The Corner

Down the Ticket in Virginia

Jim Geraghty has a good round-up of the races in Virginia. I have my eye on two candidates in particular:

1. Ken Cuccinelli’s bid for AG. He’s probably the most conservative candidate in the three statewide elections (governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general). If he wins tomorrow — and he’s doing well in the polls — he could become the choice of conservatives for governor in 2013. Virginia limits governors to one term, so McDonnell (assuming he wins) wouldn’t be able to seek re-election.

2. Rafael Lopez in the House of Delegates, District 52, in eastern Prince William County. Democrat Luke Torian should win this race: This part of the county leans Democratic, he has a big lead in campaign funds, and he’s the pastor of a large church whose members are good bets to vote in this low-turnout year. But Lopez, his Republican opponent, could pull an upset. The current, retiring officeholder is a member of the GOP. Moreover, Lopez brought in a big gun last week: Rudy Giuliani stumped for him. How many state-legislative candidates get that kind of a boost? Someone thinks he stands a chance. A Lopez victory would signal a big year for Republicans in Virginia.

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.