Waldo Jaquith -- one-time candidate for Charlottesville City Council, founder of the Virginia Family Values PAC, creator of cvillenews.com and other web sites -- has found himself on more than one list of potential candidates to succeed retiring Delegate Mitch Van Yahres (D-57). (Of course, to my surprise, I have found myself on one of those lists, too, but remember: I am not a candidate.)
Waldo is getting support from unexpected quarters: John Behan, who bills himself as the internet's "first elected blogger", says this on Commonwealth Conservative:
At any rate, I’m not sure what to think of a potential Waldo candidacy. On one hand, I’ve had the opportunity to correspond with Jaquith quite a bit, and I like him personally very much. On the other hand, we disagree on nearly every political issue.
Then again, it might be nice to have another elected blogger here in Virginia. Perhaps he’ll make a statement soon; inquiring minds want to know.
I predict the Democrats in the 57th District will choose their candidate by party primary on June 14.
Lloyd Snook, the Charlottesville representative on the 57th District committee, reports: "Since sending out my e-mail a few nights ago to about 400 people, I have received about 30 responses from Charlottesville Democrats; they break 15-15; 15 favor a primary and 15 favor a caucus or convention." No official position has yet been taken by the Charlottesville Democratic Committee (or its executive committee).
At the same time, the Albemarle County Democratic chair's representative to the 57th District committee, Eric Strucko, favors a primary. As Strucko wrote to George Loper on March 10:
The Albemarle County Democratic Party representative to the 57th House of Delegates District Committee (me) voted clearly and without hesitation for a primary to determine the Democratic nominee for Mitch's seat. The county steering committee overwhelmingly endorsed a primary. I left last night's 57th District Committee meeting feeling that Mitch himself endorses the primary method. This is the most open and inclusive way of selecting our nominee, and will offer all candidates the opportunity to hit the campaign trail early, discuss the issues fully, and set the themes for the fall race. A primary is also the method of choosing nominees endorsed by the Democratic Party of Virginia.We'll see where this goes -- and whether a primary process favors an establishment politician like David Toscano or a more unconventional candidate like Waldo Jaquith, who, by the way, is currently enrolled in the Sorensen Institute’s Political Leaders Program, a launching pad for many successful candidates (including Charlottesville's own Rob Schilling and the late Emily Couric).
Addendum, 6:01 p.m.: As found on George Loper's always up-to-date web site:
"At a 12:15 press conference today the leadership of the Charlottesville and Albemarle Democratic Committees announced that the nomination of a candidate for the 57th District House of Delegates seat should be made by a primary, to be held June 14 in conjunction with the nomination for state offices. . . .
"Prospective candidates must submit petitions containing the signatures of 125 registered voters in the 57th District, together with a filing fee of $352.80, to the registrar of the jurisdiction in which the candidate lives, no later than April 15, 2005." (Press Release, Electronic mail, March 14, 2005)