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.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

33rd Senate Update

In the race to replace Sen. Bill Mims, Mark Herring holds a fundraising advantage over Mick Staton. The latest numbers as of January 20th are:
Mick Staton: $111,500 Raised, $97,381 On Hand
Mark Herring: $156,280 Raised, $121,654 On Hand
Since then Staton has received $6250 in donations, while Herring has received $35,000. Herring certainly has a decided fund advantage here, as well as the voting trend on his side. Staton does have the advantage of the Dick Black grassroots network, but that could be suspect since he lost last November. Democrats can smell blood here and want this seat bad.

This race is important for a couple of reasons. First and foremost is the "conservatives" vs. moderates situation. If Staton wins, the conservatives will have ammunition for '07 that being conservative is what it takes to win and could lead to more primary battles. If Herring wins, the democrats as well as moderate GOPs will have ammunition to say people are rejecting conservatives and want more moderate candidates.
The second thing is the budget battle. There are rumors that even the Senate may stop the passage of a proposed tax increase (or at least a lesser increase than Kaine has proposed), but I suspect the GOP will need all the votes they can get to achieve that worthy goal, especially a Senator like Staton who will undoubtably oppose tax increases. A Herring win would make that endeavor much, much harder.
A third worthy point is that a Herring win puts the democrats in a much better position to take back control of the Senate. With 4 NOVA GOP Senate seats, it seems they are the only possible pickups the dems can target. A win here in the special would make their life much, much easier in '07 (even though they still would need a 5th seat somewhere to get a majority, which is very unlikely).

I will have updates on the 97th tonight as soon as the results start to come in.


  • At 1/24/2006 5:03 PM, Blogger J.Sarge said…


    Do you think that Democratic pickups are limited to NOVA? I thought that they might have a shot at someone like Rerras, though he fought off Protogyrou (sp?) pretty handidly.

    A Quayle retirement might make things interesting, but the GOP would certainly start out with the advantage.

  • At 1/24/2006 7:05 PM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    I think it will be nearly impossible for the dems to win any seats outside of NOVA in the senate except if a VCAP type candidate is a weak candidate but wins a primary anyway.
    I also think the chances of beating O'Brien and Cuccinelli are very low as well. Devolites-Davis is gonna be tough to beat, but she may not stay in the seat, who knows.


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