John Fredericks outlined on The Bull Elephant his favorites right now for the statewide races in 2017. I had to stop from laughing at some of this analysis, and mostly on the Democratic side. This was, in the end, mostly about inserting and giving run to as many Hampton Roads politicians as he could because that is where he is from and what he knows. Thus, a terrible list. Let me quickly breakdown the candidates for you that he has.
- Dem Gov: Northam > Herring
- Dem LG: Chap > Everyone On Earth
- Dem AG: Fairfax > Surovell
- GOP Gov: Obenshain > Wittman > Snyder > Wagner > Bill Stanley
- GOP LG: Snyder > Stewart > Reeves > Ramadan > O'Quinn > Glenn Davis (huh?)
- GOP AG: Bell > Everyone On Earth
Ok. We have some serious problems here. Let me start at the very top with the Democratic nomination for governor. There is no way Ralph Northam can beat Mark Herring, hero to progressives, in a statewide primary. Fredericks cites support from Dick Saslaw which makes no sense since Northam almost switched parties five years ago or so. He claims Hampton Roads give Northam a bigger base to run from, seemingly not understanding that Herring comes from the most important county in the state and will probably win big margins in progressive Arlington and Fairfax County on his gay marriage stand alone. Terrible, terrible analysis here. Biased. Republicans should HOPE its Northam. Fredericks says all Northam does is win elections, but all Mark Herring has done is win elections, too.
Snark aside, I generally agree with him on the lieutenant governor's race, although I don't think Chap Petersen will run statewide. He's tried that before and it didn't end well for him. I very much expect actually that Herring and Northam come to a gentleman's agreement the same way McDonnell and Bolling did. Fredericks also fails to mention other names, specifically female and black candidates, who could run too - I think specifically of Jennifer McClellan and Michael Futrell, especially if he wins his Senate seat. Chap is an enigmatic guy and very popular in his little corner of the state, but I'm not sure if his quirky views and bipartisan insticts will play well in a statewide, base-driven primary.
And there is NO WAY Justin Fairfax is anyone's favorite for attorney general. If Scott Surovell is running on the Dem side, he'll wipe the floor with any Democratic of Fairfax's diminished stature. The Democratic bench wasn't strong in 2013, but it has gotten better. The 8th district congressional primary showed that Patirck Hope and Adam Ebbin both have ambitions. Fairfax kind of reminds be of Steve Baril, who ran against McDonnell and did better than most thought. Also, think about Shannon Taylor, Henrico County commonwealth's attorney.
On the Republican side, I have very little to quibble on the surface with his analysis. I think everyone likes Obenshain but the spectre of Creigh Deeds haunts over him. Deeds lost to McDonnell in a recount for attorney general but then got blown out four years later in the rematch. McDonnell was from a populous portion of the state while Deeds was from rural Virginia. That fact is not lost on any Republicans that I have talked to that love Obenshain but understand the population dynamics of this state. If Frank Wagner does run for governor, I think that basically assures us that Rob Wittman would be the nominee if he ran because Obensahin and Wagner was split the party and Wittman would run up the middle as everyone's second choice. Not sure where Bill Stanley's name comes in on this. Another thing for conservatives to think about with Wittman ... if he wins his safe congressional seat opens up and guess who lives in the 1st district now? Ken Cuccinelli.
For LG, I think he's mistaken on both Snyder and Stewart. Synder's campaign was all sizzle and no stick (literally) and I think that while most people like him, I don't know how serious people take him. Stewart has taken a mighty fall that began even before 2013. His views on immigrants, especially Hisapnic ones, are as toxic as ever and he is currently facing an uprising in Prince Williams County over raising taxes. He's out. The middle three - Reeves, Ramadan, and O'Quinn - are definitely names to think about. Two other names to think about are Del. Tim Hugo and of course Jamie Radtke. If Radtke does indeed primary Walter Stosch and defeat him, she'll be a force to reckon with and this could be a prime spot for her obvious ambitions.
Attorney general is obviously Bell until someone else can find someone else.
If I had to pick now this si what I'd go with:
Mark Herring/Ralph Northam/Shannon Taylor vs. Rob Wittman/Jamie Radtke/Rob Bell.
But that's just me.