Party Leadership and Marsden’s Conundrum

Yesterday I considered the matter of Dick Saslaw’s whining and how he helped create the situation he now bemoans.  Today, let’s see how that kind of leadership is playing out in the Fairfax County Braddock District, and how it is giving Dugout Dave The Carpetbagger the heebee-jeebees.

Key fact: There is some overlap between the  Braddock precincts where Democrats are choosing between Janet “The Hoot” Oleszek and Christopher “Random McCain-Palin Guy” Wade (so designated by BlueVa) and precincts in the Va 37 Senate District.

Much to the dismay of many grass-roots Democrats, Board Chairman Sharon Bulova chose to try to reclaim her home district from her successor John Cook (R-Braddock) by backing Chris Wade.  Wade has significant chamber of commerce experience, has never voted in a democratic primary, and was a strong McCain-Palin backer.  Janet Oleszek-former school board member, unsuccessful candidate for a HOD nomination v. Sharon Bulova’s son, and recount loser to Ken Cuccinelli in 2007)answered the call to oppose a candidate labeled by many a “GOP candidate” and Bulova rubber stamp.

Disclaimer: Mr. Wade and I attend the same church.

Regardless of his abilities, you have to wonder how the Democratic leadership in Braddock came up with Mr. Wade-especially as his web site he identifies issues but choses not say how he intends to address the issues.  Oleszek offers far more nuance and detail at her website. I suspect there is some truth to Ben Tribbett’s accusation that Bulova still has it out for Ms. Oleszek for opposing her son David Bulova in a delegate primary in 2005, and that perhaps the primary reason for Mrs Bulova to support the political neophyte Wade is that she will be able to control him.

Party leadership is split…Wade is backed by Sharon B., The Carpetbagger, Vivian Watts, and some supervisors.  Oleszek is endorsed by Chap!, Delegates Scott Surovell and Kaye Kory, Leslie Byrne, former School Board colleagues Moon/Hone/Storck/Evans, and several unions

Mrs. Bulova has chosen-as did Senator Saslaw-to try to dictate a candidate that she could dominate rather than simply open the field.   I have no idea how this will spin out, but I suspect it will be close.

However, as the voters in Braddock consider a supervisor, my state Senator-“Dugout”  Dave Marsden (who has yet to fulfill his January 2010 campaign promise to permanently move into Va 37 as constituted in January 2010)  has his eyes peeled in two directions…

First, who will he be running against?  My gut instinct is that Steve Hunt will defeat Jason Flanary today for the GOP nomination.  In what promises to be a low turnout primary I have to think Mr. Hunt’s longer time in the public eye and intra-party name recognition will make the difference.  Whoever wins has his work cut out for him-The Carpetbagger has a big war chest ready to spend in the fall.

Equally important, who will The Carpetbagger the be running with?  There is no Clerk race on the ballot, nor is any other constitutional office likely to drive turnout. The Carpetbagger will effectively be at the top of the ticket.

Throughout the delegate districts that touch on Va 37 many have unopposed races-including Va 41 in the Burke end of the senate district.  Turnout in Marsden’s backyard will hinge in some part on the impact of the Supervisor race.  While he has endorsed Wade, will he really be better served by a ticket mate who has no history or significant contacts in the Democratic party? In a non statewide/congressional year, will the party faithful be more likely to come out and work for and vote for a ticket with a Johnny-Come-Lately (who The Carpetbagger endorsed) as the Supervisor candidate or a long time progressive favorite? 

I tend to think that despite his endorsement, The Carpetbagger will enjoy greater benefit from an Oleszek win today…of course, that would be easier to influence had he gotten out to work for her-but seizing the initiative is not the operating norm for my state Senator.

We shall see!

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