Reports emanating from local Virginia press sources regarding Attorney General Mark Herring’s (D) future political plans suggest that the two-term AG is more likely to seek re-election to a third term rather than making the move into the 2021 Governor’s campaign. It is becoming clearer that former Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) intends to return to launch a gubernatorial campaign next year, which will once again squeeze out Mr. Herring. In 2017, the Attorney General stepped aside for then Lt. Governor Ralph Northam (D) to run for the state’s top job.
Virginia is the only state in the country that limits its Governors to one term, but individuals can run for multiple non-consecutive terms.
Former Virginia Governor and ex-Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe opened a gubernatorial committee for the 2021 state election. Mr. McAuliffe served as Governor from 2013-2017. Virginia is the only state that limits its Governors to one four-year term; therefore, incumbent Gov. Ralph Northam (D) is ineligible to seek re-election. McAuliffe associates indicated that the former Governor has not fully decided to run again in 2021, but the filing of a campaign committee is a place holder in case he wants to enter the race. All accounts suggest that Mr. McAuliffe will become a candidate.
Other potential Democratic contenders are Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, Attorney General Mark Herring, state Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond), and state Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy (D-Woodbridge.)
The Global Strategy Group just returned a poll (7/30-8/4; 500 VA-5 likely voters) that places Democratic nominee Cameron Webb, a Charlottesville physician, within striking distance of convention-nominated Republican Bob Good. You will remember that Mr. Good denied freshman Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-Manassas) re-nomination in the district’s “drive through” Republican convention back in mid-June. According to GSG, Mr. Good’s lead in what should be a reliable Republican district is only 44-42%, suggesting this is another seat likely in play for November.
Apparently, US Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-Manassas), who was defeated for re-nomination in the district convention back in June, will not try to gain ballot access as an Independent candidate. The Congressman earlier suggested he was exploring such options and still appears to be considering an independent candidacy, but for Governor next year instead of the congressional seat that he currently holds.
Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) is making moves to run again, while state Sen. Amanda Chase (R-Midlothian/Chesterfield) has already announced her candidacy on the Republican side.
Republican Scott Taylor was ousted in 2018 after serving one term in the House and returns for a re-match with freshman Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Norfolk). A new Tarrance Group poll (/14-16; 402 VA-2 likely general election voters) rather surprisingly finds the two candidates tied with 48% apiece, however. This is not far from the 51-49% margin that Rep. Luria posted against Mr. Taylor two years ago but considering the course of the race at this point, the ballot test is unexpectedly good for the latter man. Fundraising overwhelmingly favors Rep. Luria, $3.8 million to $815,000 in the latest disclosure filing ending June 30th, but polling numbers such as these should help to elevate Mr. Taylor.
At an in-person district convention on Saturday, state Delegate Nick Freitas (R-Culpeper) won the 7th District Republican nominating convention in three rounds of voting with 56% of delegate support. Mr. Freitas advances into the general election against freshman Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Glen Allen) in what should become a major GOP targeted race in a district that was once solidly Republican. That is, if Mr. Freitas survives a Democratic legal challenge to the state Board of Elections’ members granting Freitas ballot access even though he missed the candidate filing deadline.
The state Board of Elections, on a 2-1 vote, will allow both 5th District Republican convention winner Bob Good and 7th District convention candidate Nick Freitas ballot position despite them missing the candidate filing deadline. The 5th District now officially features Mr. Good, who defeated freshman Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-Manassas) for re-nomination in the district convention, against Charlottesville physician Cameron Webb who won the Democratic primary.
Mr. Freitas will now be able to compete in the 7th District nominating convention scheduled for July 18th. The winner of that contest faces freshman Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Glen Allen).
Public Policy Polling released the first 5th District general election survey numbers since the Republican district convention and the Democratic primary now that incumbent Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-Manassas) is eliminated from the competition. According to PPP (6/22-23; 726 VA-5 self-described registered voters) former Campbell County Supervisor Bob Good (R) has a slight 43-41% edge over Charlottesville physician Cameron Webb (D).
PPP asked no ideological push questions on this poll, but Mr. Good is under-performing within what remains a decidedly Republican district. President Trump pulls a 50:47% job approval ratio, and the generic Republican candidate out-polls the generic Democrat, 49-42%. Mr. Good’s favorability ratio in 26:23% favorable to unfavorable, and Dr. Webb registers a 27:16% rating.
Two key Virginia races now have nominees. In Virginia’s 5th District, Democrats selected local physician Cameron Webb scored a landslide 66% victory to oppose former Campbell County Supervisor Bob Good (R), the man who denied freshman Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-Manassas) re-nomination in the June 13th Republican district convention. Mr. Good, however, still must obtain a ballot placement waiver from the Virginia Board of Elections for missing the candidate filing deadline.
In the Tidewater area, a re-match of the 2018 campaign will occur. Former Rep. Scott Taylor, who lost his seat in that election, will return for a re-match with his primary victory last night. He will battle freshman Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Norfolk) in the general election.
Voters in New York, North Carolina, and Virginia will choose congressional nominees in various districts today. New York hosts the most competitive slate, with ten competitive primaries coming to culmination.
The vacant 27th District will be filled in a special election between state Sen. Chris Jacobs (R-Buffalo) and Democratic former Grand Island town official Nate McMurray.
The competitive incumbent challenges to Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Bronx) and Eliot Engel (D-Bronx) will also produce a nominee along with lesser challenges to Reps. Yvette Clarke (D-Brooklyn), Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan), and Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan). Key open seat primaries will be held in the 15th (Rep. Jose Serrano-D, retiring) and the 17th (Rep. Nita Lowey-D, retiring) districts, both featuring crowded fields. The Republicans will also choose a successor to retiring Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford).
Western North Carolina voters will replace now White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on their state’s 11th District November ballot. Former local county Republican chair Lynda Bennett and real estate investment company owner Madison Cawthorn will square off in the postponed Republican runoff election.
In Virginia’s 5th District, Democrats will choose their nominee to oppose former Campbell County Supervisor Bob Good (R), the man who denied freshman Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-Manassas) re-nomination in the June 13th Republican district convention.
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