It looks like the Democrats’ anger over the 2016 election-from-hell, the horror show that is Donald Trump, etc., etc. is not abating. In addition to the gazillion candidates we’ve got running for Virginia House of Delegates this year, plus two Democrats running for governor and three for LG, we’ve also got Democrats lining up for 2018 already. For instance, in the 10th CD, possible candidates against Rep. Barbara Comstock (R) include Fairfax County Board member Kathy Smith, State Senator Jennifer Wexton, Fairfax County Council of PTAs President Kimberly Adams, and potentially several others (e.g., I’ve heard former Loudoun County Democratic Committee Chair Mike Turner’s name mentioned).
And now, in the 1st CD, we’ve got at least three Democrats vying to take on the abysmal Rep. Rob Wittman (note: for anyone who thinks this guy is in any way “moderate,” see here and here — “Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA) to Vicious/Ugly Anti-Muslim Bigot — ‘I appreciate your observations and I share your frustration’“): former Marine Edwin Santana, “author, professional genealogist, historian, and professional speaker” Vangie Williams and now Prince William County School Board Chair Ryan Sawyers (his official announcement is coming Monday – you can sign up on his website for notifications). I also hear that at least one more Democratic candidate might be getting in the race against Witt(less)man, so stay tuned…
By the way, normally I’d say that we need to focus 100% on the elections THIS year, but these are not normal times. So, while I DO believe we ought to be focusing most of our energies on winning in Virginia THIS year, I also think that 2018 poses a great opportunity for Democrats to take back the U.S. House of Representatives and provide at least some checks/balances on the “narcissistic maniac” in the White House and on his far-right Cabinet, advisers, etc. But to do that, we’re going to need strong candidates, a favorable political environment for Democrats next year and also top-notch campaigns.
On that final point, I’d say that starting early on raising money, putting a high-quality campaign together, and going after the Comstocks, Wittmans, Taylors, etc. of the world. might not be a bad idea, even if it conflicts a bit with the intense focus on winning in 2017. Of course, candidates for 2018 could accomplish some of their own goals – such as getting their names/faces out there – while campaigning for Virginia Democrats in 2017. That’s one of the things I’m definitely going to be looking at — how much effort do these folks put into electing Democrats up and down the ballot THIS year, how effective are they at doing so, etc. So again, stay tuned. Oh, and one thing’s for sure; the energy we all felt at the Women’s March in January isn’t showing any signs of letting up soon, and thank goodness it isn’t, because we’re in the fight of our lives and it’s only getting worse!