After pulling off a victory by handily electing a Democrat as sheriff, Roanoke County Democrats are now gearing up for the January 11 special election to fill the House of Delegates seat vacated by Morgan Griffith. While far too many “establishment” Democrats in Richmond assumed there was no use in contesting the Republican-leaning district, local activists found a candidate with an excellent shot at winning the seat.
Ginger Mumpower is a successful business owner with excellent name recognition in the district. A while back, she was named the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Person of the Year. Those business connections allow her to contrast herself with the anti-abortion, right-wing lawyer Republicans have nominated, Greg Habeeb.
While Habeeb has never held elective office, Mumpower has, elected to a term on Radford City Council when she was just 23. As the top vote-getter in that election, she was named vice-mayor. She also served a term on the Radford University Board of Visitors. In 2000, she received the New Century Women’s Leadership Award. The award honors women who have made significant contributions to the economic development and civic life of Southwest Virginia.
Mumpower told the Roanoke Times she will be “focusing my energy and efforts on creating jobs and reinventing our struggling economy.” She said that her four years in the 1980s on Radford City Council was a time when the council found ways to expand its budget and services without increasing property taxes. She also said her experience owning and managing a business enables her to understand the challenges that small business owners face.
This race is going to be very interesting to watch. Mumpower is better qualified than her opponent. She knows how to campaign and will do so energetically. She has already hired a campaign manager and opened a campaign headquarters. Yet again, turnout will be the key in this election. Go, get’um, Ginger!