Virginia sees a shake up in the governor's race, a familiar political name returns in Maryland, and another special election looms in the District. Washington Post columnist Robert McCartney talked with WAMU 88.5 Morning Edition host Matt McCleskey about this week's top stories.
On whether Virginia Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling will run as an independent: "I don't think it's very likely, personally. He [Bill Bolling] did lead that open as a possibility... but I think that works better in theory than in practice. The theory is that he'd start with a base with moderate Republicans, especially in the business community, and especially in northern Virginia, who are spooked by Cuccinelli's radical conservatism. And then Bolling, in theory, could reach out to independents and moderate Democrats. In practice, I think he'd be seen quite quickly as a spoiler. It's hard to see him doing anything much other than splitting the GOP, and handing the election to the Democrats. Bolling's record is quite conservative, so I don't think he has a lot of appeal to Democrats."
On former Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan announcing his run for public office again, and what his return means for politics in the county: "I think it means a lot. I think the thing about Duncan getting back in the race is that it instantly revives a dormant debate about where Montgomery County is going, both economically, and in terms of its demographic mix. On the economy, Duncan in three terms as county executive was very much associated with development and big projects like rebuilding Silver Spring and building Strathmore Arts Center. There's a growing perception though, which he cited in his announcement, that the county is falling behind Fairfax and other parts of northern Virginia in job creation and business performance. His entry also spurs discussion about how the county is changing and growing more diverse... The last time Duncan ran, it was a majority white county, but that's no longer true, so it's going to be interesting to see how he's going to appeal to these new voters."
On whether current Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett will run again: "That's the big question — whether Leggett will run. He's in the middle of his second term. And originally he wasn't going to run again, but recently he's been hinting he might do so. And I think that Duncan getting in could encourage Leggett to run. The two have been rivals in the past, and I think Leggett would not like to see Duncan coming back in after him. He also might think that nobody else could beat Duncan, and so he might want to run for that reason."
On whether we'll see any familiar names running for Phil Mendelson's D.C. Council seat: "All the names that are out there as possibilities to run for this seat [Mendelson's seat] are people who have run before. We're talking about Sekou Biddle, who served on the school board, Patrick Mara, who's a Republican and a former council candidate, former Prince George's County council member Peter Shapiro, A.J. Cooper, who ran successfully as an independent candidate, and current council member Michael Brown, who just lost his bid for reelection."