I'm going to Pull a "Not Larry Sabato" and provide my predictions on some of the key primaries coming up in June. All races will decided June 12th unless otherwise noted.
This "**" denotes they are the favorite to win in my mind, not necessarily the candidate I would personally endorse.
Virginia House of Delegates
34th House District - Democratic Primary
Margaret Vanderhye** vs. Richard Sullivan
- This has been a fairly close race, both money and support wise. This is pretty much a toss-up, but from what I've read, Vanderhye has the smallest of edges in terms of vocal support, so I'll give her the nod.
40th House District - Democratic Primary
Morris Meyer vs. Rex Simmons
- Another tight race, in fact, this one is too close to call. I've combed through blogs, newspaper articles...I'm just having an impossible time getting a handle on a favorite. We'll call this a "toss-up". However, it's most likely that whoever wins will pretty much lose to Tim Hugo come November.
51st House District - Republican Nominating Convention (June 2nd)
Faisal Gill** vs. Julie Lucas
- Ah, this race is one of the most talked-about primary races this year. Gill is being blasted by opponents for numerous reasons (both working for George W. Bush and having links to known terrorists, including Al Qaeda). Lucas, on the other hand, hasn't helped her cause as many feel she has attempted to find ways to bring down Gill when there really wasn't anything there (the "website scandal" with Gill and PWC GOP Chair Tom Kopko). Gill has more delegates attending the June 2nd convention, and in the end...that may be all that matters. Gill gets the nod here.
79th House District - Democratic Primary
Johnny Joannou vs. Henry Light **
- Joannou is the incumbent. Light has aligned himself as a "Warner/Kaine" Democrat. Light also has an almost 3-1 money advantage over the incumbent Joannou. Light has a lot of endorsements on his side, and I think that will be enough to give him the edge.
Virginia State Senate
9th Senate District - Democratic Primary
Benny Lambert vs. Donald McEachin**
- Lambert, the incumbent, will get his on June 12th, as his support for George Allen in last fall's Senate race will very well come back to bite him, as many Dems have thrown their support behind McEachin. Lambert has the money advantage, but much of that was in loan funding. McEachin should come out of this one as the Democratic candidate.
24th Senate District - Republican Primary
Emmett Hanger vs. Scott Sayre**
- The race that has all of the Shenandoah Valley talking! Well, maybe just the Valley blogosphere. As I stated before, I believe this primary is Sayre's to lose.
27th Senate District - Republican Primary
Jill Holtzman Vogel** vs. Mark Tate
- While Tate NARROWLY lost to Russ Potts in 2003, he's in trouble now. He's currently been indicted on 2 counts of election fraud and 9 counts of perjury, but he's still running. Vogel has been pretty consistent in her campaigning, and seems to have had the support necessary to win...even before the Tate scandal.
39th Senate District - Democratic Primary
George Barker vs. Greg Galligan**
- This was a pretty sleepy primary race that has gotten more attention since Barker supporters have been accused of "swiftboating" Galligan. From what I understand, Barker has not encouraged this, nor has he discouraged it. Either way, Galligan's got the money and the stronger campaign staff. Barker has had staffing problems, including losing his campaign manager to Christopher Dodd's presidential campaign. Galligan should get this one.
Any races I missed? Disagree with me? Want to add something? Put it in a comment below.
UPDATE - Requested Predictions
Requested by VB Dems
83rd House District - Republican Primary
Chris Stolle** vs. Carolyn Weems
- If this had been the three-way primary involving incumbent Leo Wardrup, I'd say this was a toss-up, being that loyalties to Wardrup and the Stolle family would be split amongst GOPers, and Weems would be running on name recognition. However, Wardrup decided to retire. That being said, Weems now has Leo Wardrup's machine behind her, plus her name recognition...while Stolle has his own family political machine and a few key endorsements. Should be a close, interesting race. However, this district is full of moderate Republicans, and I think Stolle may appeal to the "closer-to-center" GOP voters than Weems. I can't believe I forgot to include this race in my earlier predictions.