House Race Preview – GOP Targets

Here’s the second part of my quick look at some key House of Delegates races for the fall.

Again, this is focused on incumbents who are facing high-profile challenges because the opposition party hopes to flip the seat.

Interestingly, most of the Republican targets seem to fall into the category of vulnerables, while the Democratic targets are more vocals.

(As I wrote yesterday, vulnerables are delegates who are politically unstable; vocals are party leaders whose defeat would change a party’s power structure.)


  • Del. Shannon Valentine (D-Lynchburg): She’s running for her third term, and Republicans would really like to get this seat back. Lynchburg councilman Scott Garrett is the GOP candidate. He faces a tough fight, but is a credible candidate.
  • Del. Margi Vanderhye (D-McLean): After narrowly winning her first House race in 2007, Vanderhye is an obvious Republican target. Former Bush administration official Barbara Comstock is expected to raise gobs of money in her bid to unseat the freshman lawmaker.
  • Del. Paul Nichols (D-Woodbridge): Two years ago, he won his first term 51-49. Republicans have fielded Rich Anderson, a former Defense Department advisor and retired Air Force officer, as their candidate.
  • Del. Chuck Caputo (D-Fairfax): His margin of victory has dropped over the last two election cycles, despite his personal popularity in  the district. He faces Republican Jum LeMunyon, who used to work for the Commerce Department.
  • Del. Joe Bouchard (D-Virginia Beach): Back in 2007, Bouchard beat GOP candidate Chris Stolle by less than 200 votes. This year, Stolle is back for a rematch. Adding to this race’s appeal: Obama and McCain basically split the vote here. Plus, Stolle is the brother of longtime state Sen. Ken Stolle.
  • Del. Bobby Mathieson (D-Virginia Beach): Once again, Republicans are going after another freshman Democrat. Virginia Beach councilman Ron Villanueva is the GOP candidate.
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