GOPHokie points me to a new Blog, The Mason Conservative. It's new, but good, unlike mine which is 2 months old and mediocre.
Chris has in mind a Republican "dream candidate" that has proven electability in NOVA. Some "New Blood" for the leadership of the Party.
Chris makes some excellent points. Especially as they apply to past Gubernatorial elections, won by both sides.
But a candidate that has proven electability in NOVA would also have to bring much more to the dance.
SWVA and southside are both filled with conservative Democrats. They tend to vote Republican in Presidential elections, but would never consider leaving the Party that Dad and Granddad were affiliated with. At some point in my lifetime the Republican Party, at least on the national level, gained some favor in their sight. This was due primarily to the extreme swerve to the left taken by the Democrat Party on the national level. Local Democrats throughout SWVA kept their heads and remained conservative (see Virgil Goode) or at least worked very hard to appear conservative (see Rick Boucher). This strategy allowed the voters to continue with "tradition" (not a small thing here in SWVA) and continue to vote for "Dad's Party", while feeling justified for voting against that same Party on the national level.
A "proven Republican winner" in Fairfax would have to be able to assure the conservative Democrats in SWVA that he shares their values and that he understands the culture and traditions. This was in some small way even a problem for locally born Jerry Kilgore. Us lifetime Republicans believed that Jerry had not lost his roots, but he wasn't able to convince those conservative Democrats that his time spent in Richmond hadn't somehow changed him. Democrats such as Mark Warner and Rick Boucher face no similar problem. Both are (or were) able to convince these conservative Democrats that they not only represent their ancestral party, but also share their values. Not too hard to do if you're going in somewhat "disguised" to begin with by your familiar Party affiliation.
Your NOVA "dream candidate" may have that ability, I don't know. What I do know is that any Republican campaigning for a regional or statewide office here in SWVA must have that ability.