Aug 24 2005

Kaine Killing Himself

Published by at 5:59 pm under 2006 Elections,All General Discussions

Redstate has word of a stunning decision in the VA Governor’s race this fall – the democrat and the lefty independent debating each other for the same voter block in what could only be called the ‘Match Up of The Marginals’.

Virginia media is abuzz with the news that the Democratic candidate for governor in this year’s race, Lieutenant Governor Tim Kaine, will debate independent candidate Russ Potts immediately following a debate with Republican candidate (and former Attorney General) Jerry Kilgore on September 13th.
Potts, of course, has been excluded from the scheduled debates until he reaches 15% in the polls. In the last published statewide poll, Potts reached 3% — firmly within the margin of error. He’s a fringe candidate, and nothing else.

This is just astounding news, and it’s a very bizarre decision by Kaine. Russ Potts and Tim Kaine will both be on stage trying to appeal to the same bloc of voters. We’ll see two left-of-center candidates on stage arguing about who will be best at raising taxes.

More importantly, this separates Jerry Kilgore further from the pack as the clear front-runner. This diminishes Tim Kaine immensely, and makes the Democratic candidate look like a fringe candidate begging for airtime (which is what Potts actually is).

I don’t ever recall a democrat pol racing so quickly and directly for the margins. Russ Potts is one of those unique candidates.

VIRGINIA’S gubernatorial ballot this November will include one Democrat, one Republican and one radical. The radical is H. Russell Potts Jr., a veteran Republican state senator from Winchester running as an independent. What distinguishes him from the major-party candidates and makes him the radical of this political season in Virginia is his rather quaint insistence on explaining just how he plans to pay for the programs and priorities he has identified. That may not sound like a fringe position, but in the current field it is positively revolutionary. In other words, Mr. Potts — variously dismissed as quirky, temperamental and lacking in gubernatorial bearing — is the only candidate bothering to level with Virginia voters.

Mr. Potts, by contrast, insists that he would convene a special session of the General Assembly to address the transportation funding crisis, and he freely acknowledges that a higher gas tax, tobacco tax and other revenue producers would be on the table.

Yep, he is pulling a Mondale.

One response so far

One Response to “Kaine Killing Himself”

  1. novaman2000 says:

    Hmm, how is the world is Potts a “lefty” candidate. He is in most ways a conservative Republican. Fiscal conservatism does not mean treating all taxes, however designed and whatever they are used for, as evil.

    Right now Potts is probably drawing more of Kilgore’s vote (again, not a sign of a lefty). It is true that Potts will draw more from Kaine as his numbers rise. Many of these will be disillusioned moderate conservative Republicans who voted for Warner last time out of a certain despair about the sometimes wacky direction of the party in Virginia.

    Personally, it is painful to vote for a Democrat (I have a 30-year membership card as a “sustaining member” of the RNC), but I can easily find myself voting for Potts. I like the fact that he is (mostly) keeping his Republican identity. And yes I think his discussion of Virginia’s fiscal situation makes a lot of sense.