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Decision Virginia Archive 8/08- 7/12

Posts Tagged ‘Tom Perriello

Stewart gets jump on unsettled 2013 field

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By: Ryan Nobles – bio | email

Despite being in the midst of a contentious and serious battle for the 2012 federal elections. Virginia politicos are preparing for what could be an incredibly competitive 2013. Several candidates on both sides are either publicly or quietly mulling a run for statewide office. At this point the most of the conversations are speculative and the large field that currently exists will certainly be widdled down by the time voters are actually forced to make decisions. However with the active and ambitious crop being discussed heated primaries and/or state party conventions are almost certain.

Republicans are already dealing with a holy war at the top of their ticket between Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and Lt. Governor Bill Bolling. The Bolling- Cuccinelli feud may be only part of what the GOP will be dealing with. A number of candidates are considering runs for Lt. Governor and Attorney General that if they hold it could mean competitive nominating contests on all levels.

A particularly interesting battle is setting up in the republican Lt. Governor’s race. Wednesday, the ambitious Chair of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors Corey Stewart formally entered the race. Stewart is well-known in political circles, in part because of the numerous times he has tossed his name into prospective statewide races only to back away. Most recently Stewart seriously considering running for the open U.S. Senate seat. He even went as far to say some pretty critical things about former Senator George Allen, who he later endorsed.

On First at 4, Stewart told me that the timing was right for him to run statewide this time.

“We’ve been able to reduce taxes, we’ve cut spending by more than $143 million dollars (in Prince William County) instituted some good budgetary reforms while still putting a lot more money into transportation, and I’d like to do the same thing for the Commonwealth of Virginia,” he said.

Stewart won’t be alone in the race for the state’s second spot. Pete Snyder, the wealthy technology entrepreneur and ally of Governor Bob McDonnell is also mulling a run. Snyder is getting quite a bit of face time in his role as the Virginia GOP’s chief fundraiser. He appeared on First at 4 a couple of weeks ago.

The republicans also have several candidates considering a run for Attorney General, the most prominent, Harrisonburg Senator Mark Obenshain and Charlottesville Delegate Rob Bell.

But too many candidates for not enough positions is not a problem exclusive to republicans. multiple candidates are lining up on the democratic side. State Senator Chap Petersen has already set up a PAC and has said he plans a gubernatorial run. Former DNC Chair Terry McAuliffe is widely expected to make another run. This is of course if the long running rumor that Senator Mark Warner would like to come back to Richmond, turns out to be just a rumor.

The lower parts of the ticket aren’t quite lined up as orderly as their counterparts on the republican side, but prominent democrats are being floated in those positions as well. Among them, Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael Herring and former Delegate Ward Armstrong. Update: Friends of Loudon Democratic Senator Mark Herring emailed to remind me that he has officially begun exploring a run for Attorney General.

There are other names being whispered as well. Former candidate for Lt. Governor Michael Signer and his close friend former Rep. Tom Perriello both have been suggested as statewide candidates. Henrico Sen. Don McEachin ran for Attorney General before and could be thrown into the mix and a new rising start, Alexandria Del. Charniele Herring hasn’t formally talked about running statewide, but was a key voice in the battle over abortion in this year’s General Assembly session and might be a name brought up in the future.

So much of this talk is just that talk. Names thrown into the air to see what the reception is to gauge the possibility of investing, time, energy and quite a bit of money into running statewide. That is what make’s the Stewart announcement so significant. He is all in. More than a year before anyone will be forced to make a decision about who they would like as their nominee.

Will getting out first pay off? Stewart is betting it will. It is a question we won’t know the answer to, until we get through the first brutal election still in front of us.

Our full interview with Chairman Stewart can be found below:

Stewart’s full announcement can be found after the jump:

Read the rest of this entry »

Obama to visit Prince George County

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President Barack Obama returns to Central Virginia next Friday to deliver remarks on the state of the U.S. economy. The visit will be a White House trip and will come just three days after the Virginia GOP primary.  

The specific time and location of the event have not been released.

Prince George County Government officials revealed on their twitter feed that the president will visit the brand new Rolls Royce plant.

Central Virginia has become a frequent stop for the president. Since taking office, Mr. Obama has held an intimate conversation with a small group of people at a community center in Strafford Hills, campaign style rallies at the University of Richmond and Greensville County High School and addressed first responders at a fire station in Chesterfield.

Virginia, a state Obama narrowly won in 2008, is expected to be one of the most competitive states in the 2012 elections. In addition to his visits to the greater Richmond area, the president has made multiple visits to Hampton Roads and has made numerous stops to locations in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.

He also made a campaign stop in Charlottesville in  2010 for then Rep. Tom Perriello‘s unsuccessful re-election campaign.

NBC12 will have complete coverage of the presidents visit. Check back next week for specifics about the time and location of the event.

Written by Ryan Nobles

March 2, 2012 at 10:10 pm

BREAKING: Webb will not seek re-election

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In a surprise statement released just a few minutes ago, Senator Jim Webb announced that he will not seek re-election to his post. The full statement is below:

Statement of Senator Jim Webb

Washington, DC–Today Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) issued the following statement:

Five years ago this week, on February 8, 2006, I announced my intention to run for the United States Senate.  We had neither campaign funds nor a staff.  We were challenged in a primary, and trailed the incumbent in the general election by more than 30 points in the polls.

Over the next nine months we focused relentlessly on the need to reorient our national security policy, to restore economic fairness and social justice, and to bring greater accountability in our government.  I will always be grateful for the spirit and energy that was brought into this campaign by thousands of loyal and committed volunteers.  Their enthusiasm and sheer numbers were truly the difference in that election.

It has been a great and continuing privilege to serve in the United States Senate.  I am very proud of my talented and dedicated staff, which has worked tirelessly to resolve the issues on which I based my candidacy, and to protect the interests of all Virginians in this national forum.  Among other contributions we have given our Post- 9/11 veterans the best GI Bill since World War Two; we have taken the lead in reforming our criminal justice system; we have led the way toward stronger relations in East and Southeast Asia; and we have been a strong voice in calling on China to act more responsibly in the world community. We will continue to work on these and other issues throughout the rest of my term.

However, after much thought and consideration I have decided to return to the private sector, where I have spent most of my professional life, and will not seek re-election in 2012.

Notwithstanding this decision, I have every intention of remaining involved in the issues that affect the well-being and the future of our country.


The list is now being populated with potential replacements for Webb as the Democratic nominee.

Gov. Tim Kaine- The obvious front-runner.  The current DNC Chairman is close friend of President Obama. Kaine has said in the past that he wouldn’t be interested (he told me during his last month in office that governor would be his last elected office), but a lot can change now that the seat is open.

Rep. Tom Perriello- A close friend of the White House, with liberal credentials but has run well in conservative regions. Perriello has proven himself as relentless on the campaign trail. The question is, will he be interested. conveniently he is traveling out of the country right now.

Rep. Rick Boucher- Boucher was a surprise loss for Democrats in Southwest Virginia. He left a lot of money in the bank, and didn’t seem ready to retire. Even though he is from coal country, his politics play well in Northern Virginia and he is very connected in D.C.

Rep. Glenn Nye- The one term conserva-dem from Virginia Beach was beat in November. However he is young and filled with ambition. Just like Perriello’s liberal side may play better statewide than in VA-5, Nye may think his moderate position makes him an attractive statewide candidate. Although, Nye has real issues with the Democratic party faithful.

Other names worth pointing out: Sen. Creigh Deeds, (who has run twice for statewide office) Del. Ward Armstrong(whose statewide ambitions are not a secret), Sen. Don McEachin (who has run statewide in the past), Mike Signer (former candidate for LG, close friend of Tom Perriello and ambitious)  and frankly.. just about every politician in Virginia who describes him/herself as a Democrat.

Who Won’t Run:

Terry McAuliffe- The former DNC Chairman and candidate for Governor has soundly rejected any thought about running for Senate. He told me a few weeks ago that he is “more the executive type”. I followed up with his staff today and they say his position has not changed despite the now open seat.

Gov. Doug Wilder- In a phone conversation this afternoon Wilder asked me “Do you know how old I am?” Wilder emphatically rejected any chance that he might run. He said that he is however concerned about who the Democrats might put up. “They need to develop a farm team,” he said. Wilder avoided making any kind of declarative statement on Tim Kaine’s worthiness as a candidate. He would only say that he is “certain they will all come out,” and that “One person I am not going to support is me.”

Webb won’t commit to 2012 run

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By: Ryan Nobles – bio | email

Virginia Senator Jim Webb is less than two years away from a re-election bid, a contest that by all measures will be difficult. But while many Democrats are huddling in strategy sessions preparing to reverse the current Republican tide, Webb doesn’t appear to be in any hurry to decide if he is even going to run.

In a fascinating profile on the Commonwealth’s senior Senator posted on RealClearPolitics.com, Webb won’t commit to a run in 2012. “Still sorting that out,” he said before adding. “I’m not saying I’m not.”

Webb’s ambivalence is alarming to Democrats because the man he beat, former Senator George Allen,  appears to already be running for his old seat.  Allen has written a book and has become a regular at GOP events large and small across Virginia.  In addition to his traditional stumping, Allen often appears on local TV and radio stations, while Webb rarely grants interviews to local reporters.   (Contrasted by his always available colleague Sen. Mark Warner, who will appear live on NBC12 First at 4 Wednesday)

While Webb has always done things his way, his resistance to state his plans has caught the attention of major media players like the Washington Post, which now ranks Virginia’s senate seat as the 5th most likely to change party hands.

Their ranking is in part, attributed to Webb’s lackluster fund raising.  He raised only $16,000 in the third quarter of 2010 and has $471,000 on hand. The Post has list of other incumbent Senators and how much they have raised by comparison.

While Webb is not ready to make a decision, don’t expect Democrats interested in running for the post to say a word until he is officially out.  The Post speculated, wisely that former Governor Tim Kaine would be a front runner for the slot.  However (and this is all speculation) don’t rule out Terry McAuliffe who is almost certain to run for Governor, but might be tempted to throw his statewide infrastructure into the mix early if the opportunity presented itself.  Another long shot possibility,  Rep. Tom Perriello. While Perriello just suffered a tough defeat, he drew the admiration of many for the fight he waged. Congressman rarely become statewide names, but the attention Perriello’s race drew and his visit from President Obama have made him very well known across Virginia. Perriello also is able to tap into a wide-ranging liberal fund-raising base that could help a potential statewide campaign. While Perriello has not given many details into his future plans, he has been tossed around in some circles as a potential statewide candidate.

Of course this all idle speculation until Webb makes his final decision. Webb spokesman Will Jenkins confirmed for me that the Senator has not made up his mind if he will run again, but he couldn’t offer a time line for when the decision might be made.

I also have some ideas as to who may be willing to challenge Allen for the Republican nod, especially if Webb is out of the mix. I’ll share them at a later date.

Written by Ryan Nobles

November 9, 2010 at 6:26 pm

Details on President Obama visit to Charlottesville

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By: Ryan Nobles – bio | email

President Barack Obama comes to Charlottesville tomorrow to stump for Congressman Tom Perriello‘s re-election bid.  Unlike the President’s invitation only event in Richmond a few weeks ago, this event is open to the public on a first come, first serve basis.

If you are interested in attending here are the details:


A Rally with President Obama
Charlottesville Pavilion on the Downtown Mall
Doors open at 5:00 PM

The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required.

Public entrance is between 5th and 6th Streets NE, on the Downtown Mall.

All attendees will go through airport-like security and should bring as few personal items as possible. No bags, sharp objects, umbrellas, liquids, or signs will be allowed in the venue. Cameras are permitted.


I will be there reporting live for NBC12 starting at 4pm. I’ll try to post interesting tid-bits here on Decision Virginia, but I am sure my twitter feed will be busy. If you aren’t following me now, join the thousands who already are! Twitter.com/ryanobles.

Meanwhile the Richmond Tea Party is planning a counter rally to the President’s rally. The details for that event can be found on their website by clicking here.

State Senator Robert Hurt, Perriello’s opponent will be pretty far away from Charlottesville. He is hosting a small business round table in Martinsville.


Perriello hoping to leverage Tea Party choice to victory

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By: Ryan Nobles – bio | email 

There may be no Congressional District in the country where the Tea Party can have an impact like they can in the Virginia 5th.  Congressman Tom Perriello is fighting for re-election against Republican Robert Hurt.  Hurt is an establishment candidate with the party’s support, but someone who had to overcome a bitter primary with his opposition fueled in large part by different factions of the Tea Party in the sprawling 5th district.

Make no mistake, Perriello is not the man Tea Party supporters want to see return to Congress, but in an interview today on NBC12 First at 4,  the Democrat admitted that their dissatisfaction with Hurt could be the key to his victory.

“They know Senator Hurt is not a true conservative; they don’t like him that much,” said Perriello.  “And the question is do they hate me enough to overcome that or do they go for Jeff Clark who is in line with their platform and position.”

Jeffrey Clark is the independent candidate in the 5th and has the potential to draw enough votes away from Hurt to give Perriello a chance to win.

However at this point, the polls have not reflected that hope for Perriello.  According to Real Clear Politics, which has cataloged polls connected to the race, Hurt leads consistently in almost every survey and Clark has not shown to impact the race much at all.  The latest Roanoke College poll gives Clark only 1% of the vote and shows Hurt with a 6% lead. Real Clear Politics list the race as one that “Leans Republican”.

If that trend holds, Perriello will be forced to win the race on his own and that means defending his record that was liberal enough for the web site MoveOn.org to list him as a “Progressive Hero”. The moniker is part of a fund-raising effort to help endangered Democrats who support issues the group believes in. It has helped him raise more than $100,000, but also has become a frequent punching bag for Republicans. The Hurt campaign issued a press release on the subject and several GOP blogs have made sure voters know who Perriello is connected to.

Perriello wouldn’t say if MoveOn.org is a group whose values match the values of the relatively conservative 5th District.  Instead he said that voters should appreciate that he is not afraid to stand up for what he believes in.

“There aren’t nearly enough politicians from either party to actually fight for everyday folks against the corporate interest groups that are there,” he said. ” I think someone who comes along is fighting for the people; other people want to have their back.”

At this point we don’t have an interview scheduled with Sen. Robert Hurt, but we are in the process of working with his campaign to make that happen. Independent Jeffrey Clarke is scheduled to join us Thursday October 28th.

You can see the complete interview with Rep. Perriello below. The full transcript is available at NBC12.com.

Written by Ryan Nobles

October 20, 2010 at 6:57 pm

NBC12 First at 4 Congressional Candidate interviews (UPDATED)

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By: Ryan Nobles – bio | email

Starting this Wednesday, NBC12 First at 4 will be hosting candidates running for Congress in each district in the Richmond viewing area.  The interviews will include candidates from Virginia’s 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th & 7th districts.

Some of these races, such as the 5th district contest, are some of the biggest in the country and could play a major role in deciding who controls Congress for the next two years.  Others, such as the 1st district,  have captured national media attention because events outside of the candidate’s control.  Finally, others like the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 7th are considered long shot contests with entrenched incumbents.

Regardless, we will give each candidate a fair shake. If you haven’t made up your mind yet we hope this informative segment will help you make your decision.

Here is the schedule that we have confirmed so far:  (more to be added as time goes on)

Wednesday Oct. 13th Krystal Ball (D-1)

Thursday Oct. 14th Dr. Wynne Legrow (D-4) 

Monday Oct. 18th Rick Waugh (D-7)

Tuesday Oct. 19th- Randy Forbes (R-4) *

Wednesday Oct. 20th Tom Perriello (D-5)*

Thursday Oct. 21stFloyd Bayne (I-7)

Friday Oct. 22nd- Bobby Scott (D-3)*

Monday Oct. 25th- Chuck Smith (R-3)

Tuesday Oct. 26th- Rob Wittman (R-1)*

Wednesday Oct. 27th-Robert Hurt (R-5) (tentative)

Thursday Oct. 28th- Jeffrey Clark (I-5)

Monday Nov. 1stEric Cantor (R-7)*

*Denotes incumbent

Ms. Ball kicks off our candidate interviews on Wednesday. The revelation of suggestive photos of Ball have become a national media sensation. She granted the first interview on the subject to NBC12.  The YouTube clip of the interview is approaching 150,000 views.  Ball has or will appear on all three cable news networks, was mentioned on the Rush Limbaugh show, and authored an editorial on the subject on the Huffington Post.

We’ll follow up on our initial story in this first of a series of candidate interviews Wednesday on NBC12 First at 4.