8th District GOP Rundown

Virginia’s 8th Congressional district is probably one of the safest Democratic seats in the country but the Republicans haven’t given up. So far 7 candidates have expressed interest in the 2010 GOP nomination of which 4 have dropped out of the race. Here’s a run down:

Matthew Berry has an impressive resume including clerking at the Supreme Court, General Counsel of the FCC, and the Department of Justice. Currently, he is the only candidate running a serious campaign in the primary by not only raising substantial funds ($62,844 thru 12/31/09) but also attacking Moran on a consistent basis. While I don’t agree with Mr. Berry on the Patriot Act and foreign policy issues (I realize I’m the minority within the GOP), he is able to articulate all his beliefs and policy positions in an intellectual and positive manner. I believe Berry is the strongest candidate to challenge Moran in the general election but he will still need a lot of help from both inside and outside the GOP.

Mark Ellmore – Dropped out in March.

Deb Maddrell – Dropped out this week. Deb Maddrell recently left the Navy where she spent the last few years focusing on Sexual Assault issues for the Office of the Assistant Secretary. She is new to politics, largely restricted by the Hatch Act, and fairly new to the 8th district.

Mike Maibach – Dropped out in December. In my conversation with him he did not want to run in a race with more than 2 candidates.

Patrick Murray is a career military man with the basic credentials of a GOP candidate. The military overtones in his campaign (i.e. “ground campaign” instead of “door-to-door”) may resonate with many GOP in the district (we do have the Pentagon afterall) but his disappointing fundraising numbers (less than $7K) may hinder him in the end. I have tried to reach out to his campaign three times without any response (not that I’m someone they need to respond to) so I can’t really comment on Murray’s ability to articulate issues (he also happened to miss the last Arlington GOP meeting). In the last few days, I have finally started to see some traffic from his campaign regarding fundraisers, parades, etc. so he still has time to turn things around.

Will Radle – Announced he was dropping out of the primary but may still run as an independent. Will Radle currently works for an insurance company and has participated in Leadership Institute courses. Currently Mr. Radle’s campaign revolves around a plan he has written where the basic theory is to eliminate federal taxation of American production to help the economy grow. Radle has yet to start fundraising as well.

Laurence Socci is the CEO of the lobbyist group, the C. L. A. group and has written a handbook on successful lobbyist strategies. I have reached out to him without any response. He was able to raise $23,500 of which at least $10,500 seem to come from out of state family and friends. He has not attended many GOP meetings in the district and his Facebook page only has 5 fans (including himself). No word on whether he intends to stay in the race or not.

More information and links to campaigns here.

  • It would appear Berry is the only serious candidate. Great post.

  • D.J. Spiker

    Don’t sell yourself short Amit (talking about Murray) I would fully expect any campaign who wants to be taken seriously in a Republican primary or convention to cooperate with any media, especially BearingDrift. His campaign’s ignorance of your repeated outreach speaks volumes to me about their viability.

    I agree with JR

  • Interesting analysis. But I have a couple of comments to add.

    First, I have more than 5 followers on my Facebook page (if that is an indicator of campaign success) http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Alexandria-VA/Laurence-Socci-for-Congress/260895147260?ref=ts. Second, most people start fundraising with family and friends. Since I started fundraising 2 weeks before the end of quarter reports were due, raising $10,000 isn’t too bad.

    Third, I’m not sure how much you “reached out” to me; I have barely heard of ‘Bearing Drift’ and did not know you were associated with it. I gave interviews to everyone who asked. If you asked for an interview, I gave it.

    Finally, prior to early February, I attended every Republican event possible.

  • @DJ, thanks!

    @Socci, the Facebook link I was using was the one posted at ArlingtonGOP.org (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Alexandria-VA/Socci-for-Congress/191388691400). Perhaps you should have them update the link.

    as far as fundraising, I was not saying going to your family and friends is a bad thing, I had to do the same thing. I mentioned it as a statement of fact based on your FEC filings.

    also, I emailed you at “laurence@socciforcongress.com” which is listed on your website on March 7 at 11:50AM with the subject “questions for BearingDrift blog” and never received a response. Granted I only emailed you once but I thought you would have responded if you were interested.

    finally, just some free advice:

    1) don’t post on the BearingDrift blog that you’ve barely heard of us when you’re a Republican in VA.

    2) attend the GOP meetings. not sure if I need to explain that one

  • Sorry you couldn’t reach me. I’m really not
    that hard to find, but, whatever. And thanks for the

  • Pingback: Amit Singh says Berry is the strongest candidate in the 8th District. « Red NoVA()

  • Captain Ron Fisher, US Navy retired. Independent!!!

  • WhoisSocci

    Socci might be one of the ugliest candidates ever.

  • @WhoisSocci, pretty lame comment. I think Sarah Palin and Barack Obama are good looking people but I would never vote for either of them. it is what a candidate is willing to fight for that matters to me.

  • Akbar Khalid

    Nice post Amit. Thanks. Thinking of supporting Berry and your article helped move me closer to that position.

  • Dan

    How on earth can someone run for congress in Northern Virgina and say that they have never heard of Bearing Drift? That takes skill…real skill…

  • Down to 2 candidates! Socci announced on my blog that he’ll be dropping soon.

  • NOVA Voter

    @Not Jim Moran: To me, Murray seems like your average slick Republican politician and they’re the problem to begin with. I’ve thrown my vote away on every Republican against Jim Moran since 2002; and quite frankly, I’m tired of losing and having two more years of Jim Moran. Thanks for your post, Amit, because it looks to me as though there is only one candidate left in this race that can actually beat Moran in November, and that’s Matthew Berry!

  • CT

    Please explain to me how someone can be a Republican in Virginia and NOT have heard of Bearing Drift?? Virginians: We need to stand up to these opportunist politicians. Clearly, Socci is not serious at all, but just another power-hungry Republican. We need real candidates that people want to support. It seems Matthew Berry is just that candidate.

  • paul vogel

    Will Radle is running in the primary as a democrat.
    Just posting this to clear the air.

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