Opinion: 2019 Will be Crucial in Virginia

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By Bert Berlin

My observation over the years is that politics is like a pendulum. It swings to the right for a while and then back to the left. Neither party stays on top perpetually. In central Virginia, the pendulum swung to the Democrats in 2017 and continued on the left side in 2018. But when will it swing back?

You can be sure that Virginia Republicans are planning to make 2019 the swing-back year. For one thing, the delegates and senators elected in 2019 will most likely be redrawing congressional and General Assembly districts after the 2020 census. For another, they don’t want to lose their control over legislation in the GA. And, in Henrico County they want to keep control of the Board of Supervisors that they gained by winning in Brookland this year.

For Democrats, the task in 2019 is complex. First, they must keep the delegate seats in Republican districts that they won last year. It will be tough to ensure that Adams, Rodman and Van Valkenburg are not one-term wonders. Keeping those seats must be priority one. Second, Democrats must win at least one of the central Virginia senate seats currently held by Sturtevant and Dunnavant. Finally, they must win as many local government positions as they can. In Henrico, that means retaking the Board of Supervisors majority, keeping the Commonwealths Attorney and winning the other local offices. And don’t think it will be easy. Democrats will have to maintain the enthusiasm and do the hard grass-roots work that elected Spanberger on Tuesday.

So, to Democrats I say

1- Finish celebrating.

2- Get some rest.

3- Start the 2019 campaign before the calendar turns to January.

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