My Current 8th CD Candidate Rankings (2/13/14)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Over the past week or so, I've written about the 10 candidates currently running for Virginia's 8th Congressional District seat (to replace Rep. Jim Moran, who's retiring). To see my writeups, check out the upper left hand corner of Blue Virginia and click on whichever candidate you're interested in. Also note that I am planning to tweak these ratings as the campaign proceeds and as I learn more about the candidates' positions, records, etc. For now, though, here are the grades I've given each candidate, in descending order.*Patrick Hope: A/A- (Note: I'd love to hear Patrick talk less in his stump speech about relatively minor issues like how much prisoners pay to make phone calls and a LOT more about the big enchiladas like climate change, our country's transition to a clean energy economy, investing in our nation's infrastructure, building an economy that works for everyone, foreign policy, etc.).
*Mark Levine: A/A- (Is Levine the dark horse candidate in this race? After a long conversation with him, including about his potential spending on this race, I'm starting to think it's possible.)
*Alfonso Lopez: A- (One question: can he compete with the big guns in terms of money? Also, I look forward to hearing Lopez's presentation to the Brigades and in other forums.)
*Adam Ebbin: A-/B+ (Note that I lowered Ebbin's rating a notch after I found out he'd voted to repeal the estate tax during the Kaine administration. That one's a huge issue for me, one that pretty much marked the beginning of the end of my "Raising Kaine" phase, as it made me absolutely livid at Gov. Kaine and anyone else who voted for it. Do you realize that we're losing somewhere on the order of $120-$140 million per year, all to benefit a few hundred super-rich Virginia families, because of the estate tax repeal? Ugh.)
*Bill Euille: B+/B
*Charniele Herring: B (I thought her Brigades presentation was not particularly strong. If that keeps up, her grade is likely to start falling...)
Don Beyer: C+/C (I'm basically trying to reconcile Beyer's record from the 1990s, which was basically that of a moderate or even conservative Democrat, with who he is today. Note that I raised Beyer's initial rating because I was very impressed with his presentation at the Brigades, particularly his forceful and prominent discussion of climate change and a clean energy economy. If he keeps that up, his rating will continue to rise!).
*Mark Sickles: C/C-
*Lavern Chatman: INCOMPLETE (I need to learn a lot more about her before giving her a grade. I will say, since I did my writeup, I've looked at her Facebook page, and there were things on there that concerned me...)
*Bruce Shuttleworth: INCOMPLETE (I was impressed with his talk at the Brigades meeting the other day, but I still want to watch him and hear what he has to say for a while before  giving him a grade...)