Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Chap! Endorses Jaime Areizaga-Soto over Barbara Favola

When you’re looking at political endorsements in Virginia politics, I generally believe that they don’t matter much unless someone breaks with the mold or there’s a very clear trend in who’s supporting a candidate. That’s why I think it’s noteworthy that Chap Petersen endorsed Jaime Areizaga-Soto for state senate.

Almost immediately after Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple announced that she wouldn’t be seeking reelection, it became clear that many members of the “establishment” were going to be supporting Barbara Favola in the race. Not only was Majority Leader Dick Saslaw supporting her in the primary, for instance, but the rumors were that he was doing whatever he could to make sure that nobody else got into the race. (This was supposedly one of the reasons that Delegate Patrick Hope didn’t enter the primary.) The fact that Chap Petersen is endorsing Jaime over Barbara therefore means he believes Areizaga-Soto is a strong enough candidate that he’s willing to break with the party leadership to endorse his candidacy.

In a statement released earlier today, we got a glimpse into why Chap! Decided to make the endorsement. "Having worked with Jaime in Richmond and Northern Virginia, I know that he is a hard worker and a passionate advocate for the community," said Petersen. "He represents a new generation of Virginians seeking leadership positions in the Commonwealth. That is something the Democratic Party needs."

As Lowell over at Blue Virginia pointed out, Chap’s endorsement is also interesting because it illustrates a trend in how the endorsements are lining up in the primary. Many of the folks who endorsed Jim Webb back in the 2006 US Senate primary are now lining up behind Areizaga-Soto while folks who supported Miller are lining up behind Favola. Of course, we all now know that turned out -- Jim Webb ended up getting elected to the Senate and Harris Miller appears to be persona non grata even at organizations that advocate for the corporate interests he always seemed to represent.

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