Once upon a time there was a Young Democrat named Mike Signer who was making the rounds of Virginia politics. Well educated, polished and clearly ambitious, Signer attached himself quickly to rising stars in the party- with clearly stated hopes that his star would rise with them. But starting in 2005 it all began to come apart for Signer as he floated his name for office in the Charlottesville area for the State Senate. When that seat didn't open up, Signer began floating his name for legislative seats in other parts of the state. He eventually decided to skip the legislative seats and run for Lt. Governor- losing a primary by 53 points. Then things got really desperate and Signer began making calls about the open Senate seat of Ken Cuccinelli's, followed by the open Delegate seat of Dave Marsden's in areas where people questioned if he has ever even visited. In fact virtually every single open legislative seat for 10 years between Charlottesville and Northern Virginia that was Democratic leaning had Signer express interest in relocating to represent them. He even launched a campaign for Attorney General in this years election before dropping out from a lack of support.
Less than a decade from his start this once rising star has turned into a political punch line everytime a retirement was mentioned. Signer will likely never any significant office because of the desperate ways he went about trying to run. His reputation will never recover.
Now a new Mike Singer is beginning to emerge to claim his mantle of desperation for this decade. Stephen Cobb is the Lead Counsel for the Democratic Party of Virginia. Cobb took this position in order to build his political network- and immediately began digging a hole for himself when he was calling legislators on this past election day instructing them what polls they should be at. Many times he didn't even know what district's they were in.
Cobb has made it clear- as an Arlington yuppie he is available to move upon request and represent anyone in the General Assembly. As seats have opened up he has been the new person calling around to see if people would "like him to move there". This week when Delegate Jim Scott announced his retirement, Cobb was on the phone within minutes to gauge support for his relocation into Falls Church.
Meanwhile, Marcus Simon a lifelong resident of McLean and Jim Scott's first legislative aide was already collecting Scott's endorsement. Tina Hone, a former School Board member in Fairfax County who has lived in the district for 20 years has also expressed interest. There are others as well, but these two are extremely strong candidates with good ties to the people in that district.
But in Stephen Cobb's mind- the local stuff doesn't matter. The people of Falls Church don't need to pick their new Delegate from the community- because Stephen Cobb can pick them.
Needless to say, Cobb's attempts to garner support did not do so and he probably won't move in to run. But don't despair- the next time someone retires, Cobb will be back to look into that district as well. Maybe if you are lucky and live in Northern Virginia- some day Cobb might select you as a constituent!
Or an even better idea- upon the next retirement Signer and Cobb could rent a house together- saving money on the move and they can both run!