Northern Virginia Republicans voted Tuesday night in a primary to pick a state Senate candidate to replace Attorney General-elect Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II.Whoa - 1.700 people coming out on the Tuesday right after Thanksgiving for a special election "firehouse primary?" As much as I hate to say it, that's extremely impressive and does not bode well at all for Democratic nominee Dave Marsden in the special election to replace State Senator Ken Cuccinelli on January 12, 2010. Unfortunately, we've seen this movie before, with Charniele Herring barely defeating Republican Joe Murray in Brian Moran's (overwhelmingly "blue") House of Delegates district (1/13/09), with Sharon Bulova barely beating Republican Patrick Herrity for Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors (2/3/09), Ilryong Moon losing to John Cook for Braddock District (Fairfax County) Supervisor (3/10/09), and of course with the total meltdown of November 3, 2009. Based on the Republican turnout last night in Centreville, I'm not sure how this streak isn't going to continue into 2010.
Three conservative candidates campaigned for the Republican nomination in a district that voted two times for Mr. Cuccinelli and came out solidly for Republicans last month.
But Mr. Cuccinelli was the last Republican state senator representing the voter-rich D.C. suburbs, which have been trending Democratic in recent years.
By 10 p.m., more than 1,700 people had cast ballots at Centreville High School in the "firehouse primary," which was scheduled to last from 6 to 10 p.m. A firehouse primary is an electoral nominating process similar to a caucus, held in lieu of a primary election.
At one point, lines of cars stretched over a mile from the high school. When the voters' line was closed at 10 p.m., about 350 people still stood outside. They were allowed to vote.
By the way, the Republican nominee for this seat is former Fairfax county school board member Steve Hunt, who won in a landslide (51%-25%-24%). According to the Washington Post:
Hunt apparently benefited from his reputation as an outspoken conservative on both social and economic issues. While all three candidates are conservative, he was seen by many as the one most likely to appeal to GOP grass-roots activists. A retired naval flight officer, Hunt lives in Fairfax Station and works in the defense contracting industry.So here are my questions for Democrats: 1) where's the equivalent enthusiasm/energy on our side; 2) where's the "outspoken [progressive] on both social and economic issues;" and 3) where's the candidate who can "most likely appeal to [Democratic] grass-roots activists?" Right now, I'm simply not seeing it. Please feel free to explain why I'm wrong and how winning this seat - an absolute must, by the way, if Democrats hope to hold the State Senate and stop the Republicans' radical right-wing agenda - is not going to be really, really tough.
P.S. One thing we should definitely do is focus on how right wing Steve Hunt is: strongly anti-abortion, hysterical about "freedoms of speech, worship and assembly" being "at risk" (huh?), anti-government, anti-health-care-reform, anti-"public option," anti-environment (against "cap and trade," for offshore drilling and so-called "clean coal"), etc. Basically, Steve Hunt will be a lockstep supporter of Pat Robertson's Manchurian