Tuesday, April 13, 2021
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Tag: 31st Senate District

Why I withdrew my endorsement of Barbara Favola

Back in April of this year I made an early endorsement of Barbara Favola's candidacy for the Democratic nomination.  I later was forced to reconsider that decision, and now I think it might be of some value to look at the factors that induced me to endorse her and then later withdraw that endorsement.

I made my decision to endorse Favola based on a number of factors.  I gave great weight to the endorsement of retiring state senator Mary Margaret Whipple.  The precise geography of the 31st has shifted due to redistricting, but much of the 31st remains the same as the district that Whipple represented before she announced her decision not to run for re-election.  I have a great deal of respect for Senator Whipple and that certainly influenced my decision.

I was also impressed by Favola's early organization of her campaign.  Organizational skill is something that is often lacking in Democratic campaigns, particularly those below the statewide level.  The Democratic Party of Virginia has not done enough to foster a political culture that creates a group of party members with campaign skills.  Statewide candidates frequently hire consultants from out of state, ignoring local committees.  To me, Favola's early organization, her professional website, and her list of endorsements all pointed to a campaign that was ready to hit the ground running.

Finally, I considered the endorsement by State Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw.  Now I am not as vociferous a critic of Saslaw as some on this site are, but neither am I a blind follower of his.  Saslaw has made mistakes, but he is the choice of the Democrats in the State Senate-it's not something I get to vote on directly.  What I would hope for in any potential candidate for the state senate would be someone more to the progressive end of the political spectrum who is nevertheless able to walk into Leader Saslaw's office and persuade him.