Thursday, May 7, 2009

Tuesday's Alexandria Disaster

You'll remember that because of his last minute decision to vacate his seat, Brian Moran almost cost Democrats one of their most reliable wins. His successor, Charniele Herring, came within 16 votes of a loss.

Moran's campaign chalked up another mark of shame this week. There's no excuse for the drubbing Alexandria Democrats received in Tuesday's City Council elections.

The Alexandria Democratic Committee suffered a setback Tuesday when two of its incumbent candidates were ousted by voters on Election Day. Republican Frank Fannon and independent candidate Alicia Hughes each won a place on the City Council. Incumbent Democrats Tim Lovain and Justin Wilson will step down from their seats this summer, when Fannon and Hughes will be installed as the council’s newest members. Some were calling for immediate changes in the party.

There are a lot of lessons to take away from this disaster. Some Democrats are calling for the ouster of Alexandria Committee Chair Susan Kellom:

"The buck stops with Susan Kellom," said outgoing Councilman Ludwig Gaines, calling for a new party leader. "She took credit for the victories with Democrats won, but she’s also got to take credit for the defeat."

This was Brian Moran's home turf, and if he is looking to be a kingmaker, he needs to show strength in his home town. While, the Alexandria Committee has some soul searching to do, Democrats from across Virginia need to be aware of how very weak the Moran campaign comes out of this debacle.

Here's a snippet I got from a poll worker for the McAuliffe campaign who was working at the Cory Kelly Rec Center polling place:

voter traffic was very slim at the Cora Kelly Rec Center. Apparently, none of the Alexandria races on this date are really competitive, thus low voter interest.

Given that this is Brian Moran country, I got quite good and polite reception from most voters. I really like the tag line "Jobs for Virginia" as it is punchy and easy to say even to voters moving fast.


No representatives of Moran or Deeds were there for most of the morning. At 8:20 am a Brian Moran guy showed up. It was obvious that he had been called by friends who were handing out literature at the polls. He was in a bad mood and spent most of his time talking to his friends

This is Brian Moran's home and his folks can't even turn out to work the polls for the City Council Election? I mean give me a break! Where's all that great grassroots support Brian? Where's all that devotion to helping down-ticket races?

This should serve as a wake up call for every Virginia Democrat. For all of our successes, VIRGINIA IS NOT BLUE! We have to fight and fight and fight every day, every election cycle to prove that Democratic ideas, values, and leadership are the best choice.

Tuesday's Alexandria Disaster was a result of complacency, plain and simple. McAuliffe is running the campaign necessary to win not just the Governor's mansion, but control of the House of Delegates. The McAuliffe campaign is working hard to get the word out at every level, while apparently the Morans can't be bothered to drive traffic, even in their backyard.

Every Democratic Delegate and every supporter of Democratic Delegates needs to keep this in mind. I'll leave you with some joyful celebration from the Republicans:

Congratulations to Councilmen-elect Frank Fannon and Alicia Hughes! Hughes ran as an Independent, but was endorsed by the Republican Party. That gives Republicans two votes on a six-person city council that Democrats have had a lock on since 2003, in a locality that went 72% for Obama six months ago!

Joe Murray, Pat Herrity, John Cook, now Fannon and Hughes. It’s been quite a four months for NoVa Republicans!

And this previous thought from the Too Conservative is worthy of consideration as well:

I fear McAuliffe drowning competitive House districts with money and giving a Democrat who could only raise $300K by himself an extra $500K to play around with.

Now we all have something to think about.

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