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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 [1] 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 [2]) 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 [3].

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 [4] 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 [5]) 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 [6] is the CEO of the lobbyist group [7], 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 [8] 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 [9] 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 [10].