With Del. Steve Shannon (D), a former Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for Fairfax, being rumored at considering a run for Attorney General in 2009, such a bid would open up his Vienna/Providence/Hunter Mill based seat. While Shannon was largely given a pass in 2007 (the Republican nominee, Arthur Purves, spent less than $10,000), an open seat election would be competitive in a district that Shannon originally won in 2003 with just 51% of the vote.
Who do you see as potential candidates for the seat? On the Democratic side, the obvious choice is popular Providence Supervisor Linda Smyth, who was unopposed for re-election in 2007. Another possibility is Hunter Mill School Board Member Stuart Gibson.
The Republican race is much more in flux. 2003 candidate Bob McDowell, a telecom lawyer, is now serving on the FCC having been appointed by President Bush. His five-year term would expire in 2011. 2005 candidate Jim Hyland is currently the Fairfax County Republican Chairman, itself an struggling organization. While Hyland may consider running for office again, his career would likely be better served by remaining in his current spot, and hopefully finding its way out of the hole its currently in. Repeat candidate and 2007 nominee Arthur Purves, who has run at least a half-dozen times for various offices in Fairfax County, is not a strong candidate. Ed Robinson, who lost the nomination in
2003 2005 to Hyland, is still hanging around, I think. At the very least, his websiteÂ is still up.
From what I can see, there are no obvious choices, especially with a candidate as strong as Smyth running for the Democrats. However, Vienna and Hunter Mill is the home of the Davis Machine. Certainly someone in that circle would be able to put their name on the ballot, raise a half-million dollars, and make the race competitive.
I’ll open this discussion up to the floor: who do you see running for an open seat in two years, who do you not see running, and who do you think would win?