Friday, March 4, 2011

Gerry Connolly Won't Run for Senate

Although there was some discussion about Gerry Connolly potentially running for the US Senate in 2012, I had heard from a lot of people close to him that he thought Tim Kaine should run. Of course, the question has been whether or not Kaine actually would enter the race. In what might be a sign of how Kaine is moving towards making a decision, Gerry has now officially taken his name out of consideration and is encouraging Kaine to run.
As I said in my recent speech at the Democratic Party of Virginia dinner in Richmond, Tim Kaine is a man of conviction and strong values. Tim is a pubic servant in the truest sense of the word. He would make a great U.S. Senator and I hope he decides to run.

I want to continue to be a strong, common-sense voice for Northern Virginia in the Congress as we grapple with tough decisions on federal spending that have a direct impact on the families of the 11th District.
This shouldn't be too surprising because a lot of people who would likely be among Gerry's most vocal supporters in a Democratic primary are also Tim Kaine supporters. Since Kaine has the national connections through his position as DNC chair and has already proven that he can win statewide, I had a lot of people tell me that they were leaning towards Kaine but would support Gerry if he didn't run.

While Gerry isn't running for Senate in 2012, his campaign will still getting a lot of attention because his race was so close in 2010. This has actually already started because Gerry was one of fifteen Democrats who were put onto the DCCC's front-line program. Despite the fact that this program is designed to protect vulnerable incumbents, there are some good signs for Gerry's re-election chances. In a year that saw a swarm of Republicans defeating incumbent Democrats, for instance, Gerry was the only freshman Democrat from Virginia to win a second term and many insiders also believe his moderate district will become slightly more Democratic after redistricting. What all of this means is that when you consider how close the Senate race is going to be, Gerry's decision to seek another term in the House of Representatives is probably a good one for his own political career and will go a long ways towards helping keep the 11th District seat in Democratic hands.

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