Not Larry Sabato has an excellent post up regarding the 29th District. It’s definitely worth stopping by to read this one. Charles Colgan (D) currently holds the seat, and Bob Fitzsimmonds (R) has announced his candidacy.
Colgan is flush with cash, with a balance of $34,919 according to the most recent disclosure posted on VPAP, with all of it raised from PACs and corporate donors. Fitzsimmonds has a balance of $4,261, largely from individual donors and resulting from a campaign kickoff a few months ago. Neither candidate has been campaigning for the Senate very much, and in Bob’s case he’s been active on several other Republican campaigns. It’s still very early in the election cycle for a 2007 race, so none of this comes as a surprise.
Also potentially in the mix is Hal Parrish, who rolled $93,471 into his councilman’s campaign war chest from Harry’s campaign account, and no one believes he’s going to require that for re-election to City Council in 2008. His choices are to run for Mayor if Doug Waldron steps aside (unlikely), challenge Jackson Miller for the 50th House of Delegates (unlikely), or take a shot at the 29th Senate.
Colgan is indeed vulnerable, as NLS points out. In addition to the demographic shifts noted, the political shifts in this district will be significant. This is a district that has become increasingly conservative, and Colgan’s support of tax hikes and other policies that 29th District voters see as outrageous will make any re-election campaign very difficult. Other than obtain gobs of earmarks for his district, Colgan hasn’t exactly won a whole lot of support with his record so far.
This is Colgan’s last plausible opportunity to choose a successor and engineer a transition, and the chances of that happening smoothly are not very great. The PWC Democratic party is in some disarray, the Manassas democrats are hopelessly ineffective, and the Manassas Park Democrats have no organization at all. Unless Colgan reaches into the Manassas establishment for a crossover candidate, there likely will be some major organizational issues, and even then the Manassas establishment has far less influence in the 29th Senate District than it has in the 50th House of Delegates District.
If Colgan decides to try to tough it out and try for re-election, it may have more to do with the lack of transition opportunities than any real desire for another term. If and when any additional candidates announce, Colgan’s intent on the future of this seat should be pretty obvious.
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