Virginia House of Delegates 2005 Elections

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

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

39th District Update (#12 on the Dirty Dozen)

Outlook: Likely Democratic

The 39th District in eastern Fairfax County may be host to the big surprise of the year.

Incumbent Vivian Watts held this district for a few years in the 1980's before giving it up to be in Governor Bailies cabinet. In 1995 she won it back by 300 votes in an open seat race over Tim Hugo, now Delegate from the 40th District.

In 1999 and 2001 she had a tough challenger in local attorney Chris Craig. Vivian won both by about 10 points, not a landslide, but a solid victory.

Now she faces a challenge from Michael Meunier.

Mike has been running a stealth campaign, showing up in random places like this one.

But his Egyptian connections are helping him fundraise outside of the "same old" donors. So far (through June 1st) he has outraised Watts more than 3-1, and has not overspent like some challengers giving him an equally impressive 3-1 advantage in cash on hand.

Vivian is a strong incumbent, and probably the smartest policy wonk in the Democratic Caucus. She is strong in her district. But this email was the difference to us putting this seat on the "Dirty Dozen" list.

Not Larry Sabato- I am a Fairfax County Democrat. Last week when I went to our local Democratic Committee meeting we had to decide how to divvy up about $6,000. In our area we had four candidates, Vivian Watts, Dave Marsden, David Bulova, and Greg Werkheiser.

Vivian's staff was there and demanded at least $1,000 for Vivian over all these other challengers than need help. I was surprised because I thought she was safe. But they made a very convincing case that she has a strong opponent and that without the $1,000 they might lose the election. The committee voted to give it to Vivian so she would go back to Richmond.

You may want to keep an eye on this race. Also, if you are interested the rest of the money was split with $1,000 to Marsden, $1,000 to Werkheiser and $3,000 to Bulova. Not sure if that means anything or not.
---------------------
One thing that everyone knows in Virginia politics is Vivian Watts is a class act. She would not play "reverse Robin Hood" by taking from the challengers unless she was in serious trouble.

Since we now know she is, this race makes it debut on the "Dirty Dozen" at #12.

26 Comments:

At 1:23 PM, Blogger notpastorjohn said...

this blog is no longer needed. take it down now, or i will do so myself.

 
At 1:26 PM, Anonymous Pete Doherty said...

Can we please get some proof to back these stories up. Vivian Watts represents a competitive district, in which a moderate Republican could do very well, so what is being said might be true. But some evidence to back up this claim would be nice.

 
At 1:29 PM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

Pete- What proof do you want? What else can we do?

 
At 2:12 PM, Blogger Virginia Centrist said...

Watts will be tough to beat. From what I've heard, her shear technological knowledge will help her contact voters like no other..

 
At 2:18 PM, Anonymous Pete Doherty said...

How about the name of the person at the meeting, or when the meeting took place, or the minutes of the meeting, or maybe more than one person anonymously coming forward to say that this happened.

 
At 2:29 PM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

To our source who wrote the email: Can you please send us some or all of what Pete is asking for?

 
At 2:37 PM, Blogger Not Mark Rozell said...

Pete: This message actually sounds plausible. You should be able to verify the FCDC campaign contributions after the next filing deadline, if you can wait that long.

I disagree that Watts is in trouble. Meunier is a lightweight. Like any other candidate, Watts is playing up the strength of her opponent to make sure her base doesn't stay home on election day.

 
At 2:42 PM, Anonymous Pete Doherty said...

NMR,

That is a good point about waiting. I can do that.

I do have one more question, did David Bulova's pants demand a contribution from the FCDC?

 
At 3:04 PM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

David's pants were included in the $3,000. :)

NMR, I agree with you that everyone plays up their opponents. But when they ask that you not contribute to challengers (all with a good shot) to save them, that says something. And Mike M. can't be a total lightweight, he has raised $100,000 so far.

 
At 3:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

$100,000, do you know how many pairs of pants that could buy David Bulova?

 
At 3:12 PM, Blogger Not Mark Rozell said...

He has raised some cash, but it's almost all from the Egyptian-American community and most of it is out-of-state. Raising money is only half the battle. The ground game is even more important.

I suspect Watts is freaked out because of Meunier's cash flow. That's typical. But I wouldn't make a race competitive just because of cash flow. Remember what happened in the 32nd Senate contest in 2003.

 
At 3:14 PM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

NMR, I agree, but will you agree that Watts would not be pulling money from Bulova and others if she wasn't really worried (not normal incumbent worry, but really worried).

 
At 3:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I talked to her the other day. She's not worried. Just being safe. The guy has a credible campaign, he's not some wackjob that the GOP is throwing up there.

 
At 4:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Watts just hasn't raised that much money so the cash is probably just protection. I highly doubt that she will actually lose. Bulova, Marsden and Werkheiser are doing pretty well in fundraising so it is not as if giving Watts money will cripple all 3 of them.

 
At 4:31 PM, Blogger Not Mark Rozell said...

I think every incumbent gets morbidly afraid of every opponent. When self-preservation kicks in, I think they all forget about who else needs the cash. I'm not trying to be argumentative, but I really think Watts is freaked out and she doesn't care whose mouth the money comes out of.

 
At 6:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, where are the rest of them??? You promised us RACES!!

 
At 6:24 PM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

I updated the dates for you to expect each one

 
At 7:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

can't keep up, huh?

 
At 7:07 PM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

Got a day behind and now I dont want to overwhelm you... :)

 
At 7:25 PM, Anonymous Not Larry Bryne? said...

This is great your basing you assumption of trouble on $1,000. She's an incumbent. She could probably raise $50,000 in a matter of days, and it can come from in state. 90% of his money is coming from out of state. They are all involved in that Arab-Christian organization. The point is not to raise money just to raise it. It is to raise it when you need it.

 
At 7:33 PM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

No, I am basing my assumption of trouble on $1,000 that she felt she needed over challengers.

The fact that Vivian "could probably raise $50,000 in a matter of days" is exactly my point.

Thanks for making it. :)

 
At 7:52 PM, Anonymous no said...

Maybe she didn't wanted to be cut out. Maybe she just wanted people to know that she had a race and should just be written off. Just keeping that Braddock committee true probably.

 
At 9:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee, ya ever think she wanted the $$ so she could use it to help someone else and get credit for it???

 
At 11:45 AM, Blogger not paul goldman said...

NLS-Every challanged incumbent thinks "me first" The fact that she was "satisfied" with 1000 is the real story. The fact that she could envision sharing is significant. To me it shows that she has a high degree of confidence.

 
At 11:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha. That's David's moms committee (see the different amounts). Vivian didn't have much choice in sharing, mommy B would have had her for lunch otherwise

 
At 2:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

$6000 from one Dem committee to spend on candidates..yeah, right! ;-)

 

Post a Comment

<< Home