Winners and Losers
This Week's Winners
Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va) - Roll Call, the Capitol Hill paper, reported that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee plans to target 40 Republican-held House seats next year. No seats from Virginia are on the list. By excluding Davis's district, which includes Fairfax and Prince William counties, Democrats are signaling that he remains in a strong position if he decides to run again.
House and Senate Republicans- After years of squabbling, top Senate and House leaders showed this week they can be far more effective when they are unified. After Kaine unveiled his budget, they spoke with one voice, setting the stage for a purely partisan battle over the budget, which hasn't occurred since the late 1990s.
Barack Obama - Rep. Robert C. "Bobby" Scott (D-Va) endorsed his presidential bid. If the race for the Democratic nomination is still competitive by Virginia's Feb. 12 primary, Obama will have two major party figures - Scott and Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) - working hard to deliver the state for him.
Del. Samuel A. Nixon Jr. (R-Chesterfield) -Republicans announced this week that he will be the new chair of the House Republican caucus, which will allow him to raise his statewide profile.
Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell - A possible candidate for governor in 2009, he announces that Virginia will join several other states by filing a brief supporting the right to bear arms in the D.C. gun case to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in March. The case has been touted as the most significant review of the Second Amendment in almost 70 years. It also provides a chance for McDonnell to burnish his credentials with gun rights groups. The move is already paying dividends. The Roanoke Times, which circulates in some of the most pro-gun parts of Virginia, wrote an extensive article about his efforts.
Jimmy Barrett - The announcer on WRVA radio in Richmond campaigned successfully to force incoming Sen. Minority Leader Thomas K. Norment (R-James City) to abandon his plans to keep the $1 surcharge on annual vehicle registration fees. The fee is supposed to sunset next year because it was originally designed to raise money for the Jamestown celebrations, which are over.
Republican Women Legislators - There will be only six in the General Assembly when it convenes in January - but half of them will chair a standing committee. Delegates Beverly Sherwood (R-Frederick), Kathy Byron (R-Campbell), and Terrie Suit (R-Virginia Beach) were among the 14 chairmen announced by Speaker Bill Howell (R-Stafford) this week.
This Week's Losers: None. Happy Holidays
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