Get ready for ’09

Both sides are gearing up for massive elections in 2009, not just for Governor but in the House as well. With Republicans holding just a slim 3 seat majority (although both independents generally side with Republicans) and at least two of those Delegates in Districts that went for Obama by big margins, and Democrats energized after not only wining the state for the first time in 44 years this last fall but also gaining control of the State Senate, both parties will be fighting tooth and nail for the House. From the WaPo:

“There is this mood, this feeling in the air. I can feel a much more aggressive passion to get control,” said Del. Paul F. Nichols (D-Prince William). “We feel there is . . . light at the end of the tunnel.”

Republicans, tired of losing statewide races, vow not to cede any more ground to Democrats. Instead, Republicans say they will be the party on the offense, targeting Democratic incumbents in the House and pouring money into Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell‘s campaign for governor.

“They are going to see a new Republican Party in 2009,” said Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R), who is running for reelection.

The stakes are higher this year than most. Legislators must cut at least $3 billion from the state’s two-year, $77 billion budget, which will require deep reductions in vital government services such as health care.

Word on the street says most of the most targeted races have already staffed up, so this is sure to be a marquee year, particularly for political professionals.

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