Another Tuesday, another primary day... what have we learned? Mostly, we learned that despite the noise about replacing incumbents or making big changes, the results show that voters selected the candidates that seemed to reflect what we already knew about them.
Here in the Commonwealth of Virginia, George "Macacca" Allen won the Republican primary nod by a wide margin (Tim Kaine was unopposed for the Democratic slot). Virginia Republicans could have gone with a new face, but when it really comes down to it, they voted for the person they felt had the best chance of beating Tim Kaine.
For me personally, we also had some city council races (14 candidates vying for 6 slots). The six that won were mostly familiar faces in city politics, and/or the best funded. Experience is its own reward, and voters wanted experience.
The state of Maine, long known for having the last two moderate Republican senators picked a successor to retiring senator Olympia Snowe. Charles Summers, Maine's Secretary of State and a former aide to Snowe won that primary. However, he is not the favorite to win the Senate seat. Neither is Cynthia Dill, the Democratic nominee. Instead, avowed independent Angus King is the favorite to win the race
. I would say he best represents the attitudes of most of the state's residents (he probably represents the views of most of the country, for that matter). Assuming he wins, it will be interesting to see what happens to control of the Senate if there is a 49/50 split.
Out in the crazy deep red state of Arizona, they picked the successor to Gabby Giffords, and the winner is: The Democrat
! This is a bit surprising, although voters likely felt like it was the honorable thing to do. There's also the reality that even in the deepest of the red states, there are pockets of blue (and vice versa, of course). Perhaps we shouldn't really be surprised that the district that elected Democrat Gabby Giffords picked a Democratic replacement.
In Nevada, the incumbent Republican and a career Democrat won their party's respective nominations
and will face off in November. The Republican (Dean Heller) was the one picked to replace John Ensign who resigned after that little sex and payoff scandal.
So all in all - no big surprises, no shocking outcomes, no Cinderella stories. For the most part, the path to the U.S. Congress is via local and then state politics, gathering experience and developing leadership skills on ever larger and more important levels. And that is how it should be.