Thanks & Sadness
I am very grateful to the residents of the 53rd District for giving another me 2 years in the oldest continuously-meeting legislative body in the New World, the Virginia House of Delegates. It was my largest margin in a contested race–61%.
To the residents of the City of Falls Church, I owe a special thank you. You gave me 67% of your votes and the active support of most of your elected officials. I look forward to working with and representing you for another two years.
Similarly, I am grateful to the residents of Fairfax County who live in the 53rd. Your strong support gave me winning margins in every precinct that I represent in Providence and Dranesville districts, and I am fortunate to continue working for you as well.
On the other hand, I am very sorry to lose the wisdom, experience and leadership of three colleagues who apparently lost on a very difficult night for Democrats: Margi Vanderhye, Chuck Caputo and David Poisson. Margi’s race was particularly close and disappointing. Generally, it was not a good night for Democrats in closely divided districts, with two Democratic losses in Tidewater, with one offsetting victory-the defeat of Delegate Phil Hamilton of Newport News by attorney Robin Abbott.
One of our most effective newcomers, Shannon Valentine, lost after two wins in Lynchberg, the home of Liberty University and Jerry Falwell. Liberty U. called off classes and urged students to vote. I hope Shannon, Chuck, David and Margi will not let this anti-encumbent trend stop them from returning to elective office.
Also, I want to congratulate our new additions to the House from No.Virginia: Kaye Kory, Luke Torian, and Charnielle Herring. Charnielle, who had narrowly won a special election to replace Brian Moran, won handily, as did Kaye. Luke Torian’s victory was too close for comfort, but an important addition from Prince William County. I have no doubt that all three will make important contributions to our area, and win re-election in 2011.
One of the sadder moments last night came when my friend and civic activist, John Jennison, lost the race to replace the retired Phil Neidzielski-Eichner on the Fairfax County School Board from Providence District. I can think of few people I know who are better qualified to serve on the School Board. Some last minute activities, including the implication by his opponent’s campaign that she had been endorsed by the Fairfax Education Association(FEA), contributed to John’s defeat. FEA had endorsed John weeks before, and had circulated the endorsement.