This could be very big for Democrats -- a special election is being held to replace the position vacated with the untimely death of JoAnn Davis (R, VA-1, a "Republican stronghold"). About five republicans are running for the November 10th run-off. Finally we have a Democrat running, and he looks good--recently he was featured in the local paper as a hero for receiving a bronze star for starting a literacy project for Iraqis. He's an Iraq War vet, an award-winning elementary school teacher, and a proud Democrat!
Here's more from Raising Kaine, and the press release below the fold:
Date: October 29, 2007 Contact: Jennifer Tierney
Release: Immediate Phone: (619) 851-5462
PHILIP FORGIT RUNNING FOR CONGRESS IN 1st CD
Decorated war veteran and award-winning teacher Philip Forgit of Williamsburg, Virginia announced today that he is a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the 1st Congressional District seat.
Mr. Forgit is a Bronze Star decorated veteran of the Iraq War, serving with a Naval Special Warfare unit as an adviser to the Iraqi Army in 2005-2006. A Naval Reservist, Mr. Forgit was mobilized from his former job as a 4th grade teacher at Rawls Byrd Elementary.
Mr. Forgit is also a nationally recognized teacher, having won the 2005 National Education Association (NEA) Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence, which included a $35,000 national prize which was awarded to him live, via satellite, while he served in Iraq. Since his return to the U.S., Mr. Forgit has used the prize money to establish ForgitFilms LLC for the purpose of making a documentary on Iraqi soldiers and their families.
Mr. Forgit is a graduate of the College of William and Mary with a B.A. in History ’89 and an M.A. in Elementary Education ’95. He lives in Williamsburg with his wife, Dawn, also a school teacher, and their three children. They attend Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church where Mr. Forgit is a Deacon and Chair of the Mercy Ministry.
Mr. Forgit ran a competitive race for the Virginia 96th District House of Delegates seat in 2003 against incumbent Melanie Rapp. Active in Peninsula campaigns, Mr. Forgit is a member of the First Congressional District Democratic Committee and the James City County Democratic Party.
In announcing his candidacy, Mr. Forgit said the following:
"I didn’t go to Iraq to fight for a democracy, only to come home to an uncontested election for our Congressional Representative. I am stepping forward so that there WILL BE an election in the 1st Congressional District. I’ve been on a ballot before in a tough, close race and I am ready to run, with a background and beliefs that will appeal to voters in the 1st CD."
Forgit, the only announced Democratic candidate in this race, is also prepared for the unusually short window for the special election, with only 10 days until the convention where a Democratic nominee will be chosen, and 30 days to the actual special election. The 40 year-old Forgit said, "I’ll sleep when I’m dead."
The Democratic convention will be held in Williamsburg on November 10.