Yes, Virginia, there is an election coming up Tuesday.
Truth be told, most folks around the state have likely forgotten about this primary runoff. If the trend holds true (and I have no reason to believe it won’t) the runoff turnout will be significantly less than August 2nd.
For what it’s worth, here’s my take on how things are shaping up heading into Tuesday…
The two main races to watch are the runoffs for the Democratic gubernatorial nominee and the Republican state Treasurer nominee.
In the Democrat’s race for Governor, Bill Luckett is facing Johnny Dupree. If I were a Democrat (which I couldn’t fathom), my primary focus would be on who could best help draw voters out to the polls come November. Neither one of these men will best Republican Phil Bryant, but one of them will have an impact on legislative and other down ticket races. Question is, how much?
Conventional wisdom says that Dupree would be the best option for attracting Democratic voters as well as garnering regional and even national assistance from prominent Democrats. Plus, Dupree would draw the attention of the mainstream media, something liberals would enjoy at our collective expense.
In the Republican Treasurer runoff, Lynn Fitch came out leading the initial three candidate pack and will face state Senator Lee Yancey. This race had been quiet until yesterday when Yancey fired the first shot across Fitch’s bow with a pretty raucous attack ad.
After reviewing the campaign finance reports for any hints, two items of note stick out like a sore thumb: 1) Yancey seems to have won the backing of the bond attorneys and 2) Fitch is still relying very heavily on her father for funding.
It would seem that Fitch may have the edge which would explain Yancey’s desperation in releasing the attack ad, simply trying to throw something against the wall to see if it sticks.
Looking back, no pundit I saw had Fitch leading the field coming out of the first round. This time, however, Fitch is the favorite.
There are also a few legislative runoffs to watch and they are well worth the price of admission.
The SD 20 race between Josh Harkins and Know Ross as well as the SD 25 race between Will Longwitz and Charles Barbour should come down to the wire. There’s been enough fireworks in these two races so I will refrain from making any predictions; doing so would only fan the flames in races where the house is already burning. There is no Democrat in the SD 20 race so whoever wins will head to the Capitol come January. The winner of SD 25 will face Democrat Cecilia Sampayo.
Other Senate races to watch include districts 39, 40, 43, and 46 – all Republican runoffs with all but one (40) moving on to face a Democrat in November.
In the House, there are four Democrat runoffs (districts 4, 13, 19, and 119) and one Republican runoff (118).
The most interesting race on the Democrat side has to be 19 where incumbent Rep. Mark Duvall will face state Democratic party chairman and former representative Jamie Franks. What a message it would send for Franks to lose this race. Surely, a change at the top of the state’s liberal party has to be near.
On the Republican side, 118 has incumbent Rep. Roger Ishee facing Greg Haney. Haney led on August 2nd and many on the Coast believe he will come out on top again.
So there you have it, folks. Now, let’s go out there and do it again…
See you at the polls Tuesday!