Republican Rep. Stan Parris said yesterday that his computers, telephone banks and other political machinery are geared up for Virginia's 1985 governor's race, and that he soon will decide whether to seek his party's nomination.
"The system is set," said Parris aide Dick Leggitt. "It's just a matter of Stan deciding if he wants to push the button."
Buoyed by his victory Tuesday over Democrat Richard L. Saslaw, in which he rolled up a margin of more than 23,000 votes, Parris, 55, said he would meet with his political advisers today. He said he then will leave the area for a few days to consider their advice.
"I've got my own fantasies. I'll give you this," said Parris, whose three previous congressional victories have come with margins of less than 2,000 votes. "Anybody who has ever been in the General Assembly in Virginia, around the governor's office with all of the things that comes with it . . . is bound to occasionally have private musings about what it would be like."
Parris said it would not hurt him to "run for Congress one day and then turn around and run for governor the next. If people think I'm doing a good job, they will support me." He said that on election day some voters urged him to enter the gubernatorial race.
The two leading contenders for the Republican gubernatorial nomination are Wyatt B. Durrette, a Richmond attorney and former state legislator from Fairfax, and former attorney general J. Marshall Coleman of McLean, who lost to Democratic Gov. Charles S. Robb in 1981. Durrette has trailed Coleman in the polls, but is considered to have considerably more strength than Coleman among Republican Party activists.
Coleman and Durrette have been soliciting support for their candidacy for months. Unlike Parris, both have run statewide races and tend to be known across Virginia.
"I don't think he Parris has much name identification in my area," said Rep. G. William Whitehurst, a Republican who represents the Norfolk and Virginia Beach area. Rep. Thomas J. Bliley Jr., a Republican from Richmond, said Parris is better known in his city, because of his three years in the House of Delegates. But, he said, "He has an uphill battle."
Some Republicans point out that the local mass meetings to pick delegates to district and state nominating conventions will be held in February, and they question whether Parris has enough time to rally supporters throughout the state.
Parris said yesterday he does not believe time is a problem. He has in his computer about 15,000 Republican names, including all the delegates to recent Republican conventions. "Overnight we can get letters out to these people," said Parris.
In addition, Parris touted his fund-raising abilities. He raised nearly $800,000 for his recent congressional race and has about $50,000 cash on hand. Durrette has raised about $114,000, slightly less than the amount raised by Coleman.
In the past six months, Parris has made about two dozen trips around Virginia, campaigning for President Reagan and other congressional candidates.
Parris also ran campaign commercials on Richmond television. He said the ads were needed to reach voters in the northern top of Stafford County. Parris' 8th District includes northern Stafford County, as well as Alexandria, southern Fairfax and eastern Prince William counties.
"Let's say, it didn't trouble us that in reaching Stafford County, we reached other people in the Richmond area," Leggitt said.
Parris said the questions he would be discussing with his advisers today are how much money and effort would be required, and whether Durrette has the nomination locked up, as some Republicans are saying. "My gut reaction is that he [Durrette] does not," said Parris.