By VIC SPROUSE
CHARLESTON -- It will be a fun one to watch.
And, probably the top House race in the state next year.
Republican Lisa Peana will face off with two of the most powerful members of the House of Delegates in the race for the 17th House district.
Last week, Lisa Peana announced her campaign for a seat in the 17th district. Peana ran one of the best, closest House races in 2006, in a year where Republicans were decimated across the country.
Lisa's race will be one of the top two in the state next year, with Ron Morris in Marshall County being the other. If you remember, Morris nearly knocked off labor Delegate Ken Tucker in 2006.
Of course, Thompson will be tough to beat. He is the Speaker, and I'm sure if just now figuring out that when you are the Speaker people throw money at you.
Perdue is a different story.
Of course, if Perdue were running in downtown Charleston he would be a shoe-in because the Gazette covers every time the dude makes a trip to the bathroom because of his hatred of the Pharmeceutical companies. Perdue has been on a crusade to find out exactly which doctor's office prefers Subway, versus which prefer Bellacino's. To him and the Gazette, that information is a matter of national security. Never mind that while hating the Pharm companies, Perdue certainly doesn't have any opposition making a nice salary distributing their drugs as a Pharmacist.
And, Perdue has been keeping an unusually low profile since the Mike Vick dogfighting case because any discussion of dog fighting always leads to a discussion of cock fighting (which is also illegal) and Perdue turns tail and runs anytime that issue comes up.
But, with the problems that Perdue has, he is still running in predominantly Democratic Wayne County.
He has a big problem with Peana.
Lisa is young, bright, articulate. She is a first generation American whose parents immigrated (legally, of course, imagine that) from a communist country.
If you want a lesson on government-run economies, Lisa will give you a lesson on how government-controls hamper business growth.
She is also a strong social conservative and is simply, well ... head and shoulders above her opponents from an ability standpoint.
But, being better than your opponent -- and a Republican -- certainly doesn't guarantee you a win. And, Lisa will face an uphill battle against two entrenched incumbants. But, there is no doubt that Perdue is vulnerable.
Congrats to Lisa and her family as they prepare for a year-long campaign and present one of the Republican's best hopes for a House pickup.