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December 15, 2004

Victory In 2004

Good news for Democrats in Virginia: Paula Miller won the 87th District House seat in Norfolk Tuesday night, a hard-fought contest to succeed Republican Thelma Drake.

The 87th is a tough district for Democrats; in past elections, only Mark Warner has carried it, and yesterday Miller outperformed even the Democratic Governor in some precincts. The secret of Miller's success? Hard work coupled with a bipartisan coalition of Democratic and Republican leaders in Norfolk and a message centered on fiscal responsibility and her commitment to educational and economic opportunity for all Virginians. She's a soccer mom, a former television reporter with strong ties to her community, who works for the Virginia Beach sheriff.

Miller's victory continues the Democratic Party of Virginia's trend of whittling away at the Republican majority in the House of Delegates. Naysayers describe our victories in 2003, when Democrats picked up three seats in the House, as minor; but they forget that Republicans redrew legislative boundaries to maximize their chances of re-election and to make it virtually impossible for Democrats to win back seats. Virginia is notorious for its lack of competitiveness--a byproduct of GOP redistricting, not lack of effort on the part of the Democratic Party. The pundits said it would be impossible for Democrats to win seats. Post-election analysis might lead one to the false impression that it's impossible for Democrats to get elected to anything in a so-called "red" state like Virginia.

We proved the pundits and the naysayers wrong in 2001 with the election of Mark Warner and Tim Kaine. We proved the pundits and the naysayers wrong with the election of three more Democrats in the House in 2003. We proved the pundits and the naysayers wrong with the election of Paula Miller.

The naysayers will continue to be naysayers. And Virginia Democrats will keep working to prove them all wrong in 2005.

Posted by laura at December 15, 2004 04:24 PM