Afternoon Read: Senate Also-Runnings Upset by Debate

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Virginia Senate hopefuls George Allen and Tim Kaine are debating this afternoon in Richmond, and supporters of some other candidates aren’t happy about it. 
The Richmond Times-Dispatch says the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation is holding a rally at the state Capitol “to protest the exclusion of numerous candidates based on the qualifications set by event organizers” based on poll standing and fundraising.

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Democratic candidate Julien Modica’s lawsuit seeking scrapping of the requirements or cancellation of the debate was dismissed last Friday. Republican candidate Tim Donner is more upset “with the Associated Press for deciding to host the debate in the first place,” according to Bearing Drift.  Donner says, “In September, we urged the AP to sponsor two additional senatorial primary debates, one featuring all the Republican candidates, the other all the Democratic candidates. It would have been an excellent way for the AP to inform voters of all the choices available to them. There was no response.”
While Kaine seems to have a lock on the Democratic nomination, there is some grumbling about Allen from conservatives and Tea Party activists. But they are divided between several struggling candidates. At Bearing Drift, Norman Leahy says the time has come for anti-Allen Republicans to unite behind one candidate. He writes, “The courtship is over. It’s time to get hitched, and there’s one candidate for U.S. Senate we know for sure has supported us from the very beginning -- Jamie Radtke.”
As for the debate itself, Virginia Virtucon says, “In an obvious sign of desperation by both the Washington Post and the Tim Kaine for Senate campaign, they’re already bringing up ‘macaca.’” The blog says this suggests Kaine “has nothing to run on.  His record as governor was abysmal with no solid accomplishments to point to.”
* Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli may feel he’s made enough news for now. He tells the Washington Post that he “has no plans right now to endorse a candidate in the 2012 GOP primaries for U.S. Senate.” All five Republican Senate hopefuls and several presidential campaigns have reached out to Cuccinelli. But he said, “It’s still a long way out, but I don’t have any plans to do anything with that race at the moment. But I don’t rule it out.  I don’t get into every race.  I don’t feel obliged to get into every race.”
* Blue Virginia’s Paul Goldman wonders why Virginia Republican leaders “aren’t showing the love for the first Virginia resident in the modern history of the two-party era to lead in the polls for a major party presidential nomination.” Though Newt Gingrich was born in Pennsylvania and represented Georgia in Congress, “he has lived in Virginia for 12 years as a permanent resident.”
* Not Larry Sabato reports Fairfax County Clerk of the Court John Frey is the first “surprise candidate” to enter the GOP race for Virginia AG, “and he may be much more formidable” than Del. Rob Bell or state Sen. Mark Obenshain because he “controls the 2nd largest group of patronage jobs of any Republican in Virginia other than the Governor.”
* The Huffington Post reports Howard Dean and the progressive PAC Democracy For America (which grew out of Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign) have endorsed Rep. Donna Edwards for re-election in Maryland’s Fourth District, where she faces a challenge from Glenn Ivey.
* Maryland Reporter says the state Legislative Black Caucus “plans on submitting General Assembly redistricting maps to the Governor’s Redistricting Advisory Committee (GRAC) this week, saying black voters are under-represented in the legislature.” There are currently nine black state senators. Del. Aisha Braveboy said, “Based on the percentage of African Americans in the state, the number of senators should really be around 14 to 15.”
* In an editorial, the Baltimore Sun says the conviction of Paul Schurick in the Election Day robocall affair “is a sad end to a long career in Maryland politics.” Schurick “served this city and state long and well…and it is a shame that the good he has done is now overshadowed. But it would also be difficult to imagine a jury coming to any different conclusion.”
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