And every fall we look to see who is hosting hospitality suites at the annual gathering of Republican politicians and activists as a way to signal who may be running for statewide office down the road.
The Advance will take place this weekend at the posh Homestead Resort in the mountains of western Virginia. Nearly 600 had registered as of Tuesday.
Dels. Ben Cline (Rockbridge) and Rob Bell (Albemarle) are hosting suites at the gathering this weekend, as is newly-elected Sen. Dick Black (Loudoun) and former attorney general hopeful Dave Foster.
Bell has long been rumored to be interested in running for attorney general but what about Cline and Black? Foster is testing the waters for a second run.
Several potential lieutenant governor candidates will be hosting parties, including Sen. Mark Obenshain (Harrisonburg), Oakton businessman and former congressional candidate Keith Fimian and Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors.
Hosting a suite at the Advance has long been a way for Republicans to signal their intention to run for statewide office.
Many suites are being hosted by those you would expect: Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, who is running for governor in 2013; former governor and senator George Allen, who is running for Senate in 2012; House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Pat Mullins, chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia and the victorious Senate Republican caucus.
Also hosting is Kristin Forrester, a Dumfries council member and a conservative blogger.