Elephant Ears

This blog is dedicated to the political happenings in the Valley and Southwest Virginia. As the the name implies, this blog will have posts based on what is heard by this elephant's (GOPer's) ears. It is also a great treat to get while at the county fair or a carnival.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Looking Ahead

Over at CW, Poli Amateur has a rundown of the possible statewide candidates in '09. The analysis looks pretty solid, but I will try to make my own list, with hopefully a few more names.

First off though is '08. John Warner will not retire, but if something happens that makes that seat come open, I expect the GOP to have a nomination battle between Gilmore and Rep. Tom Davis. Rep. Randy Forbes may also vie for the seat. Also, if George Allen runs for President or VP (and wins) Kaine will nominate Mark Warner to that open seat.

Now for '09. Here is a list of possible GOPs.
Governor: Obviously, there is Bolling and McDonnell (assuming he wins). Both of them will vie for the nod. It will be a very bitter battle between these 2 because of their closeness on nearly every issue. Look for Bolling to tout his rural strength and gun rights stances, look for McDonnell to use to the religious backing (Pat Robertson) and also his urban appeal. Jim Gilmore is certainly eyeing the governor's mansion in '09. He had to be praying for a dem sweep this time around, but he will still run. Paul Harris is another name that has been thrown out there. Originally he was rumored to be running for AG, but it now sounds that he will go straight for the top. Even so, he has a very lucrative job at Raytheon, so he may not want to leave the money quite yet.
The dark horse candidate here is Sean Connaughton. He has statewide visibility from his run for LG this year. He is from NOVA. His one disadvantage is that he is viewed as a moderate by many and he also has no state government experience. Even so, after losing Loudoun and PWC and Fairfax by 20, the GOP may be more willing to take a NOVA candidate who can win, as opposed to someone in the line that can't.

Lt Governor: This field is super crowded. Connaughton would be the top choice here since he ran last time, and being from NOVA. Chairman Kate Griffith is looking to run statewide, and she doesn't have a law degree. Sen. Jeannemarie Devolites-Davis or Sen. Ken Cuccinelli may try throw their names into the hat as the NOVA candidates. Del. Chris Saxman from Staunton is another that is considering a run. He is a strong conservative with some great ideas. He is one who could turn heads. As chairman of the Cost Cutting Caucus he can prove he is for fiscal responsibility. Sen. Brandon Bell's name has been thrown around, but at this point he is not considering a run. He may do so later on though.

Attorney General: The obvious one here is Steve Baril. Even so, I'm not sure he will be able to gather enough support again. Paul Harris is another possible candidate if he doesn't run for governor. I have heard Del. Rob Bell's name proposed as well, but I have heard others say he will not run. Chad Dotson, best know for his blog Commonwealth Conservative has voiced interest, although I don't know if its serious or not. The last name I have is the hometown favorite, Sen. Mark Obenshain. Many have predicted that he will run, but I don't know for sure whether he will or not. He does have a name that many still remember, which should help him in that regard.

Whoever plans on running for statewide office should start now. We saw this time around what happens when someone waits while another hits the ground running. The earlier the better. This is just a very early list. Any number of things could change this. We will have a much better idea after the Advance. Everyone should be starting to float their names then.

One more thing, who do the dems have, Chap Peterson? The dems have basically no one to run for statewide office next time, but I am sure they will find some between now and then. Any ideas on this?

17 Comments:

  • At 11/14/2005 3:55 PM, Blogger Politicl.Animal said…

    You keep looking at 2009 and we'll steal 2007 out from under your noses.

     
  • At 11/14/2005 4:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    bolling - never

    McDonnell - "his ties to Pat Robertson" is this the same guy that wants to assasinate Chavez, hae a tital wave dover, PA - and own gold and diamond mines in Liberia? that pat robertson, you like this guy?

    Fortunalty, the "hot botton" issues are starting to fade, that button has been pushed wayyy to many times. both bolling and McDonnell (if his leads stands) are far to the right as of now. bolling can forget about it, but McDonnell, with his good looks, and that "I'm a swell guy" attitude, will have an opportunity to distance himself from the extreme right over the next four years..

    If he can do this, and run on issues that matter, he might have a chance. but remember, he was built by idealogues, and they aren't going to cut him loose without a fight...

     
  • At 11/14/2005 5:46 PM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    Adam, we are looking at '07. Hence my last post.
    Anon, I am not saying Robertson is the greatest guy in the world but McDonnell will be able to play the "I'm the religious candidate" card with Robertson's backing. That would be for nomination purposes only. I also agree that the social issues need to not be a focal point of campaigns, but look for it to be one at least in the GOP nomination battle.

     
  • At 11/14/2005 7:30 PM, Blogger republitarian said…

    Bolling and McDonell cut a deal where Bill runs for governor because he's viewed as more moderate and Bob runs for Lt..

    Mark it down....I've already gotten mail.

     
  • At 11/14/2005 9:08 PM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    Why would Bob not stay in the AG's chair?

     
  • At 11/14/2005 9:23 PM, Blogger republitarian said…

    Obenshain.

     
  • At 11/15/2005 1:14 AM, Blogger too conservative said…

    Bob would not stay in AG.

    He would easily beat Bolling.

    I agree with you on a couple of your Connaughton points. He is the darkhorse for Governor, without a doubt.

    Depending on next years elections as well. If Republicans keep losing, he may be in need.

     
  • At 11/15/2005 8:04 AM, Blogger republitarian said…

    He might beat Bolling, but think about the general election. He can easily be portrayed as a far right winger.

     
  • At 11/15/2005 8:04 AM, Blogger republitarian said…

    He might beat Bolling, but think about the general election. He can easily be portrayed as a far right winger.

     
  • At 11/15/2005 9:55 AM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    I think both Bolling and McDonnell can probably be portrayed as "far right wingers" equally. Sure Bolling isnt called "taliban Bill", but he voices his opinions pretty loudly, whereas McDonnell is much less corrosive.
    McDonnell would have a much better shot of winning a convention b/c he would likely do better in NOVA and Hampton Roads, whereas Bolling would do better in Richmond metro, the Valley and SWVA.
    If it went to a primary, Bolling would probably win as a result of Richmond having a higher turnout than NOVA or Hampton Roads.
    The question now is; which one of these guys will control state central committee?

     
  • At 11/15/2005 11:24 AM, Blogger too conservative said…

    Bob McDonnell...

    He is in close with Connaughton and Davis, which will give him the moderate edge besides his base.

     
  • At 11/15/2005 5:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Alittle bird told me Bill Mims from Loudoun for AG in 2007.

     
  • At 11/15/2005 10:06 PM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    The field is already crowded, so we might as well add some more to the fray.

     
  • At 11/15/2005 10:25 PM, Blogger Charlie said…

    As to your question about the dems - I think whether or not Deeds wins this time he could be a contender for something in 09.

     
  • At 11/15/2005 11:35 PM, Anonymous Chris said…

    The Dems will be interesting. I mean, I think Deeds is a candidate for everything, even Governor. If he loses, he still came SO close to win. They don't have a very deep bench, and I don't see very many starts coming out of the legislature. Is Dick Cranwell viable statewide? Leslie Byrne is through? Maybe Fairfax County Chairman Gerry Connelly? Hell, what about Doug Wilder?

    The 900 lbs gorilla waiting in the wings could be Mark Warner, if nothing pans out statewide.

    What would be real interest? The National Review article on George Allen says he liked be governor more than senator? If both Allen and Warner are foiled in 2008 for whatver office they seek nationaly, wouldn't it be great if both came home for the MOTHER OF ALL ELECTIONS?!

    For political junkies, that would AWESOME.

    Some food for thought

     
  • At 11/15/2005 11:36 PM, Anonymous Chris said…

    The Dems will be interesting. I mean, I think Deeds is a candidate for everything, even Governor. If he loses, he still came SO close to win. They don't have a very deep bench, and I don't see very many starts coming out of the legislature. Is Dick Cranwell viable statewide? Leslie Byrne is through? Maybe Fairfax County Chairman Gerry Connelly? Hell, what about Doug Wilder?

    The 900 lbs gorilla waiting in the wings could be Mark Warner, if nothing pans out statewide.

    What would be real interest? The National Review article on George Allen says he liked be governor more than senator? If both Allen and Warner are foiled in 2008 for whatver office they seek nationaly, wouldn't it be great if both came home for the MOTHER OF ALL ELECTIONS?!

    For political junkies, that would AWESOME.

    Some food for thought

     
  • At 11/16/2005 12:17 AM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    Deeds would certainly be a statewide candidate, if he stays in politics. Connelly will run for Davis' congressional seat whenever it comes open. Cranwell is probably a little to over the hill and over the top to win. Byrne is probably in the same boat.
    Wilder is a good point, but I would doubt it.
    As for Warner, that is a pretty good possibility. He will not be running against George Allen though.

     

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