Finally there is word on what’s going on in the Coles District. Last Thursday’s expected announcement by Tom Kopko failed to materialize leading many to believe that there might be some reconsideration of this primary challenge. Apparently that will not be the case. I’ve recieved word that tomorrow Tom Kopko will be holding a press conference at the PWCRC Headquarters to announce his candidacy for Coles District Supervisor and will indeed challenge Marty Nohe in the June primary. What will happen with the chairmanship of the Prince William County Republican Committee remains unclear, although the last I’ve heard on this is that Tom intends to retain this position while he campaigns, despite some considerable pressure to resign.
This isn’t being met with universal approval. Tom’s campaign manager Bryanna Altman resigned this morning, believing that in the current climate it’s a lot more productive for Republicans to be working together rather than against each other. A number of local elected officials aren’t favorable to the idea of a fight in Coles this cycle. Quite a few seem to believe that while Tom would make a strong candidate in any race, his expertise and dedication are still needed by the committee. Within a few days the level of support that Tom can command will become more clear, and it’s entirely possible that he’ll surprise us.
One of the impacts of Tom’s campaign will be to divide the attention of activists supporting Faisal Gill. I doubt there’s a whole lot of folks out there who are supporting Marty Nohe and Faisal Gill, but Faisal Gill’s supporters seem substantially if not entirely the same people likely to support Tom. Marty Nohe already has an established base of support and quite likely a respectable campaign account which doesn’t necessarily rely on devotion from those engaged in supporting the Julie Lucas campaign. As ideologically similar challengers, Faisal Gill and Tom Kopko will find themselves competing for resources among substantially the same pool of volunteers however, and it will be fascinating to see how much of Faisal Gill’s organization moves over to support Tom Kopko. My expectation is that it will be a substantial portion given the state of Gill’s campaign currently, the widespread affection that many activists have for Tom Kopko, and this convenient opportunity to desert from an embarassing failure in order to participate in something that has a greater chance of being successful. It’s not fun devoting time and energy to a cause that is clearly going to fail.
Tomorrow should be an interesting day as the chessboard shifts yet again.
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