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Afternoon Read: Obenshain Enters AG Race

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The Norfolk Virginian-Pilot says Virginia state Sen. Mark Obenshain sent an email to supporters this morning saying he is exploring a run for the Republican nomination for attorney general. 

 
Like Ken Cuccinelli, the man he would replace, Obenshain “is a staunch social conservative,” according to the Virginian-Pilot, backing “school choice, limits on eminent domain, voter identification measures, expansion of the death penalty to cover certain murder co-conspirators,” and opposing legal abortion.
 
The Virginia Lawyers Weekly blog says Obenshain’s timing “couldn’t be better -- the Republican Party of Virginia will be holding its annual Donald W. Huffman Advance at The Homestead this weekend.”
 
* Lynn R. Mitchell writes at Bearing Drift that more than 600 Virginia Republicans are expected at the Advance conference this weekend. Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling will host tonight’s welcome reception, and prominent Republicans including George Allen, Rep. Eric Cantor, and possible attorney general candidate Del. Rob Bell will host Friday night hospitality suites.
 
* Bearing Drift’s Brian Kirwin writes that Cuccinelli’s entrance into the GOP gubernatorial race against Bolling is no surprise. Though “a lot of good people think Bolling’s gracious step back in 2009 should have made the 2013 race his and his alone,” few think Bolling “stepped back then because he was going to trounce” Bob McDonnell in a gubernatorial primary. Kirwin writes, “In Republican spheres, AG is the gubernatorial launching pad.  Our last four nominees have been AG.  LG has been where Democrats groom their governors.”
 
* Len Lazarick of Maryland Reporter writes, “Rep. Roscoe Bartlett hasn’t announced his retirement yet, but other Republicans are sure acting like he’s going to.” State Sen. David Brinkley, Maryland GOP Chairman Alex Mooney, and Bartlett’s longtime chief of staff Bud Otis all made moves toward candidacy this week after “months of internal intrigue in which many people had urged the 85-year-old, 10-term congressman to step aside at the top of his game and for the good of the party.” Bartlett “has continued to insist that he’s running,” but he has raised “piddling amounts of money.”
 
* Liberal blog DailyKos has endorsed Maryland Rep. Donna Edwards for re-election. Edwards could face several challengers for renomination in the very Democratic Fourth District. The blog says Edwards is “someone who doesn’t just vote the right way on virtually everything, but can be counted on to be a vocal leader and spokesperson for progressive values.”
 
* Gov. Bob McDonnell tells RealClearPolitics that Republicans should not get overconfident about winning the White House next year: “The president is a very good campaigner.  He’s a great fundraiser, he’s very good on the stump, he’s not to be discounted, because he’s a very good competitor.”
 
* The Washington Informer profiles four young Democratic up-and-comers from the District’s Ward 8, including 27-year-old Nathan Bennett-Fleming, who is the leading candidate for D.C. “shadow representative” next year. Meanwhile, 25-year-old Darrell Gaston is one of several candidates seeking to unseat Councilmember Marion Barry.

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