With the endorsements in Hampton Roads localities (Va Beach, Portsmouth, Suffolk) out of the way, now to look to the federal contests. The Virginian Pilot, which covers the southside of Hampton Roads, will endorse in “three races for Congress [and] one for the U.S. Senate.” The paper long ago gave up endorsing in the presidential race.
The three congressional contests have one thing in common: all have incumbents. And that strength of incumbency is really, really hard to overcome with this board. That being said, here are my predictions:
- 2nd District: Incumbent Scott Rigell. Expect they will say something about Rigell’s efforts in Congress to find solutions, that he has backed off his “no-taxes” pledge. But also I suspect they will say that challenger Paul Hirschbiel hasn’t made the case for firing Rigell. If they haven’t written this editorial yet, I’d like to advise them to watch the video of last Friday’s WHRO debate. Yes, I know they were there – as was I. But I got a totally different feel for the candidates watching the recording than I did as an observer in the studio.
- 3rd District: Incumbent Bobby Scott. The only question here is whether they will even mention his challenger, Dean Longo, by name.
- 4th District: Incumbent Randy Forbes. Expect them to say something about it being a really tough road from City Council to Congress, and challenger Ella Ward is trying to make that leap.
There is also the U.S. Senate race. I expect the endorsement to go to former governor Tim Kaine, along with the nice words of “bipartisan, commonsense solutions.” Former Senator George Allen is likely to be described as one who is looking backward.
There you have it! We’ll see how these come out 😉
Just a reminder: although I write a column for the Pilot, I am not a member of the editorial board nor am I privy to their discussions of the endorsement process. My “Predictions” columns are simply based on my observation of the board over time.