What George Mason Experts Are Saying about…the Virginia Gubernatorial Election

Posted: September 14, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Rey Cheatham Banks

Labor Day traditionally ushers in the fervor of political races in Virginia, and this year is no exception. With a tightly matched race between two well-known party nominees and one wild-card independent candidate, the upcoming gubernatorial election is already heating up Virginia’s landscape. Three George Mason professors offer their insight and expertise on what promises to be an exciting election season.

Toni-Michelle Travis
Toni-Michelle Travis

Toni-Michelle Travis, associate professor of government and politics, comments, “The race for governor of Virginia, a job limited to four years, should be closely watched as a stepping-stone for aspiring national leaders. Charles Robb and George Allen took this path. Mark Warner has plans to seek higher office. Jerry Kilgore and Tim Kaine may be aiming for the governorship, but their ultimate target is beyond Virginia.”

Travis is an expert on Virginia politics. She is also a noted expert on national domestic policies, racial issues in politics and national and state policies that affect women and African Americans. She is the author of “The Meaning of Difference,” a text-reader analyzing American formulations of race, sex, gender, social class and sexual orientation.

Mark Rozell
Mark Rozell

“The Virginia governor’s race will be the most expensive in state history—a reflection of the competitiveness and the stakes for both parties in this campaign,” says Mark Rozell, professor of public policy and director of the Master of Public Policy Program.

“Whereas Tim Kaine seeks to build on Mark Warner’s efforts to reverse the GOP dominance of the state, Kilgore seeks to solidify his party’s control. The question of this election will be: was Mark Warner’s term a mere detour on the road to total GOP dominance, or the beginning of a partisan realignment in Virginia?”

Rozell is an expert on the U.S. presidency, executive privilege, media and politics, Christian right politics and U.S. interest groups. He is the author of “Power and Prudence: The Presidency of George H.W. Bush.”

Colleen Shogan
Colleen Shogan

Colleen Shogan, assistant professor of public and international affairs, says, “The gubernatorial race in Virginia is gearing up as an important electoral precursor to the 2008 presidential horse race. If Kilgore is successful, it shows that a state that leans red will support a conservative Republican candidate. On the other hand, a rejection of Kilgore sends a message to the Republican National Committee that a moderate presidential candidate is the smarter route for 2008.”

Shogan is an expert on the American presidency, including presidential rhetoric and speeches.

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