Writes Jeff Schapro in the Richmond Times-Dispatch:
Potts potentially draws votes from both [Republican Jerry] Kilgore and [Democratic Lt. Governor Tim] Kaine. However, the forcefulness of Kilgore’s reaction and that of other Republican leaders to the Potts candidacy suggested that Kilgore is worried Potts could prove a spoiler.
In a written statement, Kilgore lumped Potts with Kaine, noting that last year they supported the Warner-initiated $1.4 billion tax increase for education, human services and public safety. Public-opinion polls suggest most Virginians favored the tax rise.
“Today, the liberal high-tax lobby has a second candidate to choose from, leaving Tim Kaine and Russ Potts to fight over the votes of people who hold the minority opinion in Virginia,” said Kilgore, already facing a minor challenge for the GOP nomination from Mayor George Fitch of Warrenton.
Kate Obenshain Griffin, the state GOP chairwoman whose husband was among three to oppose Potts for renomination in 2003, blasted Potts for “high-tax, pro-abortion, liberal views.” She added, “It is time for Russ Potts to…declare himself a Democrat.”
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again — Potts is only bad for Kilgore, and he only makes clear how badly divided that Virginia Republicans are. They may cleave right down the middle before the year is through.