Virginia House of Delegates 2005 Elections

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Friday, April 22, 2005

#5 of the Top 10

#5
35th District, incumbent Steve Shannon, part of Fairfax County
Outlook: Toss Up

After winning JeanneMarie Devolities house seat back for the Democrats, this was expected to be a brawl for Steve Shannon to get re-elected. This Vienna/Oakton seat is Republican leaning, and is historically anti-tax.

However, so far the Republicans are not impressive. Ed Robinson has raised lots of money. But don't think that is grassroots- his report is almost 100% out of state donations. In fact, no other candidate in recent memory has had a report that was more unclear on where they were running. There was only one contribution from the 35th District. Jim Hyland is the most impressive candidate on paper. But his fundraising has been a disappointment, and he lost a 2003 Supervisor race in a landslide to a very bland Democratic Nominee. How would he defeat the more energetic Steve Shannon? Finally Arthur Purves is running. He runs all the time for things, and is not worth mentioning.

If the Republicans don't showing some credibility soon, this race will be changed to a "Lean Democratic".

23 Comments:

At 12:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree that Robinson & Hyland, both GOP candidates for this seat, are less than impressive. Robinson is an energetic, African American guy with connections to people who have deep pockets. You noted the latter. He has already knocked on 4000 doors in the area and has a good organization, complete with the PDAs that Republicans in Fairfax County have long been promised.

Jim Hyland has a good organization from his campaign for Supervisor and his time as Chair of the Providence District GOP. Don't beat him up too much for losing the BOS race in '03. Providence has not had an R Supervisor since 1971! This House district takes in more Republican-leaning territory. Jim is also running with the support of Rob McDowell (2003 R nominess) and Senator Devloites-Davis.

You are right that Purves does not merit a mention.

 
At 12:53 PM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

Annonymous- I agree Hyland seems like a good guy. But isn't losing to Linda Smyth a political career ending event? I don't think I have ever seen such a meager and pathetic candidate before her. To lose to her- and big- is shocking.

 
At 1:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that Linda Smyth is dull as dirt, but Hyland's loss is not a dealbreaker. Even if a dead person runs, Providence is just going to vote D for Supervisor. BTW, Jeannemarie Devolites-Davis, previous R occupant of the seat, lost twice for Providence Supervisor and once for County GOP chair before winning this seat in the House of Delegates. Losing is not a disqualifier.

 
At 1:55 PM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

Fair enough. Losing is not a DQ. I guess what I was trying to point out is this: How does Hyland win a likely Tim kaine district, over a fairly strong incumbent, when he couldn't stay competitive with Linda Smyth? With Robinson- the money could make him strong but he needs some local support. Can you tell me what group(s) would be likely to vote Kaine/Hyland or Kaine/Robinson? Also, what is the issue that ousts Steve Shannon?

 
At 4:08 PM, Anonymous Wahoo Dan said...

Another thing to note: Shannon has reportedly been on the ground quite a bit since his last election. He's not a lazy incumbent by any means (see: Albo). He's pretty strong here.

 
At 6:27 PM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

Wahoo: You're dreaming in Charlottesville. The Petersen/Shannon model of building a legit grassroots network and never stopping knocking on doors is stolen.... from Republican Dave Albo. I can guarentee, any resident that has been there over 5 years, that when Werkheiser goes to their door, they know who Albo is- he has already been there.

 
At 7:51 PM, Anonymous Wahoo Dan said...

I'd heard that Albo does a great job on the ground. But I'm talking about his fundraising...

 
At 4:09 AM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

Wahoo- I don't think money matters for an incumbent. In the case of Shannon here, or Albo in the 42nd, do you think either caucus will let them lose because they were outspent?

Attention All Party Activists: IT IS NOT MONEY! It's message! If your message works, the money will be there! How many more candidates have to do money first, message second and LOSE before everyone figures this out!?!

 
At 9:59 AM, Anonymous Wahoo Dan said...

Money and message works too!

Message (does Albo have one, other than "I was a UVA frat president and continue to act like one"?) and no money doesn't work.

Yeah yeah, the caucus will give people like Albo a bunch of money eventually. He's an incumbent hasn't even begun collecting money from PACs. So I guess this point is moot.

The question to ask is: What's the demographic breakdown on the ground (favors dems)? Who knows the constituents better (favors Albo)? Who has the issues in Northern Virginia? Remains to be seen. Property tax should cancel out with both parties offering plans - in all races (except if Baskerville gets the LG nomination). If dems can successfully blame GOP incumbents for letting property taxes creep up, then that might help them.

And in NOVA, there's the idiotic issue of "bring us more money!" That resonates. Have the incumbents done their job? That's largely how Steve and Chap won against incumbents - convincing people that the incumbents were screwing them out of tax money. At least in my estimation.

And my rant is over.

 
At 10:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with WahooDan with one amendment. The "we are getting screwed message" was actually the way the GOP won those Fairfax seats with a "We are getting screwed.. if they wont give us our fair share, let's at least cut the taxes" message. See original Albo, Rust, Devolities, Reese, O'Brien, Cuccinelli and Hugo messages. Their real motivation was justifing tax cut votes in Fairfax, where that isn't always a good thing... All Chap and Steve did was take their message that was winning, and turn it into a more liberal spin of "We aren't getting our fair share, so I will focus on doing that" and taking out the tax cut stuff.

 
At 11:51 AM, Anonymous Wahoo Dan said...

True. I'm too young to know about those original campaigns, so I'll defer to you.

But the problem is this: If you've been an incumbent for 12 years (many in a massive House majority) and the "NOVA taxRatio" hasn't improved, that's an indictment on your leadership, right? If I had to attack my fellow Wahoo Albo, I'd hit him with the growing gang problem as well. Seems like during his time as Crime Commissioner (whatever that is) gang violence has spread. Sure, there isn't a literal connection, but there's a figurative connection. And that just might be enough. I've also read various versions of a conflict of interest charge on Albo on some blogs - IE, using his position to put in favorable bills to his law firm. Phil Something(VP of the VA Club for Growth) wrote an op-ed on it over on Bacons Rebellion (an estimable blog, if you ask me). I wouldn't be surprised to hear that one.

Against Werkheiser, you're going to hear that Albo's a homegrown boy and the usual tiresome "tax and spend liberal" charge - whether it's true or not. Also, Albo's consituent services are supposedly pretty good - so he can use his ties in the community.

Hopefully someone in these campaigns is reading my idiotic advice.

 
At 8:41 PM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

I'm with Wahoo on the comment about Albo being there and not bringing home a better formula. It is Werkheiser's best chance to win.

 
At 9:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve Shannon hates us! I hear he got tickets for all the Cubs games to come and root against the Nationals. THIS IS THE FINAL STRAW!!! IF YOU LIKE CHICAGO SO MUCH GO BACK!!!!!!! But after all we have gone through to get a team, this is as low as a politician can sink.

 
At 10:54 AM, Anonymous Wahoo Dan said...

Anonymous:

Print that up and make it into a glossy campaign piece. You've stumbled on some really important issues there.

 
At 10:55 AM, Anonymous Wahoo Dan said...

Does Shannon hate all of us? Or just Nats fans? What about Orioles fans? Does he hate us too? Does he hate Steve Bartman as well?

 
At 11:22 AM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

Hmm.. I think this is a fair issue..... but please keep any comments about "switch hitters" to the 37th district discussion.

 
At 4:35 PM, Anonymous AP said...

www.fcta.org

 
At 3:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The GOP question that can win the election:

"Steve, with Chap no longer in the House, who's vote will you watch to know how to vote?"

 
At 7:14 AM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

Hey- I like that line of attack. It's a good hit, and it's possible Steve could overreact to that question.

 
At 2:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Robinson would be a disaster for the GOP. He has no real credentials, most of his money is from out of state (who knows what else is behind that) and I have heard that he is a big liberal masquerading as a Republican. Steve Shannon could take this seat to the bank if Robinson gets the nod. Surely those of us in Fairfax County aren't just going to give this seat to Shannon again.

 
At 9:49 PM, Blogger the person matters, not poltics said...

Why would Robinson be a disaster? Is it because he has worked for non-profit organiztions, or the fact that he donates more of his time in a week then some people do in a year. I think that its great to have someone with new ideas and a fresh start. It's better then having someone that has worked in politics for a while, or someone that is a lobbyist and knows how to bend the rules, but not break them. I know for a fact that theres alot of people that do NOT like Jim because of some of his past actions.

I'm sorry to say to Jim Hyland and Shannon, but I have to have someone that I can trust.

 
At 10:07 PM, Blogger shannon_wantaB said...

You know I have lived in New York all my life and thought that moving to Virginia things would be a little different. Besides getting their budget in somewhat on time, there's a lot of similarities. I don't vote for the incumbent, when I know that things can be better then they are. Virginia has more potential then what is here. I don't vote for someone that has strong ties with politics. The person that wins the delegate position has ideas and the people that are on his staff are the people that help him implement these ideas. I like people that are new to politics.

Robinson is just a genuinely nice guy that has helps people with their charities. Gezz that's a tough choice, a guy that helps philanthropists with their charities or a guy that has made a career out of corrupting politicians?

 
At 12:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Robinson is going to be held accountable in the GOP primary for the fact that all of his money has come from New York from big time liberals (one who is about to be indicted). He filed as an independent to begin with then changed to Republican for some reason. I also understand he has huge problems with actvity with a student union and that he has never really worked at a legitimate job. He does not sound very appealing or trust worthy to me.

 

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