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Winners and Losers

An occasional list of people in the news who came out on top. Or not.
This Week's Winners
George Allen - The former governor and senator reemerged onto the political stage this week with an op-ed in the Richmond Times Dispatch and a press conference announcing his support for Fred Thompson's bid for the GOP nomination for president. In both settings, Allen began to reassert his influence into the Virginia Republican Party. At the press conference, Allen was affable, humble, folksy and talkative.

Planned Parenthood - After Democrats' success in the Nov. 6 legislative elections, the women's rights organization feels emboldened to crow about its renewed influence in state politics. The organization sent out a press release Monday noting that Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) wants to cut off state funding for abstinence-only sex education programs. Planned Parenthood says the election results proves Virginia voters back Kaine's approach because they are "tired of ideology."

Social conservatives - Just when it appears the movement is losing steam in Virginia, Planned Parenthood emerges to rally faithful social conservatives. Look for Kaine's decision to scrap abstinence-only sex education programs to become a rally point for social conservatives trying to prove they are still a force in state politics.

Albert Pollard - Less than a week after he lost a bid for the state Senate, the Democrat from the Northern Neck suddenly has a way to return to Richmond if he so chooses to. Over the weekend, the 1st District Republican committee nominates Del. Robert J. Wittman (R-Westmoreland) as its candidate to replace the late Rep. Jo Ann Davis (R-Va.) in Congress. Wittman holds Pollard's old state House seat. If Wittman wins the Dec. 11 special election, there will have to be another special election to fill his House seat. Many Republicans say Pollard, who carried Westmoreland county in his Senate bid, would be a heavy favorite to win back his House seat if he wants to run for it.

Sen. Ken Cuccinelli (R-Fairfax) - Even though Democrat Janet Oleszek is requesting a recount in her 92-vote loss to Cuccinelli in the Nov. 6 election, Cuccinelli already has his sight set on bolstering his profile in Richmond next year. Cuccinelli has joined other Senate conservatives in challenging Sen. Walter A. Stosch (R-Henrico) for the title of Senate minority leader next year. Though most expect Stosch to survive, Cuccinelli will likely see his status enhanced in the General Assembly because he is a both a conservative and the only remaining GOP senator from a district based entirely in Northern Virginia.

This Week's Losers

Paul Jost -Despite a well-funded effort, he loses a bid for the 1st District GOP nomination for Congress to Del. Robert J. Wittman (R-Westmoreland), despite having the best political consultants his personal fortune could buy. Party insiders say Jost, who is more conservative, would have prevailed had he had maintained better relations with GOP activists over the years.

Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling - As Allen sends signals he may be a candidate for governor in 2009, Bolling may have a harder time arguing he will be conservatives' choice for governor. And after Democrats picked up the four seats needed to regain control of Senate, Bolling won't be able to bolster his profile by being the tie breaking vote in a 20-20 Senate.

Jim Gilmore - When Allen and Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell appeared together this week to endorse Thompson's presidential bid, they spoke for several minutes about next year's Senate race. But neither McDonnell nor Allen mentioned Gilmore, who is widely expected to enter the race. When Bolling and McDonnell were asked why, they both said it was too early to determine who the GOP will nominate.

Shaun Kenney - As spokesman for the Republican Party of Virginia, one of Kenney's responsibilities is to distribute press releases. But a review of the state party's website shows a press release has not been uploaded onto the website since April 23.

Can you think of any more winners or losers? Add your suggestions below.

By Steve Fehr  |  November 16, 2007; 2:50 PM ET
Categories:  Bill Bolling , Election 2007 , Election 2008/U.S. Senate , Election 2009 , George F. Allen , James Gilmore III , Thomas M. Davis III , Winners and Losers  
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