Dem 51
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GOP 49
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The Fallout Has Begun: Progressive Mayor Jumps Into Virginia Governor's Race

There was a time when Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R-VA) looked like he might be a giant killer. That time ended on Tuesday night around 10:00 p.m. ET. Despite his apparent political talent, and despite him investing every bit of political capital he had, he proved unable to flip one chamber of the Virginia legislature and, to add insult to injury, he saw his party lose control of the other.

In short, the Virginia GOP is suddenly in disarray. Youngkin can't run in 2025 due to Virginia's "one term at a time" law, and he doesn't look to have the influence to anoint a successor. And so, Richmond mayor Levar Stoney (D) announced yesterday that he's going to mount a campaign in 2025, when the Virginia governor's mansion is next up.

Stoney is an interesting candidate. He is Black, as mayors of Richmond tend to be these days (the last non-Black mayor of the city was a fellow named Tim Kaine, who served from 1998 to 2001). He was also the youngest member of the Cabinet of then-governor Terry McAuliffe (D-VA), whom Stoney considers to be a mentor. That said, McAuliffe is as centrist as it gets, while Stoney, in order to get himself elected mayor of sapphire-blue Richmond, ran as an outspoken lefty. "We said we'd be progressive leaders and that's what we're doing," he said in an interview after his first year as mayor. "You know, we're creating meaningful change and that's gratifying."

So, we presume that Stoney will be running in the progressive lane, especially since Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), who is also quite centrist, has said she's planning a run. Whatever happens, that campaign is a long ways off; the story for now is that the Tuesday elections definitely have some Democratic politicians feeling pretty optimistic. (Z)

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