A big win

Last night, the House Democrats had a historic win, picking up four seats. Now that we’ve had a little time to reflect (but not enough time for much sleep ), I think some lessons are clear:

– We recruited great candidates–folks who might not have been willing to run with a “D” after their name even a few years ago. Joe Bouchard and Bobby Mathieson had long and distinguished careers (in the Navy and as a police officer, respectively) before they ever considered offering themselves for public office. Paul Nichols is a successful attorney who wouldn’t have had to take on this challenge. Margi Vanderhye has worked on important issues like transportation and education for more than two decades.

– There’s no substitute for hard work. Margi Vanderhye knocked on more than 11,000 doors. Although Chap Petersen is the one in the newspaper holding up a pair of shoes with a hole in the sole, Margi could have held up any of the THREE pairs she wore out going door to door.

– We had the resources. Special shout-out to Ward Armstrong and Brian Moran, who raised buckets of money and who challenged all of us in the Caucus to do some heavy lifting as well. We had the resources to make last-minute TV buys where they were needed.

– Voters really want common-sense solutions. All four of our candidates are anxious to roll up their sleeves and get to work for the people of Virginia.

As Yogi Berra once said on a day when he was being honored in Yankee Stadium, “I’d like to thank everyone who made this day necessary.” Exactly.

Now I’m going to take a nap. With results not coming in until nearly 1, there was not a lot of sleep last night!

UPDATE: I am not forgetting Joe Morrissey, who will also join the House in January. But his race was essentially over the night he won the primary.  The four who won last night really came through a crucible.

3 thoughts on “A big win”

  1. Kris, indeed, it was a real knock-down knuckle-dragger for these folks.

    One thought–I sure hope that some of the really great candidates who didn’t quite make it (and there were quite a few of those) will think hard about running again in 2009. Especially folks like Tomer, Frank, etc. downstate who really came close, and even people like Brennan, Del Toro, and others didn’t fare as well as expected–learning something from every loss is important, and can always be put to use next time around.

    Then, there’s the folks like Jay Donahue, Mike Breiner, Karen Schultz, Albert Pollard, and especially Janet Oleszek who lost heartbreakingly close elections.

    We could have been looking at a much larger majority in the Senate, and only a few-seat deficit in the House has a few thousand more votes been swung, or more turned out in a few key races.

    All in all, we have a lot to build upon.

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