Virginia House of Delegates 2005 Elections

Keeping You up to date on the status of Virginia's 2005 Delegate races!

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Top 10 Hottest Races as of 5/8

One quick reminder- Top 10 are the 10 hottest races between Democrats and Republicans. Primaries only count if they have general election implications!


#1- 37th District- incumbent Chap Petersen, OPEN SEAT
(Up 2 From Last Top 1o)
Current Rating: Leans Republican (PICKUP)

The 37th has jumped up on our list for a few reasons. Both primaries are getting hot and tense! Social Conservatives are muttering loudly about John Mason, and his primary opponent Jim Kaplan is trying to capitalize on that. The Democratic Primary is also heating up with sharp elbows being thrown between David Bulova and Janet Oleszek. The reality is this- any of these four candidates could win their primaries and go one to become the new Delegate. Right now we are giving the edge to former Fairfax City Mayor Mason. An interesting dynamic will be very different primaries- Democrats will have a large one with Chap Petersen and Leslie Byrne bringing out their base voters here. Republicans will have a much smaller one in the 37th. The question is where- and how much difference.

Two things are possible: Petersen could pull the Fairfax City establishment in to the Democratic primary, hurting Mason, but also making the Democratic primary for Delegate more interesting- with likely Mason supporters choosing his opponent (if he survives). Or Mason could pull them into the R booth, hurting Petersen's chances of winning.

Look for an all out war to decide what primary voters participate in- and that to possibly determine the outcome.

#2- 87th District- incumbent Paula Miller, 1st Term
(Down 1 From Last Top 1o)
Current Rating: Toss Up

Paula Miller who won the special election by less than 100 votes, faces a rematch with Republican Michael Ball. No exciting developments here in the past two weeks- this has potential to be the most boring of the most exciting races. Without the spotlight that the 87th got in the special election it could be slow to get going. But we do see it being just as competitive this time.

#3- 52nd District- incumbent Jeff Frederick, 1st Term
(Down 1 From Last Top 1o)
Current Rating: Toss Up

The news from the 52nd district has been the continued fallout from Jeff Frederick's event with House Majority leader Tom Delay. Prince William Democrats have attempted to keep this in the local news. In a federal area like Prince William, it's hard to tell whether this is more or less damaging then it would be elsewhere. Yes, more people know who Delay is, but more people in metropolitan Washington are hard partisans who may not care. This won't be the deciding issue in November, but at least Hilda Barg is using it now to keep this interesting!

#4- 26th District- incumbent Glenn Weatherholtz, OPEN SEAT
(Up 2 From Last Top 1o)
Current Rating: Leans Republican

The battle of farmers is getting tense and ugly. Exactly the kind of race we like to cover on this blog! Democratic Candidate Lowell Fulk is clearly the stronger candidate. He probably is the best Democratic candidate in Virginia. He can pull Republican votes, performed with an strong 45% against the incumbent, and has better credentials. In a 50-50 district he would spank his Republican opponent Matt Lohr. But this is far from a 50-50 district, in fact it may be the most GOP district in Virginia. Lohr is staying even with money, and has avoided making any mistakes. If he can do both of those things through November he will win the election. Democrats will continue to put heavy pressure here and hope for the one mistake they need.

#5- 41st District- incumbent Jim Dillard, OPEN SEAT
(Down 1 From Last Top 1o)
Current Rating: Toss Up

Most of the action in the 41st has been the Republican primary. Michael Golden has taken a strong lead over Bill Finnerfrock there. This is the one of the closest districts in Virginia, and waiting in the wings for the winner is former Dillard/Gilmore aide David Marsden. The most information we know about Marsden's campaign is an emergency campaign meeting he has two weeks ago- and still has listed on his website. Golden seems to have the inside track to be the next Delegate, but there are a lot of developments still going to happen in the 41st. For now it's quiet and moving down on the list of the top 10.

#6- 35th District- incumbent Steve Shannon, 1st term
(Down 2 From Last Top 1o)
Current Rating: Leans Democratic

This district has changed party control more than any other district in the last 20 years. Incumbent Steve Shannon won with a lackluster 51%, running behind ticketmates Gerry Connolly and other local officials. This looked to be ripe for a Republican takeover. But a few factors are now favoring Shannon. 1- A careful voting record. 2- Republicans firing at each other. 3- An early lead for Tim Kaine in Northern Virginia. The Republican primary is a tossup between Ed Robinson and Jim Hyland, but is getting nasty. Apparently neither learned the lesson of the McDowell-Polycrones primary here in 2003, where many Polycrones supporters crossed to Shannon after he lost. Right now this leans Democratic, and could break towards a tossup or an easy hold for Shannon from here depending on what the GOP does.

#7- 42nd District- incumbent Dave Albo, 7th term
(Up 1 From Last Top 1o)
Current Rating: Leans Republican

The 42nd is the highest rated for any incumbent not in their first term. Dave Albo has always run strong here- and we have him favored to win again. His challenger Greg Werkheiser is running a strong campaign with fundraising and party support. This one will be exciting, but Werkheiser has a while to go before we call it a "toss up".

#8- 6th District- incumbent Benny Keister, 3rd term
(Unrated in the last top 10)
Current Rating: Leans Democratic

The 6th district had been Republican held until 1999 when Benny Keister won an open seat here by a significant margin. In 2003, his margin was cut significantly, he won re-election by just 49 votes over challenger Morgan Morris. Campaigns in Southwest Virginia are always slow to get started, and the Republicans have yet to nominate their candidate for this year. We'll be watching closely in the next few weeks as the Republicans select. This district will probably favor Republican Jerry Kilgore for Governor, so Keister doesn't have much going for him besides incumbency.

#9- 99th District- incumbent Albert Pollard, OPEN SEAT
(Rating Unchanged from last top 10)
Current Rating: Likely Republican (PICKUP)

Nothing much has changed here in the 99th. Republican Rob Whittman has a big leg up over Democrat Linda Crandell. We're watching closely to see how Crandell plans to overcome the big GOP advantage in the 99th.

#10- 33rd District- incumbent Joe May, 6th Term
(Unrated in the last top 10)
Current Rating: Likely Republican

Joe May has the seat wrapped up if he can survive his primary against Chris Oprison. While may has the lead there, Democrats have begun searching for candidates, and as we discussed today have found two potentially good ones. If May wins the primary this race is over, if Oprison wins, this will skyrocket up the list of competitive general elections.


At 7:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the most informative blog on the internet. Thank You!!!

At 8:24 PM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

I don't know about the whole internet. Maybe on this topic?

At 12:10 AM, Blogger Pastor John said...

no my blog is the most informative. i can inform you and reform you. i take the gay out of queers.

At 7:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding the 26th race.

Two blogs I've found seem to be focused on this one.

One seems to be simply designed to throw out the most outrageous attacks against candidate Fulk
while the other questions the commitment and qualifications of the candidates with what appears (yet to be verified) to be actual data.

Someone wants to cast as many ugly stories against Fulk as they can on:

Expect to see things here similar to the checkout line tabloids-on drugs. This one takes Rove style politics to an extreme.

Meanwhile, back on the farm,

is a site by a self described farmer who has an interesting writing style and seems driven to investigative blogging.

If his facts check out people should have some serious questions to ask when the candidates meet with different groups.

At 12:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I got sideswiped by the Petersenmobile in Annandale on Saturday... could Connolly have been behind the wheel?

At 1:12 PM, Anonymous Roanoker said...

Are you serious annonymous?

At 6:36 PM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

Stop it.

At 7:17 PM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

Annon- Regarding the 26th- good blogs. thanks for the links

At 10:52 PM, Blogger Politicl.Animal said...

How anyone can call Valleysense a good blog blows my mind. Just recommending that blog lowered someone's intelligence by 20-30 points.

At 11:10 PM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

HaHa. I liked it because Pastor John was there.

At 12:07 AM, Blogger David Englin said...

Not Larry,

Don't underestimate Greg Werkheiser's ability to beat Dave Albo. For many months now, we at Team Englin have been building the kind of old-school grassroots organization that can really push a candidate to victory. Win or lose on June 14th, we are targeting Greg's race and will do everything we can to make sure he joins the delegate from the 45th in Richmond.


David L. Englin
Democrat for Delegate
45th District, Virginia House of Delegates

At 9:43 PM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

Thank You David. We upgraded him once, we may again, but he is in a very difficult race. Albo is the favorite. We will factor in the intensity of the support you indicate.

At 10:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOHR IS CUTE!!!! I love the hay!!!! YUM!


At 8:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Albo has never had a real opponent, discounting his first race. But the guy works overtime in constituent services and has the type of charisma that can win statewide. Werkheiser has money coming in his direction, but Larry is right: it's going to be one hell of an uphill battle to beat Albo in his hometown. Especially considering Werk moved in only 2 years ago.

W. Springfield Alum-

At 12:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really think Fulk will win in the 26th, even if Lohr makes no mistakes, so long as Fulk himself doesn't either. Many Republicans were disgusted by the 2004 General Assembly, and Lohr is young and seen as a party puppet. If informed, ethical leadership is what the Valley wants, we'll vote Fulk. Of course maybe the larger we doesn't want that at all. Maybe we want blind partisanship. The election will tell a lot of tales.

Unlike Pastor John, who is good for grins, Valleysense blog isn't funny or intelligent. PJ himself is kinda predictable. It's a one-note fun thing ... hard to maintain momentum or keep it fresh in a new sense, not a sexual sense. Still, though, I'm glad he is around and wouldn't want to have to be the one who deciding now to keep the readers coming!

This blog and bacon'srebellion are best. Thanks, guys!

At 8:08 PM, Blogger Pastor John said...

you aint' seem nothing yet. i'm unvailing my new homosexual attack ads soon. i'm buying them on wtvr news channel six.

At 6:21 PM, Anonymous Kenton Ngo said...

The Marsden campaign meeting I was at sure didn't seem like an emergency. It was an organizational meeting for volunteers.

At 8:08 AM, Anonymous Karen T said...

I've heard from inside republican sources in harrisonburg and rockingham that the lohr campaign is in serious trouble of a loss of confidence of the rank and file. The base...

The lohr dual campaign strategy of painting fulk as evil and at the same time that young Matthew as "just like fulk" is not gaining any traction at all and is actually working to build fulk's credibility all the more.

Lohr has already been caught adopting fulk’s position on reuse of poultry structures and support for local law enforcement.

Both are issues that fulk has highlighted for years and lohr has never before mentioned.

At 12:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lohr is going to have to stop trying to be Fulk,

and start attacking Fulk,

and hard, on issues like Fulk's school board service or his alleged community involvement.

He must establish a real difference or his candidacy is in very real danger of becoming irrelevant before he even receives the nomination.

At 12:27 AM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

Kenton, that's what his site said, not I.

At 11:03 AM, Blogger ali said...

As "not larry sabato said",about the whole internet! by some hasard arrived here, salut to all folks around Virginia House...on this topic,and the blog,it is the most informative by the way. the most famous as well.


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