Virginia political junkies really want the upcoming statewide-office nominating elections to be competitive. But on the Democratic side, it seems like that is not to be.
For the past few weeks, it’s becoming increasingly clear that, barring some change in direction, Attorney General Mark Herring is going to be able to brush past the challenge from Del. Jay Jones.
Jones just doesn’t seem to be resonating among the broad Democratic electorate, and you’ve got to do a whole lot of resonating if you aim to knock off a two-term incumbent who has done just about everything the left wing of the party has asked him to do in the last eight years. There’s just not that much room on Herring’s left flank to ram the Woke Army through.
On the gubernatorial front, it looked for a while like it might shape up into a battle between Terry McAuliffe and Jennifer Carroll Foy. At least that’s what Foy was hoping for. But her recent campaign pronouncements have seemed a tad, mmmmm, desperate – the sure sign of a campaign that is flagging.
Meanwhile, Team T-Mac is grinding it out, effectively is not with a lot of joy, picking up endorsements and readying campaign buys that will likely assure him at least 40-some percent of the vote on June 8. That’s not a ringing endorsement, but will be a comfy margin in the multi-candidate Democratic field.
That leaves the lieutenant-governor candidates. As one local elected official who knows of what he speaks said to me a few weeks back, all of them are nuts, with one exception. (That’s my source speaking, not me – I barely know any of them. And because I like to maintain plausible deniability, I did not ask which was the nun-nut). This may be the one wide-open race of the three, but outside of the really, really engaged political partisans, the general public probably doesn’t much care.
So that’s it for the Democratic side. On the Republican side, with convention voting coming up in May and the ranked-choice procedure adding an extra level of complication for prognosticators, one can probably winnow the field of potential victors, but coming up with concrete predictions seems something of a shot in the dark.
SUR-PRISE, SUR-PRISE, SUR-PRISE! To the surprise of absolutely no one except the criminally obtuse, local police agencies across the region say they are having a hard time recruiting new officers.
Well, gee, given that elected officials, prosecutors, the media, a certain percentage of the public and even their own leadership is willing to throw officers under the bus for any transgression (real or imagined), is it any surprise the recruiting ranks are thin? And is it any further surprise that many officers are departing the job the minute their pension kicks in? After all, why risk your life, livelihood and reputation by hanging around in this troubled times?
What goes around comes around, and eventually we’ll be back to some sanity – holding officers accountable for impropriety, yes, but also respecting the fact that most of those serving in public safety are honorable and deserve our support, not our derision. Alas, it make take a while.
Remember what happens when it gets hard to hire police: Standards are lowered, and sometimes it becomes hard to know the criminals from those sworn to protect the rest of us from them. It happened to the Metropolitan Police Department, as just one example, and it took years to untangle that mess.
- Scott McCaffrey