State House Elections in 2007
I guess I have the third opinion, which is that the Senate will probably go to 20-20 and we will lose House seats but not control.
First the Senate: We have to lose 4 seats to lose control, or a 3 seat loss would result in the LG breaking ties. If this happens the 2009 LG would become very important as it would determine what party controlled redistricting the Senate. Here are the major seat contests for 2007.
I would say JeanneMarie will lose if Chap Petersen does in fact run against her. She may even choose to not run and begin her LG candidacy with her 365k that she has in the bank right now.
It sounds like Nick Rerras will be appointed to a position in Kaine's administration which will cause an opening there. Del. Lynwood Lewis from Accomack County is the likely dem candidate there, and we have no one who can defeat him based on the district (unless we have some wildly popular person in Norfolk that I don't know about.
Cuccinelli is probably very vunerable, but it appears the dems are having trouble finding someone to run against him. The main name I have heard right now is Fairfax County Sheriff Stan Barry. At any rate, Cooch can raise tons of money and bring in lots of volunteers, so he will be tough to beat in the grassroots part of the campaign.
O'Brien is somewhat in the same situation, although his district is probably a bit more liberal, but O'Brien is much less verbal about his conservative stances. Here again it appears the dems are having problems finding a strong candidate to challenge. It sounds like the main person to challenge him is Gallagher who ran against O'Brien in 2003. This is probably the best chance for us to hold of the 4, but its way early at this point.
Chuck Colgan was rumored to be retiring, but it now appears he will run one more time. I doubt he will be beaten, especially based on the current climate in NOVA; but his age could be a factor. I would say we pick this seat up if he leaves, but it stays in the dem column if Colgan is on the ballot in 07. Possible GOP challengers are candidate for Parrish's seat Carroll Weimer and Cuccinelli aide Bob Fitzsimmons.
Edd Houck or Roscoe Reynolds would be GOP pickups of they were to leave their districts, but are safe as long as these guys stay put. A Phil Puckett retirement could make for an interesting race, but again it is safe as long as he is there.
From this, I think its a good possibility that the GOP loses 3 seats in the Senate and then puts the 09 LG race on the redistricting map. I think either Cooch or O'Brien will survive to prevent a complete loss in 2007.
As for the House, the GOP has 57 (assuming Jackson Miller wins in November) plus 2 Indys. In order for the dems to regain control they need 10 seats.
GOP Manoli Loupassi will be running against indy Katherine Waddell in the 68th (Richmond/Chesterfield) seat. I have a feeling he will crush her with his popularity in the area and the area being GOP. The only problem here may be whether Loupassi can win a primary against a more conservative Republican.
If Lynwood Lewis does take Rerras' senate seat, the GOP will probably be able to pick up the 100th on the eastern shore. It is a relatively GOP area, but I know of no candidates at this point.
That is about the only GOP pickup I see other than a Ward Armstrong or Joe Johnson retirement. If either of those happen, the seats will definitely go GOP.
On the dem side, they will likely defeat Dave Albo and/or Jeff Frederick. It would seem they should survive 2007 after outpacing Kilgore by large numbers last year; but it depends on who the dems get to run against them (that is what is helping Frederick since the dem bench in PWC is basically non-existent).
The dems will pickup Rust, Callahan and May if any of those retire; but none of those look ready to hang it up yet.
The only other dem pickup seems to be Allen Dudley in Franklin County. If Dudley cannot get his act together, Eric Ferguson will probably beat him in 2007. Kilgore is probably the only the only thing that carried Dudley in 2005.
I am guessing the dems will pickup 1 or 2 seats in 2007; barring any retirements.
Is there anything anyone else is hearing?