Taking back the House of Delegates

Democrats need 6 House of Delegates seats, and there is no shortage of targets. Back on January 7, Harry posted a list of the top targeted district and Republican incumbents, shown here with the 2007 results; let's update that list:

#_7 - Nutter (R) 52.7% --- Frank (D) 47.3% Radford, Montgomery. There is not yet a Democratic candidate that I am aware of. This is a 45% Democratic district.
#_9 - Poindexter (R) 46.4% --- Ferguson (D) 43.9% Floyd, Franklin, Pittsylvania. I don't know of a Democratic candidate here, either. This is a 41% Democratic district. Alan Ferguson almost won in 2007, but got swamped by a last-minute infusion of HUGE amounts of Republican money.
#14 - Danny Marshall (R) 51.9% --- Tomer (D) 48% Henry, Pittsylvania, Danville. Seward Anderson, former Danville mayor, is running. This is a 48% Democratic district, but it went for Obama with 52%. It is a district that has a heavy African-American vote, and Anderson, being African-American, may be able to capitalize.
#42 - Dave Albo (R) 87.6% --- Write In 12.4% Fairfax. This is a 53% Democratic district, which went for Obama with 57% of the vote. Greg Werkheiser is running, a strong candidate.
#52 - Jeff Frederick (R) 58.6% --- Brown (D) 41.2 % Prince William County. Frederick is not running again, though if he gets booted from his Republican Party Chairmanship, that could change. It is a 53% Democratic district that went for Obama with 63% of the vote. At this point, there are two Republicans seeking the nomination -- Amy Frederick (Jeff's wife) and Rafael Lopez. According to the BC House candidates spreadsheet, there are also two Democrats -- Mike Hodge and Luke Torian. As a post below notes, Chris Brown is running again as well. I know a little about Chris Brown from his earlier run, but I don't know anything about any of the other 4 candidates. This paragraph is changed from the first version, because of corrections that readers noted.
#86 - Tom Rust (R) 52.8% --- Donahue (D) 47.1% Fairfax, Loudoun. This is a 55% Democratic district, and Obama got 63% of the vote in 2008. Stevens Miller, a Loudoun County supervisor, is running as a Democrat.

Looking at this list, I don't see any action in the 7th or the 9th, but the other four are real possibilities. So where do we get two more seats?

Let's look for Democratic districts that have Republican Delegates. (I'm using the data in the BC House of Delegates spreadsheet.) In addition to the 42nd, the 52nd and the 86th, you've got Phil Hamilton in the 93rd (52% Democratic, Obama got 62%). I am not aware of any opposition for Hamilton. In addition, you've got some districts with more than 47% Democratic performance -- Danny Marshall in the 14th, Scott Lingamfelter in the 31st, Joe May in the 33rd, Rob Bell in the 58th, and Watkins Abbitt in the 59th. At this point, there is no known opponent for Lingamfelter or Abbitt. Lingamfelter beat Bill Day in 2007 by 55%-45% (a correction from an earlier mistaken post -- thanks for reading!). There is no chance of a solid candidate coming in the 59th; Watkins Abbitt beat a solid candidate, Connie Brennan, 60% to 40% in 2007, and no one seems to have a stomach for it this time.

In the 33rd, Joe May has an announced Democratic opponent -- Mike Turner. I know nothing about Mike Turner. In the 58th, Rob Bell will have a Democratic opponent, Cynthia Neff. Neff has not yet announced, but she has been collecting pledges that will get converted into an impressive amount of cash once she announces in early April.

Then there is one more district that doesn't fit the other patterns -- Bob Marshall's 13th. The 13th is a 43% Democratic District that went for Obama in 2008. But it also went for Marshall by 60% to 40% in 2007. Bob Marshall is a Religious Right extremist, but he is popular in his district.

So my list of the top 6 targets?

#52 -- Jeff Frederick (Prince William County), $11,257 in the bank as of 12/31/08
#86 -- Tom Rust (Loudoun, Fairfax), $38,539 in the bank
#42 -- Dave Albo (Fairfax), $43,710 in the bank
#14 -- Danny Marshall (Danville, Pittsylvania), $17,802 in the bank
#33 -- Joe May (Loudoun, Clarke), $49,473 in the bank
#58 -- Rob Bell (Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna, Orange), $94,097 in the bank, but with a PAC with $400,000 in the bank

If Lingamfelter got an opponent, I'd add him to the list. He's got $7,718 in the bank.

All 6 (or 7) of these targets are in areas that will be getting the Democratic full-court press -- Northern Virginia, Danville, Albemarle County. They are all in areas where we can expect a well-run campaign, with solid local organizations being boosted by the statewide campaigns.

Anyone have some other thoughts as to who should be on the short list?

I wonder if this is

too much information for a blog that's read by Republicans. But at the last Brigades
meeting, Matt Mansell of the House Democratic Caucus went into detail on this same plan.

Republicans know this too

This is not information that they don't already know. They know where their weak spots are. The information is all available on line, either elsewhere on BC or on Richmond Sunlight or through VPAP, both of which have links in the upper right hand corner of the page.

I have no inside scoop, but I can count.

Mike Turner has possibilities

remember, he came to notice as a primary opponent for Judy Feder in CD-11. He spent time building relationship, for example helping with Karen Schutlz's efforts in the state senate race she lost. In fact, I met Mike at the opening of Karen's Leesburg hdqtrs. He has a military background, which will help some in that district.

He will need money, and he will have to work very hard. But that one should be doable. It could be even more so assuming the Dem gubernatorial nominee is from NoVa, because then with Steve Shannon running for AG you will have 2 Northern Virginians minimum on the ticket, and that might well maximize pro-Dem turnout in the region.

Just several cautions on all this.

1) McDonnell has Fairfax roots, is going to try to portray himself as a moderate by avoiding social issues, and if he can, that can spell trouble,including downballot
2) I am hearing that right now Cooch has only one problem - whether he can hit 50% in the first round in the Republican convention. Brownlea is hoping to keep him to 49 or less, and then get Foster's backing for the second round. But there is a real possibility of Ken taking it on the 1st round. Not quite clear how that would play out with the Repubs having someone from NoVa on the ticket, someone who is an unabashed social conservative.

I think we should be challenging every race, even the difficult ones. It does not take that much money to tie down an officeholder so that he cannot focus on helping others. Just my $.02

Help us Ken!

I'm of the belief that Ken Cuccinelli could be the greatest thing to happen to Democrats this year. He's great at making enemies and is an agent of no, a bed-fellow of hate. I don't just mean his xenophobia or homophobia, I mean he's the kind of person who sees no need to... fund schools, reform minor glitches in the code of Virginia, whatever. Look up how many times it was Ken plus one or two senators against the other 37 this past session, it's stunning.

As for Mike Turner - that was CD-10 in last year's primary, and from what I've heard he's not a big fan of raising money so, yeah, that will have to change.

yeah - didn't see typo on CD

as for raising money, my understanding is that he is hard at it. It is also less expensive to run in a HOD race. And his is race likely to be targeted for major assistance by state party in effort to get to 51.

Challenge them all...

...and maybe something good will happen. Almost no one except for a few of us hardcore nuts thought that Tom Perriello had a chance at this time last year. But Tom worked hard, raised a lot of money, got a few breaks, and won by 727 votes. You can't win in November unless you start acting like you can win in March.

I agree about Mike Turner

He's got a good chance and a network of Obama volunteers that can help him out.
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You forgot about Chris Brown

Chris Brown is running in the 52nd also. His website has been up at www.ChrisBrown52.com and his actblue page is at http://www.actblue.com/entity/fundraisers/21595 . Also, Hodge's first name is Mike, not Mark.

Also don't forget about Luke Torian in the 52nd.

There is a Dem. primary election in the 52nd. Luke seems like a strong candidate to me.

I'm in the 13th and believe John Bell is also a strong candidate against Marshall. John has no Dem. opposition.

T.C.

Thanks...

...corrections made.

Bill Day Was not Close

In 2007, Bill Day lost by 1,512 votes not 45. Lingamfelter got 7722 votes and Day got 6210. The margin in Prince William County was 45, but there are 6 precincts in Fauquier County. When David Brickley ran against Lingamfelter, he actually won in Prince William, but lost it in Fauquier.

Oooops...

I misread the SBE website. Thanks for the correction.

Hampton Roads

Phil Hamilton (93rd), Glenn Oder (94th), and Sal Iaquinto (84th) are all in districts won by Obama. It's driving me mad that no Democrat is challenging any of them, especially Hamilton, where Obama got 62%.

stay tuned on the peninsula

your wish may be coming true!!