Newspaper article Roll Call

The House GOP's Next All-Star Female Contender?

Newspaper article Roll Call

The House GOP's Next All-Star Female Contender?

Article excerpt

While some House GOP efforts to nominate top-notch female candidates have faltered this cycle, Republicans are poised to gain at least one all-star woman contender after a Saturday primary in Virginia.

Republicans expect state Del. Barbara Comstock to cruise to the nomination in this competitive district, located in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. A seasoned political operative, Comstock is one of a half dozen Republicans seeking to succeed retiring Rep. Frank R. Wolf, R-Va., in the 10th District.

Her nomination would boost Republicans, who recently watched two female candidates lose primaries in special elections in Florida. House Republicans have declared they want to increase the number of women in their caucus from the current level of 19.

If she gets through the primary on Saturday, Comstock is also the slight favorite in the general election in November. Republicans -- and even some Democrats privately -- say the political climate favoring the GOP in this district, which has a modest Republican lean, would give her an advantage this cycle.

Over the last few months, Comstock's primary opponents -- including state Del. Bob Marshall and retired naval Officer Howie Lind -- have attacked her candidacy. But operatives from both sides of the aisle said Comstock's organization, financial advantage and long endorsement list make her a near lock for the nomination in Saturday's "firehouse primary."

"It's a hotly contested race, but beating Barbara will be very tough," said former Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va.

A former Wolf aide and political consultant, Comstock raked in $761,000 leading up to the primary, dwarfing the five other candidates -- all men -- competing for the nomination.

Comstock has picked up support from across the party, including tea party groups such as the Citizen's United Political Victory Fund, social conservatives like former Sen. …

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