Home > Analysis, Campaign 2010, Congress, Domestic/Social Policy, Party politics > Stewart Out in the 11th; Fimian gaining steam

Stewart Out in the 11th; Fimian gaining steam

In an all but expected decision, PWC Chairman Corey Stewart has quietly backed away from consideration to face sitting Congressman Gerry Conolly in 2010. From the Washington Post blog:

Republican Corey A. Stewart, chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, is not running for Congress next year. We know this because Stewart and three other Prince William Republicans just announced that they are supporting Keith S. Fimian, who is preparing for a rematch against Democrat Gerald E. Connolly next year. The others are: Supervisor Mike May and delegates L. Scott Lingamfelter and Robert G. “Bob” Marshall.

This was expected, given growing speculation about Stewart’s ambitions. The Post also reported that Fairfax County Board Member Pat Herrity, who narrowly lost the special election for Conolly’s seat that many said was a harbinger for the victory on November 3rd, is considering entering the race.

A few weeks ago I was privileged to be on a conference call about the health care bill with Congressman Bob Goodlatte. Congressman Goodlatte noted that the 11th, as one of the richest Congressional districts in the country, would be particularly hit hard by some of the new regulations and taxes proposed in the Democratic plan. He also noted the irony that Dems refuse to acknowledge that federal employees, who heavily populate the 11th, already benefit from interstate competition. Given Connolly’s vote for the bill, the odds could quickly start stacking against Connolly if Obama’s negatives continue to rise, particularly important given that Connolly only ran two points ahead of Obama in the district, despite his extreme lead in name recognition over Fimian. And guess who won’t be on the ballot next year, a year after Bob McDonnell handily carried the district?

As I mentioned earlier, 2010 primary season is going to be quite a ride. But right now, given the outsider’s advantage and the fact that he’s already building establishment support, I’d say that the primary is Fimian’s to lose and the general a tighter affair than most would expect.

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