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NY-23 2.0


The results of New York's 23rd Congressional District race last week did little to clarify the Republican Party's identity crisis.

Which means that round two of the bare knuckle boxing match for the future of the GOP will be taking place across the country next year.

And voters in Virginia's 5th district will have a front row seat.

In a Wall Street Journal piece last week, Kimberly Strassel took note of several freshman House Democrats whose vulnerablily has only increased thanks to their votes in favor of ObamaCare over the weekend.

Tom Periello was at the top of her list. After riding the Bash Bush train to victory last year, Rep. Periello just watched his district swing 61.4% in favor of Republican Bob McDonnell in this month's gubernatorial elections.

Virginia Republicans smell blood, and, according to Strassel, state senator Robert Hurt has already announced his candidacy for Periello's seat.

But before he can run against the Democrat, Hurt will have to confront challengers for the nomination from within his own party who question his conservative credentials.

Challengers like Laurence Verga. A la Doug Hoffman in NY-23, Verga is no career politician, and, also like Hoffman, seems proud of it.

He gladly wears the badge of "Constitutionalist," displays a Gadsden Flag on his campaign website, and speaks to the void in principled leadership that has driven so many outraged citizens to Tea Parties and Town Hall protests over the last six months.

There is already concern in the 5th District that if party leaders endorse a candidate seen as too moderate, the resulting backlash from the activist base could ruin any chance the Republicans might have of regaining the seat in 2010.

After all, with Republicans like those that brought America the Patriot Act and Medicare Part D in office, who needs Democrats?

Next year and every year, when voters are trying to determine what kind of leader they want, avowed support for both the letter and spirit of the Constitution is always the best place to start.