Here in the U.S. we tend to think of even-numbered years as "election years". House members have to run every 2 years, the president every 4 years, and senators every 6 years. Odd-numbered years, however, are - in some cases - election years for state and local races. I focus on the commonwealth of VA, both because of its proximity to DC, and for it being my former home for 9 years.
Yesterday was primary day in VA for the Democratic party. In VA, the governor serves a 4-year term, and cannot serve consecutive terms. This is Governor Northam's last year in the Governor's mansion. Who will be on the ballot in November for the Democratic party?
None other than long-term party operative Terry McAuliffe. He - along with existing AG Mark Herring won their respective primary races
, as did several incumbents for the state houses. McAuliffe has the advantage of name-recognition, as well as a wealth of experience in party politics. Here's hoping that helps propel him over the challengers from the Republican party.
You may not have caught it, but I mentioned yesterday was the primary for the Democratic party. But what about the Republican party?
It's apparent that the party in VA decided they didn't trust their own voters to chose the candidates who should run for state office. So - they've gone with a "convention" model for choosing the candidates for state-wide races. They explain this as being necessitated because the state has "open" primaries, but I would say it's more that they fear a populist candidate whose positions don't jibe with party dogma winning the hearts and minds (and votes) of the electorate.
This paranoid mindset seems on-brand for the Republican party, which makes me even happier to be part of the "big tent" party. Here's hoping that my party doesn't start requiring litmus-test adherance as well.