Saturday, January 14, 2006

VA campaign season near its end

Whats's that? You didn't know it had started? Yes, indeed! And it was - let's see - almost 2 weeks ago.


You can be forgiven for not knowing this one. It's kind of a weird story, truth be told. In the last general elections, Virginians voted for their candidate for the office of Attorney General. The vote was counted and it was so close (less than 200 votes) that a recount was ordered. The recount was performed and it confirmed that Republican Bob MacDonnald had won the race. The final tally had Bob winning by just under 400 votes State-wide. That recount was completed and confirmed about 3 weeks ago.

MacDonald had already chosen a Deputy Attorney General, one Bill Mims. Mims is a lawyer with a successful practice, a fantastic work ethic, and both the experience and attitude to do the job well. Bill apparently thought the job sounded good because he accepted the position immediately. The only snag is this: Bill Mims is a State Senator for the 33rd Virginia district. My district. Well, you can't be Deputy Attorney General and a Senator at the same time, so he resigned his seat which then required a special election to fill. That's when campaign season started.

The Democrats had a couple of people that wanted the job, Mark Herring and Chuck Harris. Harris bowed out quickly to allow the party to focus entirely on Herring. The Republicans have an internal race going between Mick Staton and Randy Minchew. There's a Republican Primary on Monday to decide who gets the party banner to carry into the special election which is to be held the week after. In short, these 2 men had about 10 days to get their machines going and try to fire up the base enough to vote for them. The winner of the primary will have less time than that to try to win the real votes of the district.

To add a little more spice to the mix, Mick Staton is currently serving on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors. If he should win the Senate seat, Loudoun County residents in the Sugarland Run district will get to have another special election to fill his seat. Hopefully we'll all be done before the national general elections in November!

I have actually met and spoken with both men, although I'm sure neither remember. Both are good Republicans. I have to say, however, that Randy Minchew is the man I'm going to cast my vote for in the primary. His work in Loudoun's Republican Committee shows a remarkable ability to balance the needs and desires of a wide array of Republicans from the far-right to the center. That's the kind of guy I want as my Senator, not some guy who'll go around insulting the rest of the Assembly. Not that Staton would do that, necessarily. I just think Minchew's got a better set of qualifications for the job from a "soft" qualifications perspective.

Well, we'll know by Monday evening, I suppose.