Several Democrats have already announced their candidacies to run for governor next year, and more may be on the way. But, the excitement is not as prevalent on the Republican side.
So far, only one Republican has announced her campaign for governor: state Senator Amanda Chase, whose tensions with the Republican Senate Caucus became so heated that she actually left the caucus before the General Assembly session started this year.
Republican strategist Dan Scandling says any candidate for governor needs to make it clear where they are in the party.
“I think the real question for Republicans becomes ‘Am I running as a Trump candidate? Or am I running as the anti-Trump, and I’m putting the pieces back together of the Republican Party,’” Scandling explains.
He says Chase is with Trump, but that leaves space with traditional conservatives. People like former state Senator Bill Carrico of Galax, who is considering throwing his hat into the ring.
Former Delegate David Ramadan is now at George Mason University’s Schar School.
“He is a traditional conservative Republican and will make a good candidate," he says. "However, I don’t see how any Republican, regardless of how good of a candidate they are, can win with the current numbers in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads.”
Several Democrats have already announced their campaigns for governor. And former Governor Terry McAuliffe is frequently mentioned as a possible candidate who has yet to announce.