I have completed (my first) manuscript, which falls well within the scope of a particular journal.
However, a member of that journal's editorial board (or, to be precise, the editor's student) is aggressively advancing a model that, if valid, would essentially negate much of my work. At this time, the evidence for both competing models remains circumstantial, with the bulk of publications (but not quite a consensus) currently favouring my approach.
Of the individuals on that journal's editorial board, this editor works in the subdiscipline closest to mine, so my concern is that this person would be, from the journal's perspective, the most logical choice for my submission.
Is my unease over the possibility of editorial bias warranted?
What would be the most appropriate course of action in this case?
(Another potentially relevant note/complication: The work in which the editor is advancing this competing model is unpublished, and I am aware of it only because of word from colleagues. I received substantial evidence that the unpublished work exists; this is not based on hearsay. I note this because it makes it impossible to point out the potential for bias or a competing interest by referring to the extant corpus of literature.)