2017 Primary Predictions from Bearing Drift’s Political Junkies

Everyone at Bearing Drift is a political junkie so with today’s primary, we thought it would be fun to provide some predictions for the upcoming election, whether it’s a gut feeling, crunching and analyzing the numbers, or gazing into our individual crystal balls.

Brian Schoeneman, Editor-in-Chief

Governor — Republican: Ed Gillespie
Governor — Democrat: Ralph Northam

Lt. Governor — Republican: No idea
Lt. Governor — Democrat: Justin Fairfax

Jim Hoeft, Publisher

Governor — Republican:
Wagner 37
Gillespie 36
Stewart 27

LG — Republican:
Davis 42
Vogel 32
Reeves 26

Governor — Democrat:
Perriello 56
Northam 44

LG — Democrat:
Fairfax 44
Platt 42
Rossi 14

Matt Colt Hall, Senior Correspondent

Governor — Republican:
Gillespie: 57%
Stewart:  28%
Wagner: 15%

Lieutenant Governor — Republican:
Vogel: 46%
Reeves: 39%
Davis: 15%

Governor: — Democrat
Northam: 52%
Periello: 48%

Rick Sincere, Senior Correspondent

Governor — Republican: Ed Gillespie wins with a majority. Wagner and Stewart struggle for second place, but Stewart is embarrassed with less than 10 percent.

Lt. Governor — Republican: Jill Vogel wins with a plurality. Glenn Davis will come close to beating Bryce Reeves but falls short by one or two points.

Governor — Democrat: Tom Perriello wins narrowly over Ralph Northam

Lt. Governor — Democrat: Justin Fairfax sweeps the field.

Shaun Kenney, Editor at Bearing Drift’s Jeffersoniad

Governor — Republican:
Gillespie 65
Wagner 18
Stewart 17

LG — Republican:
Vogel 62
Reeves 27
Davis 11

Governor — Democrat:
Northam 52
Perriello 48

LG — Democrat:
Fairfax 50
Platt 35
Rossi 15

Lynn Mitchell, Photo Editor

GOVERNOR — Republican: Ed Gillespie  (Opponents: Frank Wagner, Corey Stewart)
Ed Gillespie should win for all the obvious reasons: better organized ground game, started early to capitalize on the momentum from his 2014 U.S. Senate campaign that almost toppled Mark Warner, stayed above the fray, has successfully pulled together various factions. He has consistently polled double digits over his opponents.

Senator Frank Wagner is a good man who knows how to govern but, unfortunately, his campaign never picked up speed nor expanded as it should. My apologies to Corey Stewart but he was an embarrassment and ran a disastrous campaign.

Democrat: Ralph Northam (Opponent: Tom Perriello)
At a time when Tom Perriello seemed to take on the role of the hare trying to be everything to everyone, Ralph Northam was the tortoise with his methodical and steady campaign that offered security in these politically rough seas. Some call it boring; others consider it safe, but whatever it is he has enjoyed the support of Governor Terry McAuliffe, U.S. Senator Mark Warner, and U.S. Senator Tim Kaine. Besides, if Gillespie were to lose in November, Northam is the Democratic governor I’d rather have.

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR — Republican: Glenn Davis. (Opponents Jill Vogel, Bryce Reeves)
This may be wishful thinking on my behalf — he was far outspent — but Delegate Davis has innovative ideas for bringing in jobs and reinvigorating the economy while thinking outside the box as a businessman who, at age 42, understands today’s technology. He deserves to win but his disadvantage was money, coming in far behind his opponents. However, his dedication the past year traveling the state in his RV affectionately known as Mello Yellow, meeting voters from Hampton Roads to Hot Spring, Northern Virginia to Danville, Winchester to Bristol, has made him a familiar name. I have no doubt that he will be back and, when he does, sign me up because I have nothing but respect for the way he stayed on the issues, personally contacted voters who had questions, and rose above the fray surrounding the other two candidates. Though I have nothing against Jill Vogel and Bryce Reeves, the soap opera that has swirled around them since December, as well as Reeves’ last-minute mailers advising that judges should be judged on their sexual orientation as opposed to their ability, experience, and knowledge of the job, were exhausting, self-inflicted wounds.

LG Democrat: I don’t know enough about the races to make an educated guess but the buzz appears to be around Justin Fairfax.

***LOCAL RACES***

Henrico Board of Supervisors – Brookland District — Republican (Open seat): Ben Dessart (Opponents: Gilbert Wilkerson, Bob Witte)

Ben, hands down, outworked his opponents by going door-to-door, meeting voters, attending forums, answering questionnaires, and working with his GOTV volunteers. Even as he graduated from the University of Richmond T.C. Williams Law School this spring, he was still campaigning. Talk about carrying a heavy load! He has lived in Brookland all his life, knows its issues and the people who live there, and is ready to lead. He seems almost to have been preparing all his life for the job with service to the community and leadership within the Virginia millennial Republicans. It’s a first step in what I predict to be future elected office.

Lynchburg City — Commonwealth’s Attorney — Republican: Bethany Harrison (Opponent Tim Griffin)
Bethany Harrison currently serves as Lynchburg Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney, well respected and endorsed by those who work with her. She is part of the CA office, supervises nine attorneys and 19 support staff, and is responsible for prosecuting the city’s more serious crimes since 2006. Because of all that, she has a head start on her opponent who has worked in Amherst and currently is in Bedford as Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney. Ironically, his campaign has waged a nasty war against Ms. Harrison with disingenuous and false mailers as well as rumors about her Republicanism (she has been a long-time Republican despite their desire to paint her otherwise). Campaign manager Dexter Gaines has done a good job working with Ms. Harrison to run a clean campaign focused on the issues. She is what the party needs if we are to continue into the future.

House of Delegates — District 64 — Republican: Emily Brewer (opponent Rex A. Alphin)
Emily is the real thing. A lifelong resident of Suffolk and a small business owner, she has been in millennial Republican leadership and has done her fair share of knocking on doors for others. This time it’s for her. She started early and hit the ground running in her bid to win the House seat, and I predict all that work will pay off tonight. She will be on the way to her future in elected office.

Tune in tonight to see who was correct, and who came closest in their percentages.

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