Looks like Mike Villines will win over an unknown
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Well, it’s probably safe to make this call: Mike Villines will win the Republican insurance commissioner primary that was held June 8, one that initially looked like it might go to the political unknown Brian D. FitzGerald.
Tomorrow is the day counties report their final canvasses to the Secretary of State‘s office (the official certification comes July 16), and barring a complete meltdown in one or more counties’ numbers, Villines should win by 13,000 votes or so. Immediately after the election, you’ll recall, FitzGerald — the Insurance Department lawyer who capped his campaign spending at $5,000 — had a slight lead over Villines. That went away as the count progressed, including absentee ballots.
As I wrote before, it looked like anti-tax conservatives were punishing Villines for his decision last year, when he was leader of the Republican Assembly caucus, to go along with a tax hike as part of a budget deal. Villines lost the leadership spot in the ensuing party infighting.
So the fall match-up will be between two legislative veterans, with Villines facing off against Democratic Assembly member Dave Jones, of Sacramento.