Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Primary Results from Virginia

As expected, former Attorney General Jerry Kilgore has won the Republican primary for governor in Virginia, with Warrenton mayor George Fitch trailing significantly. With 93% of precincts reporting, Kilgore had 82% of the vote to Fitch's 17%. In the lieutenant governor's race, conservative state senator William Bolling led moderate Sean Connaughton, chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors. With 87% of precincts reporting in that race, Bolling had 58% of the vote to Connaughton's 41%. You can check into the results here.

[Update: The big story out of today's races is the turnout. Under 5%. In a state with 4.4 million registered voters, less than 160,000 turned out to vote for Kilgore, a candidate with the full backing of the White House, RNC, and state Republican apparatus. Not exactly a ringing endorsement, by any definition. -- 10:44 p.m.]

The Republican nominee will face Democrat Tim Kaine and Independent Republican Russ Potts in November's general election. Potts, whose campaign I discussed at length yesterday, on Tuesday gained the endorsement of the Hampton Roads Daily Press. In their editorial, the paper's board said

"By contrast [to Kaine and Kilgore], the seriously underfunded, often irascible state Sen. Potts of Winchester is beginning to look like Churchill. OK, that's a bit of overstatement, but just pick a day, any day, and listen to what the Kaine and Kilgore campaigns have to say. Back and forth it goes. He said. She said. No, I didn't. Yes, you did. Liar, liar, pants on fire. And so on. It's profoundly unimpressive and downright dispiriting. ...

So, why Sen. Potts? Because it's joyously refreshing to hear a candidate speak from the heart, without carefully rehearsed nuances, without an anxious staff member hovering next to him, without guile, without calculation, without conceit and, above all, without the stuff that fertilizes grass."

The entire editorial is just as good; read the whole thing. Also on Tuesday, Washington Post Metro columnist Marc Fisher opined on the Virginia governor's race: "After four years of having an adult as governor, the Republican and Democratic parties have decided that Virginians crave a return to childhood, back to fantasies about providing quality education while slicing budgets and concocting magical solutions to traffic without new revenue." After panning Kilgore and Kaine for several paragraphs, Fisher introduces Potts, outlining the independent's campaign strategy: "He wants to be Arnold Schwarzenegger, John McCain and Ventura all rolled into one lumpy, crusty little dynamo of a Virginian."

Fisher quotes Potts (I love these quotes of his, they're tremendous) as saying "People in Virginia are fed up with the Republican Party's anti-schools, anti-transportation, anti-gays - goodness, what aren't they anti?" Now there's a question we don't ask enough!

Kilgore may have won today, but if his campaign continues to battle with Tim Kaine's to win the "Most Juvenile" award, Virginians may want to look toward the only grownup in their governor's race.


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