Archive for May 10th, 2009
Delegate Steve Shannon is unique when it comes to the world of statewide democratic candidates in Virginia. He doesn’t have a primary to worry about.
The savvy, young Northern Virginia lawyer was able to ward off the competition and become the only democrat to submit petitions in the race for Attorney General. That means he has nothing to worry about until November. It is a distinct pleasure compared to his counterparts running for Governor and Lt. Governor who are all dealing with multiple primary challengers.
As a result of having his nomination secure, Shannon is not in a position where he has to yo-yo across the political spectrum in order to pick up votes over the course of the campaign calender. Unlike his opponents in the Attorney General’s race (of which there are currently 3 republicans) and the aforementioned democrats in other competitions, Shannon does not have work hard to secure the left leaning base of the Democratic party to win a primary and then yo-yo back to the middle to pick up a wide spectrum of support come November.
So it was not a surprise when I sat down with the candidate that he talked in very broad bi-partisan terms. It was clear that he was hoping to reach out to voters of all stripes. Shannon talked at length about how was not involved at all in what he called “partisan” politics until deciding to run for the house of delegates after leaving the commonwealth’s attorney’s office in Fairfax. He was careful to avoid reaching beyond his message of working to make Virginia a safer place by focusing on economic and personal security. The only time he really waved the democratic flag, was to tell the story of wrestling away his house seat from years of Republican control.
He has a storybook style resume’. A posh Connecticut university for college, a Masters in Public Policy from Georgetown and a JD from UVA. His wife is a veteran of Capitol Hill and they have two kids (yes, one boy and one girl). In addition to his work as a Delegate he is employed as a litigator at a prominent Fairfax law firm. Despite his quick rise to prominence, Shannon is taking a relatively big gamble on running statewide at the young age of 38. He is forced to give up his seat in the House of Delegates. (The candidate assures me that the Democrats will have no problem keeping his seat in their column).
After the jump, I have an extended clip from my interview with Del. Shannon where he discusses his effort to stay above the partisan fray. I am sure we will hear more from him over the next several months.