Coming fast on the heels of Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s decision to seek the Governorship as opposed to re-election, I’ve now learned that State Senator Mark Obenshain of Harrisonburg has announced that he is exploring a bid for the Attorney General’s office in 2013.
If you are unfamiliar with Virginia politics, you might not know of my State Senator. Well, Senator Obenshain currently represents the 26th district, encompassing a large chunk of the northern and central Shenandoah Valley; the territory includes all of the city of Harrisonburg, all of the counties of Page, Rappahannock, Shenandoah, and Warren, and the northern half of Rockingham County. He was first elected in 2003 and was re-elected in both 2007 and 2011. In both of his contested races, 2003 and 2007, Obenshain won with a convincing margin, 67.91 and 70.4% respectively.
Senator Obenshain has done well spreading his conservative message both within the 26th district as well as the rest of the state. Given his touring of Virginia over the last many months, his decision to run for higher office comes as no surprise. The unsolved issue was would he seek the Lt. Governor’s office or the Attorney General? With Ken Cuccinelli’s recent decision to make a run for the top office, the question then became, when would Senator Obenshain announce his plans? That answer is 12/2/2011.
Although a handful of Republicans have been floated around as interested in becoming our next Lt. Governor, namely Keith Fimian and Corey Stewart, there has been little talk of candidates for Attorney General, likely because of the now false assumption that Ken Cuccinelli would not seek higher office. Mark Obenshain is the clear frontrunner at this point. I make this point not merely due to the fact that he is currently the only candidate, but besides current members of the House of Representatives, it will be difficult for anyone to match Senator Obenshain in his name identification and loyal conservative following.
Senator Obenshain may be the first to announce for the Republican nod for Attorney General, but if history is any guide, he won’t be the only candidate.
Yes, it is an exciting time politically here in the Old Dominion.