We’re talking about the wrong Senate race

I’ll be honest – I’m really tired of hearing about the 2012 Senate race.  Every day we have some other news story about the 2012 Senate race.  Webb is not running. Kaine is (if he wasn’t, Tom Perriello would have already announced).  Allen is running.  Radtke attacks Allen every day.  No one knows who Radtke is.  Is Corey in?  What about Bob?  Bert?  Who are these other guys? Bearing Drift has five stories on Radtke and the Senate race alone in the first two pages of the site.  Enough already.

Why are we talking about a race that is over a year away?  We have elections in Virginia this year.

We have State Senate elections every four years.  Right now, the state Senate sits at 22 Democrats and 18 Republicans. We are two seats away from control over the State Senate.  Given the amount of good legislation that has died or has been watered down by Dick Saslaw and the Democrats in the Senate, winning back the State Senate should be the #1 priority of every Republican in the Commonwealth.  In Northern Virginia, we have nine Republican candidates already running to replace five Democrats across Prince William, Loudoun and Fairfax Counties.  Downstate we have competitive races as well, especially with a number of key Democratic retirements and redistricting that will likely open a seat or two we can make a play for.  These are the Senate races we should be talking about.  Not 2012.

While we control the House of Delegates by a strong margin, 59-39-2, we can’t afford to rest on our laurels.  We have a number of  incumbents, particularly in Northern Virginia, who will face some tough races this fall, even if their districts are drawn to benefit them.  For those of us, like me, who will likely be facing a Democratic incumbent this fall, we are going to need the resources and support of voters in our districts and across the Commonwealth.  What we don’t need is candidates who are not running this fall dominating the news cycles, dominating online media, and siphoning off resources that won’t go into the coffers of our candidates who are running this year.  That’s bad for the party.

Besides the General Assembly races, we have local elections as well.  In Fairfax we are going to have a number of big supervisor races.  Those candidates will need help, support and coverage.

George Allen understands this.  Next week, he’s going to be the featured guest at a fundraiser for Fairfax Supervisors Pat Herrity and John Cook.  And I’m sure he’s headlining fundraisers across the Commonwealth besides the ones here.  George Allen has been one of the most visible politicians in Northern Virginia, even when he wasn’t actively running for Senate. He has been a featured speaker and a guest at almost every major event we’ve held in Fairfax.  We see him often, he is always willing to help candidates raise funds or be a speaker at local events.  There isn’t an elected official in Northern Virginia, to my knowledge, who has not had George Allen help him or her at some point in their campaigns.

I would strongly urge Jamie Radtke, and the others in the race who aren’t doing as much as Allen is, to take a step back and recognize that the best way for them to raise their profiles and name ID will be to do what Allen does – reach out to state and local candidates and work with us to win back the Senate, elect more Republicans to office in the House and aid as many candidates as they can this November.

2011 first.  2012 can wait.

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