Eleven months before Virginia elects its next governor and we now have a clear picture as to who the top two choices will be. The eyes of America are on Virginia as one of only two states to elect a governor in 2013.
The two top names are charismatic and controversial figures.
It is December 2012 less than a year before the election, but months before both parties pick their statewide tickets.
With prominent names mulling runs on both sides, it is surprising that two clear favorites are already emerging.
"I'm four years older, a little grayer," said former DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe.
McAuliffe is back and this time he has a clear path to the nomination. Wednesday he was in Richmond just hours after he learned that former congressman Tom Perriello would not challenge him for the top spot on the democratic ticket.
"People thought about running that is great," he said. "I'm focused on listening to folks, doing my campaign."
McAuliffe already survived a potential challenge from popular Senator Mark Warner. But it's not just the democrats being offered a clear path. Last week Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli learned that Lt. Governor Bill Bolling will step aside to give him easy access to the GOP line.
After all the jockeying we are left with two candidates. They are men with wild ambition and perhaps as many detractors as supporters. It is setting the stage for a crazy 2013.
McAuliffe was in Richmond today to talk with small business leaders. We have more on his efforts to beef up his job creation credentials on my political blog, DecisionVirginia.com.
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