It’s a highly anticipated central Virginia tradition: Each year, regional candidates, their campaigns, and the public anxiously await dilatory (and greatly coveted) political endorsements issued by the Charlottesville Daily Progress editorial board.
Problematic for potential endorsees is that the Progress defers—until the last minute possible—publication of their affirmations, rendering them nearly useless for political purposes.
As a public service, and in order to relieve political endorsement-anticipation anxiety syndrome (PEAS), The Schilling Show promulgates here, advance educated guesses on whom the vaunted periodical will praise, and why, in various local races:
Prognosticated Daily Progress
VA State Senate 25: Creigh Deeds (D) vs. TJ Aldous (R)
Projected endorsee: Creigh Deeds. The Daily Progress will not want to rock the boat of this powerful, long-time legislator who will be hard to beat in his left-leaning district.
VA State Senate 17: Edd Houck (D) vs. Bryce Reeves (R)
Projected endorsee: Bryce Reeves. He has a serious chance of unseating an unimpressive incumbent who has worn out his General Assembly welcome. As a bonus, Reeves carries no previous political baggage into the race.
Virginia House of Delegates 59: Connie Brennan (D) vs. Matt Fariss (R) vs. Lucinda Wall (I)
Projected endorsee: Connie Brennan. Since the other two candidates have potentially embarrassing previous legal entanglements, the paper’s choice is easy. This seat gives the Progress a chance to safely support a liberal Democrat in order to provide the appearance of a balanced endorsement slate.
Virginia House of Delegates 57: David Toscano (D) vs. Robert Brandon Smith, III (I)
Projected endorsee: David Toscano. In addition to the fact that Smith has no chance to win (and the paper is reticent to support underdogs), the Daily Progress editorial board will laud Toscano as a “moderate” who serves his constituents well.
Charlottesville Clerk of Circuit Court: Llezelle Dugger (D) vs. Pam Melampy (I)
Projected endorsee: Llezelle Dugger. Whenever feasible, the Daily Progress will support establishment Democrats in Charlottesville elections in order to maintain a good relationship with the Party. This seat is no exception.
Charlottesville City Council (three seats open, elected at large): Scott Bandy (I), Brandon Collins (I), Bob Fenwick (I), Kathy Galvin (D), Satyendra Huja (D), Dede Smith (D), Andrew Williams (I)
Projected endorsees: Kathy Galvin, Satyendra Huja, and Andrew Williams. Galvin and Huja will secure the water plan favored by the Daily Progress and their “news” partner, Charlottesville Tomorrow. Andrew Williams has received their endorsement previously, and the fact that there are no black Democrats on the ballot will assure him another nod. Besides, Williams is clean, well spoken, articulate, etc.
Charlottesville School Board (four seats open, elected at large, non-partisan): Colette Blount, Ivana Kadija, Steven Latimer, Amy Laufer, Guian McKee, Jennifer McKeever, Willa Neale
Projected endorsees: Willa Neale, Amy Laufer, Guian McKee, and Colette Blount. There will be no fault found with elected incumbent Blount (who will receive secret bonus points for helping to maintain racial balance on the board) or appointed incumbent McKee. Willa Neale and Amy Laufer are typical of the safe, intellectual, mainstream progressive candidates that give comfort to the paper’s editorial board (which strongly opposed Charlottesville’s transition to an elected School Board in 2005).
Albemarle County Board of Supervisors Rivanna District: Ken Boyd (R) vs. Cynthia Neff (D)
Projected endorsee: Ken Boyd. Although the Daily Progress won’t mention it, they know that Neff is a loose cannon who likely would undermine decorum at normally staid supervisor meetings—and they fear her far-left political agenda. Boyd will hold the line on water and the Western Bypass, positions favored by the paper.
Albemarle County Board of Supervisors Scottsville District: Jim Norwood (R) vs. Christopher Dumler (D)
Projected endorsee: Jim Norwood. The paper will profess to like Dumler and will encourage him to continue pursuing political aspirations (à la Paul Beyer), but ultimately, Norwood is an insurance policy against a possible Boyd loss; maintaining a “balanced” Board of Supervisors is a primary objective of the Daily Progress.