a vast amount of resources. Moran and Deeds certainly have local connections with their distinct bases, but could McAuliffe just outspend and out-chat the other two to death? It is clear that this could be a tense winter for Democrats, hungry to be the first to hold on to the Governor’s mansion, for three consecutive terms.
McAuliffe will appear along side a cadre of politicos at an election postmortem organized by UVA sage Larry Sabato.
Bob McDonnell makes the rounds at a heavily watched Republican Governor’s Association meeting, hoping to become one of them.
Tonight at 11, I will have a special Reality Check about how the demands of the struggling economy is forcing many people make difficult choices about how they spend their money. We put a local woman to the test. She agreed to live on only $20 for an entire week. We will show you just how difficult it was and give you the chance to read all about her experience tonight on NBC12 news.