Last night I joined up with a group of folks for an evening of beer and politics at a local watering hole. It was a multi generational group of men and women well versed in the HoCo politico scene, moderates all. We came together for a wide ranging discussion of local politics over cocktails. This was really inside baseball stuff for local political wonks. To encourage free expression, the group established a ground rule that while everyone would be free to share what was spoken of they would not disclose the names of anyone else in the group.
One of the first races to get battered around was the District 13 State Senate race. It was noted that Kyle Lorton failed to participate in the Business Monthly Candidate Guide. This is essentially blowing an opportunity for some favorable free press bringing into question as to whether he has enough fire in his belly. Kyle is one of two Republican challengers in a primary fight to see who will face Democrat Jim Robey in the general election. Kyles primary opponent is Jody Venkatesan. Some felt that if Kyle isn’t going to be serious about this race he should step aside and support Jody. This is a seat that was formerly held by Republican Sandy Schrader so it is a winnable seat for the GOP. The consensus of the group was that Jody is the better candidate. There are quite a few people out there who supported Jim last time that have since jumped ship.
The House of Delegates race in District 13 also was discussed. It was widely agreed that Guy Guzzone is the safest incumbent in this district, followed by Shane Pendergrass. The group perceived Frank Turner as the most vulnerable incumbent and that Ed Priola had the best chance of the four Repubs vying for a seat in this heavily Dem district.
One of the more interesting observations by one of the group was about the primary battle between Mary Kay Sigaty and Alan Klein. This political observer put the odds in this race at 60/40 in Mary Kay’s favor, which is a little too close for comfort. It was pointed out the primary contests in off year elections like this are dominated by the true believers. The trouncing that Linda Odum took at the hands of Phil Kirsch in the Columbia Council election this past spring augured well for Klein.
Nobody in the group liked slates. I personally happen to think that they are an insult to the voter. Just because I like Guy Guzzone doesn’t mean I like Shane Pendergrass. If anything that association detracts from Guy. I think candidates should stand on their own two feet, not on somebody elses slate.
And speaking of Guy, this group did not shy from looking into the HoCo politico future either. It was widely agreed that Guy will make a run for county executive in 2014 but not without a challenge from Courtney Watson. The Repub candidate for county exec that year will likely be Alan Kittleman.
This group of political prognosticators has agreed reconvene on a regular basis for more political crystal ball gazing so stay tuned.