Bolger Drops Out of 10th CD Race

The Dranesville District Democrats are reporting on their Facebook page that Richard Bolger has dropped out of the running for the Democratic nomination in the 10th Congressional District race. This leaves John Foust unopposed and, with filing closed, the Democratic nominee. Here’s an excerpt from Bolger’s statement today:

At this point, it has become clear to me that John Foust is our strongest choice with the best chance of helping our party win this seat and change the direction of Congress. That is why I have reached out to John and told him I am suspending my campaign and will be supporting his candidacy.

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Bolger Fumbles

The two candidates for the Democratic nomination in the 10th CD race spoke to the Loudoun County Democratic Committee a couple of nights ago. John Foust, with some name-recognition already established in Loudoun, made, they say, an ordinary candidate’s speech. His opponent, Richard Bolger, appears to have fumbled, by speaking favorably of the interests of the real-estate industry.

Everyone hopes that property values will return to healthy levels, of course. But, if you know Loudoun county politics, you know that the LCDC is heavily influenced by its western membership, and that those western members abhor real-estate developers. To win the support of the LCDC, then, one must be cautious to distinguish between the value of a resident’s property, and the welfare of the real-estate industry. Observers say that Bolger came off as treating them as one-and-the-same, a fatal error for a candidate in front of that audience.

The same meeting voted on when and where Democrats can vote for the candidate they prefer as their nominee. Nothing official, however, on the LCDC or 10th CD Democratic Committee‘s Web sites about that. If you know more, please post a comment.

And Then There Were Two…

Sam Kubba has dropped out of the race for the Democratic nomination to succeed Frank Wolf. That leaves Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust and Fairfax attorney Richard Bolger still contending. The smart money’s on Foust, but the Democratic 10th Congressional District Committee has chosen a byzantine nominating process (involving a two-week election period during which you get to vote for some number of Delegates, some other number of Alternates, which you can do by slate or on an individual basis, who then go on to a convention during which the committed Delegates are bound to vote for their candidate on the first round only, unless that candidate has dropped out, and then, well… you can read all five single-spaced pages of rules for this process on your own time).

Seems like a lot of trouble to go to, but there are only just so many ways to choose a nominee and you do want the process to be fair. On the other hand, if you are a political party, you also want the process to choose the candidate most likely to win in the general election. However, parties and candidates are not one-in-the-same. Parties want their candidates to win, but candidates want themselves to win. Messrs. Kubba and Bolger were, as far as anyone seems to know, politically unknown before announcing they would run for Frank Wolf’s seat. Now, at the time, Wolf was widely expected to run again, and the practice of running political unknowns for seats you can’t win is fairly well established, so no one really cared who they were. Supervisor Foust’s entry into the race, combined with Wolf’s retirement, changes all that, because of one simple fact: Foust could win in November. So why is Bolger running? Could he win? Theoretically, anyone can win. But, realistically, his chances seem very slight compared to Foust’s. Then again, both men are from Fairfax, while the single most populous jurisdiction in the district is Loudoun county. This could be an issue if the Republicans choose a candidate with any Loudoun ties name-recognition. At the moment, it’s hard to say who that Republican will be, as the list of contenders is pretty long:

  • Barbara Comstock
  • Bob Marshall
  • Richard Shickle
  • Stephen Hollingshead
  • Marc Savitt
  • Rob Wasinger
  • Brent Anderson
  • Donald Duck

Okay, one of those hasn’t yet declared, but the top two are the most likely to include the actual nominee, and both have established support in Loudoun county. Both will appeal to voters outside of Loudoun and not in Fairfax. Either Foust or Bolger (and it is going to be Foust) will take Fairfax (readily, if Marshall wins, but with a bit of a fight if Comstock wins). The hinterlands of the district will go to the Republican. Which brings the battle home to Loudoun, where almost all of the interesting political battles in Virginia seem to be happening these days.

Both parties will choose their nominees on April 26. On April 27, if you live in Loudoun county, draw the shades and lock your doors, because it’s going to be heck outside.