This year’s election will take place on November 8. Slightly less than five weeks remain for campaigning.
On Tuesday, I attended a campaign event for Democrat Barbara Favola, a current member of the Arlington County Board. Favola had to survive a stiff primary contest from another Arlingtonian to win the nomination. The event was held at the home of Jay Fisette, also a member of the Arlington County Board. Favola is running against a well-financed newcomer to Northern Virginia politics, Caren Merrick.
The guest of honor was Senator Jim Webb, who has announced that he will not run for re-election to the U.S. Senate. Slightly more than 5 years ago, Jim Webb ran for the U.S. Senate as an underdog-against then-Senator George Allen. With Webb’s victory, Democrats assumed control of the U.S.Senate. Now Allen is running again for his old seat, but this time, he will face former Governor Tim Kaine.
Webb’s presence at the Favola event made it clear how important every Virginia race is important. With the small margin of 22-18, Democrats in the Virginia Senate face the likelihood of a 20-20 tie if they lose two seats to Republicans in November. And a tie would actually mean a Republican victory because a tie is broken by the Lieutenant Governor , who is Republican Bill Bolling.
The House of Delegates now has 39 Democrats. Since the House of Delegates is likely to have a Republican majority, a Republican Senate would ensure that the executive and legislative branches of Virginia’s government would be held by one political party. One party has not held such majorities since Democrat Douglas Wilder was governor in the early 1990’s.
Because Virginia judges are “elected” by majorities in both legislative houses-with no gubernatorial veto– November’s election could insure Republican dominance in the legislative and judicial branches for a long time.
Delegate Scott represents the 53rd District in the Virginia House of Delegates. He may be emailed at [email protected]