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.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

State House Elections in 2007

There is already talk about the races for next year for the state senate and HOD. NLS tells us Kaine wants to take back both houses, while Virginia Centrist says the dems will lose seats in the HOD.

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?


  • At 8/23/2006 7:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Kaine won the 100th. He even won Accomack County. It would be a tossup seat if Lewis runs for the Senate. The GOP is not really well organized on the Shore. Neither are the Dems but, with the Kaine win, are in a little better shape.

    Troy Farlow could have kept his Onancock residence and ran here (if Rerras rumors pan out), but he decided to stay in Williamsburg to run against Melanie Rapp, one of the worst delegates. She starts out ahead, but we'll see.

  • At 8/23/2006 8:17 PM, Blogger Vivian J. Paige said…

    The Rerras thing is not true. He is not getting a Kaine administration appointment.

  • At 8/23/2006 10:49 PM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    anon, I realize Kaine won the 100th but its a GOP leaning district. Candidate selection would have a big impact on a race there.
    Vivian, I hope you are right b/c that changes the whole dynamic of the Senate. If Rerras doesnt get an appointment, the dems job just got alot harder.

  • At 8/24/2006 8:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Unfortunately we can probably expect another very ugly primary involving Del. May. In my opinion this is absolutely ridiculous. If may were to lose in a primary the dems would pick up the seat easily in the general.

  • At 8/24/2006 11:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    I respect your analysis, but I was involved in elections on the Shore in the last few years. I know the 100th pretty well. It's a swing district. In the 2005 election, the Dems figured out how to win Accomack which is way more Republican than Northampton (which John Kerry carried). The one Norfolk precinct leans Republican.

    This is all hearsay since we don't know what Lynwood is going to do.

    Even if a Republican does win there, they would be in the mold of Bob Bloxom, a moderate centrist, good government type, not someone who will do whatever Howell and Griffith tell them to do.
    100th stays Dem if Lewis runs, tossup if he doesn't.

  • At 8/24/2006 11:27 AM, Blogger Riley, Not O'Reilly said…

    Correct. The PWC Dems have no bench at all. Hilda Barg was their best shot at defeating Frederick. If she couldn't do it in the year Kaine won, he won't be beaten. He's got excellent constituent service, too.

  • At 8/24/2006 7:01 PM, Anonymous StaunchfromDC said…

    Wow, is JeanneMarie really in that much trouble? I can't seriously picture her loosing.

  • At 8/25/2006 9:40 AM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    12:05, certainly Lewis is safe if he doesnt run for the Senate. I think the 100th would be leans GOP if it came open though; but the candidates would make a big difference.
    staunchfromdc, Jeannemarie is in trouble because she has a Kerry/Kaine district and will be running against one of the most popular people in Fairfax County.


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