In the article "Racing to Collect Candidates", the Post explains the process pushing toward a november 7 election:
A fast-moving race to succeed Sean T. Connaughton as chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors is going even faster now that the U.S. Senate has confirmed his nomination to a federal post.
Republicans and Democrats are rushing to prepare conventions for Saturday to select nominees before key election deadlines. The field of hopefuls so far includes two Republicans and a Democrat.
Both sides believe that Connaughton's imminent departure to head the Federal Maritime Administration will probably trigger a special election coinciding with the Nov. 7 general election.
Their haste has been necessary to meet election deadlines in a process that could become more complicated depending on the timing of Connaughton's resignation.
The paper further explains how the only thing that could interfere with an orderly process leading to the desired November 7th election coinciding with the already scheduled general election would be excessive delay by Sean in resigning. Sean explained his delay as follows:
Connaughton, whose second four-year term as chairman is scheduled to end in December 2007, said he is waiting for the president to sign his commission as administrator and is wrapping up loose ends in the county. His resignation and swearing in, Connaughton said, could come as soon as Sept. 1.
"It will all be simultaneous -- one, two, three," he said.
There is no reason why Sean has to wait for his actual swearing in to resign his office. He knows he's got the job (his name is already on the web site). When then Governor Bush was elected president in 2000, he resigned his Governorship a month early in order to ensure an orderly transition to the republican lt. Governor. There are no important votes scheduled in the next few weeks, and Maureen is perfectly competent to take over the reigns on a temporary basis.
Earlier he suggested he needed to hang on to help Maureen take over, but that wouldn't require him being IN office, he could simply offer help from the sidelines.
Resigning before the August 19th Democratic and Republican conventions would meanwhile ensure there would be no sour-grapes lawsuits filed which could mess up the process and cloud the election.
The democrats claim Sean is playing games in order to find his "perfect" candidate:
But Democrats say that because the Senate has confirmed him, Connaughton should resign now.
"Connaughton's playing a game," said Victor D. Bras, chairman of the Prince William County Democratic Committee. He said Connaughton was holding on to the office long enough to find a Republican candidate who would satisfy the business community.
I don't see evidence of that, but why would I expect the PWCDC to say things that involve evidence? Further, the convention is August 19th, whether he has resigned or not, so for the democrats silly charge to be correct, you have to believe Sean would back a contentious lawsuit to overturn the results of the convention, something I would like to believe would be beneath a man who has acheived a national government appointment.
Sean himself ridiculed the idea, in a statement that was good but provided a rather inflated opinion of self-importance given the relative value of the PWC chair's position compared to major offices like the one he is moving to:
Connaughton dismissed accusations that he is stalling to buy time to find a pro-business candidate.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah . . . blah, blah, blah," Connaughton said. "Listen, they've been jumping the gun on this for months. This has to be orderly. . . . You don't just leave the scene when you have that kind of responsibility."
The Post article leaves out small but crucial details. For example:
Gray, who lost by 17 votes in the 2003 primary, ...
... failing to mention that he ran in the DEMOCRAT primary in 2003.
But a judge would have until Sept. 23 -- which is 45 days before the general election -- to order an election that could be held Nov. 7.
This is just wrong (they make the same mistake I made and corrected a few days ago) -- the judge does NOT have to wait until 45, or even 60, days before the general election to pick the november 7 date. In fact, the law says the election must be held between 45 and 60 days after the judge rules, EXCEPT if that date is within 60 days of a general election the special election moves to the general election date. So if the judge ruled TODAY, the election would be held on November 7.
If however the judge waits until after september 8, the election might happen in November 7 without any names on the ballot, which would be an absurd result if both parties have named their candidates.
Sean did make one comment absurdly unbefitting his new national position, showing why he has been considered such a contentious figure in republican politics even as he has been "beloved" by the people:
Connaughton also took a jab at Stewart.
"Anyone who has any extended exposure to Mr. Stewart understands the concerns expressed by the entire county. It's a matter of integrity," Connaughton said, declining to elaborate.
Not very helpful, attacking our likely republican candidate with baseless, unfounded, and unexplained "issues of integrity". But that's what makes Sean such a devisive person when, on the face of it, he should be the perfect unifying figure. It's what always drives me crazy about him. I like the man, and in many ways he's the perfect politician, even though I disagree with some of his positions.
But he is also senselessly vindictive, holding grudges of little consequence, and spawning a "cult of personality" of followers who love tearing down other Republicans who Sean disdains. Sean could have reigned in his minions like Vincent Thoms, but instead feeds the sharks with offhand comments like this in a national newspaper.
If Tom Kopko had made a comment like that, the Sean worshippers would have torn into him. In this case, Tom's quotes are quite good, emphasizing republicans vs democrats not republicans against each other:
"That's the main driver," Kopko said. "But the fact is, there will be a vacancy, and that's why I wanted to make sure our candidate has enough time to campaign."
But since it was Sean making the attacks, his followers, like Vincent, used this article to proclaim Sean as the "most honest politician in Virginia".:
…and this is why Chairman Connaughton is the most honest politician in the state of Virginia…
A claim Vincent later said was based only on his response to the democrats, NOT his dishonest attack on a fellow republican which Vincent prominently quoted in his post. Vincent is of course not someone who has credence in discussing other's "honesty", especially discussing Sean.
Sean didn't "endorse" anybody in this article, so John Gray still seems to be striking out regarding all the republicans he has claimed endorse his candidacy, with most of them running away and vehemently denying the charge. Not exactly a good way to win friends, but if John can sell himself as the "next Connaughton" I suppose he could get some support.
I'm surprised though that Sean's cult hasn't slapped John down harder on this claim -- certainly those who worship at the feat of the master have to be peeved at this Johnny-come-lately's attempt to assume the mantle of their hero. So where's the "John, I know Sean, and you are no Sean" posts?
Maybe they are waiting for marching orders for their leader first -- it would be embarrassing if they denounced Gray and then it turned out Sean actually DID support him.
(NOTE: I tweaked a paragraph up top because it implied Sean WAS delaying to mess up the election, which I don't believe and didn't intend to say. The new wording corrects that error)