The Washington Post

Fimian mulls third run against Gerald Connolly in 2012

If at first — or second — you don’t succeed, try try again. That could be Keith Fimian’s campaign motto in 2012.

After losing in 2008 and 2010, the Republican businessman from Oakton is mulling a third straight contest against Rep. Gerald Connolly (D) in Virginia’s 11th congressional district.

Fimian, the wealthy founder of the home inspection firm U.S. Inspect, told the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call Thursday that he might enter the fray again, as long as the seat isn’t made much safer for Connolly in the redistricting process.

“If it redistricts well, which I never thought it would, I will run again,” Fimian told Roll Call. “But I’m not going to run in an uncompetitive seat.”

The Virginia General Assembly will meet next month to draw new congressional lines based on the 2010 census. As The Washington Post has reported, lawmakers and operatives in both parties say the final map is likely to make Connolly’s seat safer for the incumbent by moving portions of GOP-leaning Prince William County into Rep. Rob Wittman’s (R) 1st district. Connolly would also absorb some slivers of Fairfax County, including Herndon, currently included in Rep. Frank Wolf’s (R) 10th district.

Those changes would make another run difficult for Fimian. In 2008, with Barack Obama atop the ticket driving Democratic turnout, Connolly beat Fimian by 12 points in the contest to succeed retiring Rep. Tom Davis (R). But in 2010, a strong year for Republicans in Virginia and across the country, Connolly barely survived, besting Fimian by fewer than 1,000 votes.

Especially in 2010, Fimian ran on a strongly conservative platform, emphasizing the need to cut government spending almost to the exclusion of any other issue. Fimian told Roll Call that he believed that message was more relevant now than ever.

“Everything I’ve criticized Connolly for is more true today than it was last year,” Fimian told the paper.

As of this posting, Fimian had not responded to a message left at his office requesting further comment on his plans. Connolly’s campaign declined to comment.

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