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Editorial: A tad too early to be calling 2025 gubernatorial race

Democrats seem to have built-in advantages, but time will tell how it plays out

It’s perhaps a little early for “normies” – those who don’t spend their lives following the vagaries of state politics – to care, but it does look like Virginia Democrats likely have their 2025 gubernatorial candidate in place.

With Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney out of the picture, it appears U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger has the skids greased.

A clear path to the nomination for Spanberger, avoiding a messy intra-Democratic fight, is not welcome news to the GOP, but at this stage of the game hardly is a foretelling of any particular outcome. And yet Bill Bolling, who has taken the David Gergen/David Brooks route (always available to badmouth fellow Republicans), is already calling the race, 18 months early.

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Spanberger is an outstanding candidate, and none of the prospective Republican candidates will be able to compete with her,” the former lieutenant governor, who is now in academia, wrote in a posting. “If the GOP wants to be competitive in 2025, they must find someone other that Jason Miyares or Winsome Sears to carry the banner.”

Easy there, big fella. You ultimately could be proved right, but it’s a tad premature to dismiss this race or the prospective Republican field, and makes it appear that the bitter aftertaste of your own inability to grab the brass ring has not dissipated.

(Though holding nothing against him personally, Bolling increasingly reminds us of the line attributed to President Coolidge about this secretary of commerce, and eventual successor, Herbert Hoover: “That man was been giving me unsolicited advice for the past six years – all of it bad.” Bolling in the role of Hoover.)

The issues that will determine the 2025 gubernatorial race are at best speculative at the present moment, the national condition uncertain, and political winds notoriously fickle. Could anyone reasonably have predicted a Republican sweep of statewide offices– by such a diverse grouping of Republicans at that – a year and a half before the 2021 election?