House Speaker Howell to seek re-election in 2015 (Free-Lance Star)

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University of Mary Washington political professor Stephen J. Farnsworth said Howell “goes into this race with all the advantages,” including name recognition.

But he said Stimpson has “credibility and experience in campaigning and politics.”

While some doubt Stimpson is a serious candidate, Farnsworth doubts Howell, or any other incumbent, is overlooking his primary opponent.

He pointed to former U.S. House majority leader Eric Cantor, who lost his seat last year in a shocking GOP primary loss to tea party-backed challenger Dave Brat, as the reason why.

Cantor’s loss “is a warning sign to every incumbent everywhere to take any challenger very seriously,” he said.

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