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When you head south on I-95 and pass Exit 148, you have crossed from Blue Virginia (Prince William County) into Red Virgina (Stafford County). It wasn't too long ago that Democrats in Stafford County were an endangered species. We're still at-risk and facing a formidable and wealthy Republican Party, but we have a pulse, we're growing, and we plan to do some damage in 2007 and 2008.

On Saturday, December 9th, the Stafford County Democrats met. Our special guest was our candidate for Congress from VA-01, Shawn O'Donnell. The best news to my mind was Shawn is going to come back again in 2008. He ran a good campaign in a tough, GOP-custom-built district that stretches almost 200 miles from Faquier County all the way to Hampton; Jo Ann Davis, the incumbent, had been unopposed the last two cycles. We'd love to get this to a second-tier race by 2008, and having the continuity of a more-known candidate will help.

More immediately, we have local elections in 2007: 14 races, 11 of them partisan, with only one Democrat as an incumbent, Supervisor Pete Fields. Finding viable candidates for the State Senate and two House of Delegate seats will be especially tough, as the GOP incumbents include the Speaker of the House, Bill Howell, and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, John Chichester. There are a raft of county offices as well, and we're hoping Cindy Sellars will run again for Stafford County Treasurer, she is an appealing candidate who got a very late start last time.

Battling an entrenched and rich opponent isn't glamorous, but it's necessary. Stafford's demographics are changing (it's the 19th-fastest growing county in the U.S.), it's getting more urban, more commuter-oriented, more diverse, and the long-range trends look positive.

I'll be filing periodic entries as we fight the ground war in what's been hostile territory.

Originally posted to CADeminVA on Wed Dec 13, 2006 at 07:55 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Howell needs to go. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The man is completely out of touch and thinks he's a legislator from Southwestern Virginia with the way he's been acting.

    And my Delegate, or,, the one who supposedly "represents' my district is his little protege Jeff Frederick.  When he's not busy sending out fundraising emails to people like me (how he got my email I have no diea nor have I ever sent him anything close to indicating support) he's raiding women's health centers.  Same for Ligamfelter whose only action I see this past year is his trying to ban CNN from all county government television sets.


    •  "Legislator from SW Virginia?" (0+ / 0-)

      What did you mean by that?

      Our country can survive war, disease, and poverty... what it cannot do without is justice.

      by mommyof3 on Wed Dec 13, 2006 at 09:23:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  We're starting to talk about the "Howell Tax" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It's the $2313 in lost time everyone who commutes on I-95 and other roads in the woefully inadequate infrastructure while Howell leads the pathological "anti-tax" jihad.

      I got that number from the Free-Lance Star, so it's probably even higher than that...even they realize Howell is having a very negative impact on our quality of life.

  •  Thanks For The Info. Stay Strong. n/t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brittain33, PaulVA, mommyof3
  •  Hey, can we get in touch? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I live in Fred City and my wife works in Stafford. I did some outreach for O'Donnell, whom I wasn't particularly impressed with, and I've had several encounters with Chichester and Howell, who are both loathsome. Give me your private email if you want and maybe I can come up to one of your meetings.

    Mine is archaism (at) gmail (dot) com.

  •  Thank you so much... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PaulVA, mommyof3

    for fighting the good fight in hostile territory.  It is hard enough to fight the good fight in a Blue state like Massachusetts, I can't imagine how hard it must be for you in Virginia.  Post a tip jar so we can recommend your diary.

  •  Keep the Faith (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It's like the old Chinese Curse

    May you live an interesting life

    But you are doing the Lord's work there in Virginia, and you used absolutley the correct frame in your title "Party Building".

    There really is nothing more important than that, especially in "hostile" territory. You know Harry Truman once said the most important job he ever had in the Democratic Party was as a Precinct Committee Man.  Would that more of our folks today felt that way.

    I am working on something similar in Florida, maybe we could compare notes.

    One thing you have in your favor up there, IMHO, is Mark Warner.  He has shown the way in how to win in tough areas.  Maybe you could get in touch with his PAC.

    You can't govern if you can't win.

    by gatordem on Wed Dec 13, 2006 at 10:37:08 AM PST

    •  Winning the statewide races (0+ / 0-)

      Is great, but translating that into results at the local and county level is another matter.

      Both Warner and Tim Kaine are helpful, but they have their own fish to fry. Getting Jim Webb elected really absorbed most of the available money and resources in '06, the DCCC got involved in pretty much just the Feder (VA-10) and Kellam (VA-02) races, both of which were losses, unfortunately.

      I'm really not the most knowledgeable on these matters compared to others as I've just gotten involved over the last few months. Our County Committeman, Dan Smolen, does a great job, he makes sure everyone knows the issues, shares in the blessings, and the frustrations, too.

      It's a long haul, as you well understand. Let's stay in touch as we slog in the trenches!

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