Republican Keith Fimian is challenging Rep. Gerry Connolly in VA-11 and got a big boost today when the NRCC added his name and 15 others to the "Young Guns" program. Being elevated to firearm level means that not only do the poobahs downtown think Fimian can win, they are putting their money and people where their mouths are.
The National Republican Congressional Committee has picked 16 new candidates for the top tier of its “Young Guns” program, an initiative that aids promising House challengers with fundraising and infrastructure support and strategic advice.
The fresh additions to the NRCC’s list provide the most specific look yet at the House GOP’s highest-priority targets for the 2010 cycle. With the 16 additional names included, the “Young Guns” list includes a total of 39 candidates – exactly the number of seats Republicans would need to take back control of the House this November.
Earlier this month Fimian thumped his primary opponent Pat Herrity, by a margin of 56-44. Fimian was the more conservative of the two and Herrity was clearly the establishment candidate. The internals give us a clue where the battle lines will be in the fall. The 11th includes Fairfax and Prince William Counties and Fairfax City. The city went for Fimian 63-37, but is the population is so small compared to the two counties it won't play a big role in November.
Prince William County is the GOP county (though it did go for Obama and Joe Bite Me in 2008). Fairfax is the bright blue epicenter of Democrat power in the state. In the GOP primary, Prince William went for Fimian over Herrity 76-24 with a little over 8,400 votes cast. Fairfax went for Herrity by a whisker, 51-49 with about 26,000 votes.
The NRCC thinks these numbers bode well for November. Clearly the establishment candidate was trounced. Gerry Connolly is extremely liberal, having voted with Nancy Pelosi on every single (unpopular) piece of legislation, including the Stimulus, Cap and Tax, Obamacare, Wall Street reform, etc. He is also arrogantly dismissed any potential political fallout from the Democrats' decision not to pass a federal budget, challenging the reporter to, "Name one person who won or lost an election because they didn't get a budget resolution passed," Connolly said. "It's totally inside baseball." That response is exactly the problem with Washington. The Democrats don't want to pass a legally required budget because they don't want to show the American people that they intend to continue the catastrophic $1 trillion plus deficits that are killing the country. Not only are they playing hide the ball on the budget, when they get around to passing it, Connolly doesn't even seem to comprehend that Congress is allowed to cut spending.
Connolly says Fimian is too conservative (extreme is the preferred term) for VA-11. Based on his ultra-liberal voting record, Connolly must think he represents San Francisco. Thing is, Nancy Pelosi doesn't live in Northern Virginia. But voters who elected Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling, and Ken Cuccinelli by historic margins just 8 short months ago do.