The candidate filing deadline for the Manassas GOP convention has passed and there are five candidates for council and two for mayor. Incumbents Johnathan Way, Sheryl Bass and Mark Wolfe have all filed, along with challengers Ian Lovejoy and Charles Patullo. Both Andy Harrover and incumbent Hal Parrish have filed for mayor.
A couple of observations on these races:
- Although I initially thought Harrover had very little daylight in his run to replace Hal Parrish, it seems that this might be a close contest after all. Hal Parrish’s campaign finance warchest isn’t quite as useful in a convention as it would be in a primary and Harrover is working hard signing up delegates for the convention. Harrover could pull out a win here simply by out-working the opposition, but knocking off an incumbent is hard in Virginia, and even tougher in Manassas especially when a Parrish has been in city government since the city was founded.
- Turnout should be pretty high for this one with a contested top of the ticket, which isn’t necessarily a good thing for down-ballot challengers for someone like Ian Lovejoy. His ace-in-the-hole here is that he lives in a part of the city that has been ignored by Republicans for so long he could tap into voters the rest of the field never knew existed. Again, out-working the field is the key to victory. Yes, that’s kind of obvious, but it’s stunning how many candidates fail to realize this.
- The incumbents that seem to be the most at risk are Sheryl Bass and Mark Wolfe, as expected. If the All Saints crowd shows up in force upset over Wolfe’s failure to support restrictions on the abortion clinic in Manassas, Wolfe is really at risk.
- The new entrant in the council race Charles Patullo is a political newbie who isn’t known much outside of the OHS boosters crowd, but by all appearances seems like a nice fellow. He’s likely to be battling to try to get to fourth place in a race that only the top three will win.
Delegate forms are due by January 20th. You can get a form here.
UPDATE: 840 delegates have filed for the convention. That’s a big jump from previous years. Now it’s all about who shows up.
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