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Candidate field is crowded for statewide office

Published: Mar. 29, 2021 at 7:39 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ) - A new political season has started. This year, Virginia has a bumper crop of candidates for statewide office.

32 candidates have qualified for the Republican convention in May or the Democratic primary in June.

“I can’t remember when there were that many candidates,” said Virginia Tech Professor and WDBJ7 political analyst Bob Denton.

The field includes a dozen Republicans and Democrats running for governor, 14 for lieutenant governor and six more for attorney general.

Denton says they are a diverse group.

“We see the candidates representing the spectrum in terms of ideology, from center left to center right. We have a mixture in terms of gender candidates, certainly in terms of racial candidates, some with political experience, some with no political experience,” Denton said. “And so there’s a wide choice across the spectrum with both of the parties and it will be interesting to see which way they go.”

And which way the voters go, because in a crowded field, anything can happen.

“Given the number and across the board, I think this is becoming very unpredictable,” Denton said. “And I think there will be surprises across the board.”

So, what’s ahead? We should see different types of campaigns, with Republicans focused on the party activists who will be voting in the May convention. Democrats will be casting a wider net for their June primary.

And both promise a busy campaign season ahead.

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