Here is a nice column from the Washington Post’s primary Metro columnist Marc Fisher on Chap Petersen’s state senate race against Jeannemarie Devolites-Davis. Fisher points out that it can be hard to determine which candidate is the nominee from which party:

Let’s play Know Your Political Parties. Identify the party of this real-life candidate for state Senate in Fairfax County:

This candidate stresses her support for tough gun controls. She’s endorsed by the state’s gay-rights lobby. Unlike her opponent, she favors a moratorium on executions. She’s the choice of the teachers association. She wants to put more restrictions on development, while her opponent favors more density around Metro stations. On illegal immigration, she says politicians hot for a crackdown are “demagoguing this to death and creating an atmosphere of hate.”

Too easy, right? What an obvious Democrat, what a predictable lib.

Sorry. That’s Sen. Jeannemarie Devolites Davis, the Fairfax Republican. Yes, Republican.

There is a lot of hot air being pumped around about his race on the blogosphere, also. I also had an interesting conversation with a woman who is active in local Democratic politics here who expressed concern that the relentless advertising campaign against Chap was having a significant impact. Her assessment is mirrored in this piece from the Washington Post’s Virginia Politics Blog:

Jeannemarie Devolites Davis: Several Democrats said privately this week they fear Devolites Davis’s commercial she is airing on network television may be having an effect. But others say the ad – which accuses Democrat J. Chapman Petersen of voting to permit concealed handguns on school property – will backfire because it’s too negative. Either way, Devolites Davis should just be happy people are still paying attention to her race, which many had written off as unwinnable.

Chap has tried to counter the television advertising with a series of posts on the Web, which are good, but likely aren’t reaching too many voters in his district. I think Chap has an excellent chance of winning, but its far from a sure thing at this point.

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