We’ve got five people that have already declared their candidacy for the Republican nomination. Will there be more?
Quick history lesson: Tom Perriello pulled off a giant upset victory over Virgil Goode in 2008 in a 50-50 election. Goode’s campaign imploded over the final six weeks and Perriello used a grassroots organization to win.
I had my doubts about Perriello, but he’s pleasantly surprised me with his record so far. It’s way too early to think about the 2010 election cycle, but it looks like we have to take a look at the potential opponents that have declared… so let’s go to a rundown.
- Bradley Rees – From Bedford County, Rees was the first person into the race (as far as I can remember), but his only publicity of note so far has been his conviction on a concealed-weapon charge. His campaign tried to spin that into a “hey, at least he bought the guns legally and cooperated with the police offcer”, but that pretty much killed his chances. Chances of getting the Republican nomination: 0%
- Laurence Verga – From Albemarle County, Verga is a real-estate investor. He moved to the 5th District about five years ago and has never ran for public office. Chances of getting the Republican nomination: 0%
- Kenneth Boyd – Also from Albemarle County, Boyd is a former Chairman of the county’s Board of Supervisors and former school board member. He owns a financial services company. Chances of getting the Republican nomination: 0%
- Feda Morton – From Fluvanna County, Morton is a long-time Republican activist and a biology teacher. Chances of getting the Republican nomination: 0%
- Michael McPadden – Another Albemarle County resident, McPadden just declared his candidacy. He’s an airline pilot and also has never ran for public office before. Chances of getting the Republican nomination: 0%
So there’s the field so far. You may notice that the five candidates have been given a 0% chance of getting the nomination. You might say “But that’s impossible!” You would be wrong, and here’s why.
- Robert Hurt – He’s the state Senator from Chatham. He’s very popular in the district. Chances of getting the Republican nomination: 99%
Breakdown: If Robert Hurt decides to run, the game is over for the other five declared candidates. He’s the only potential candidate that would have a chance against Tom Perriello and the Republican party knows it and that’s why they will select the nominee at a convention.
Analysis: If Robert Hurt wants the nomination, Robert Hurt will get the nomination. Our sources say that Robert Hurt will declare his candidacy in the next few months. One of our best sources say that he’s already established the fundamentals for his campaign. The money will start flowing soon after that and Robert Hurt will be Tom Perriello’s opponent in the 2010 election. The 5th District House race can be won by the Republicans without the Charlottesville area if the Southside area is firmly behind their candidate. Hurt has the potential to do that and that makes a Perriello/Hurt matchup quite intriguing. Perriello will have a slight edge with his incumbency but Hurt can easily blow past that and make the race a toss-up in no time.