Thank You Tom Perriello!

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    Tom Perriello apparently will cast his final vote as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives today. I just wanted to take a moment and thank Tom for the great work he’s done the past two years, not to mention the courageous work he did around the world – Sierra Leone, Liberia, Kosovo, Darfur, Afghanistan – prior to his election to Congress.

    I’ll never forget some guy named Tom Perriello calling me out of the blue in the fall of 2007, telling me he was planning to run for Congress in the 5th Congressional District against the seemingly unbeatable Rep. Virgil Goode (R). Something about Tom struck me – in a highly positive way – in that conversation, and it was confirmed a few months later when I met him in person. As far as I’m concerned, one of the best things I’ve ever done as a blogger was to support Tom Perriello early, often, and strongly, despite numerous people telling me he “had no chance,” that Virgil Goode was entrenched and certainly couldn’t be beaten by someone with Tom’s name/profile/address/you name it. Well, so much for those predictions, and I’m thrilled we proved them all wrong.  

    Possibly even better than working to help Tom win that election was watching Tom conduct himself as a Congressman. Whether you agreed with every one of his votes – and I certainly didn’t – you had to admire his tremendous work ethic, his integrity, and his eagerness to engage his constituents in a way that few other Congressmen do. In my opinion, Tom also showed tremendous courage, not that this should surprise anyone given his work in some of the most dangerous places on earth, in voting the way his analysis and his moral code told him to vote.  

    Anyway, once again, I just want to thank Tom Perriello for the two years he gave us – Virginians, Americans – in Congress. I am hopeful that this won’t be the last we hear from Tom Perriello when it comes to political office, but whatever he decides to do in his life, I wish him all the best.  Thank you, Tom Perriello!

    • sallybee

      …completely.  He was a wonderful congressman.  The very first time I met him, I knew he was someone I wanted to represent me.  While it was only two years, it was nice to know that a person of integrity was my congressman.

    • Elaine in Roanoke

      Tom Perriello stands as an example of what integrity in a representative means. The GOP 2010 juggernaut may have gotten him, but I was impressed that he carried Martinsville and Danville, two of the areas of the state hardest hit by the recession and unemployment.

      For two year the 5th had the very best in representation in Washington. Now…it’s back to representation by lobbyist and industry with Robert “Mr. Uranium” Hurt.

    • Catzmaw

      He’s not my congressman, but I’ve always been impressed by him and hope he makes a return some day to politics.

    • Cool_Arrow

      Tom was an outstanding man. He is one person who you can say voted his conscience and did what he thought was right. He ran as a conviction politican and gained respect from people from both sides of the aisle. Though he didn’t represent me I was more than happy to travel to Charlottesville many weekends to canvass for him. It was well worth it. He is only 36 and I hope to one day be able to vote for him as a state wide run with our pathetic bench should be in order for him.

    • pontoon

      I echo the remarks made here about Tom Perriello.  I worked on both his elections and am so very sorry for the 5th District.  When we lost, we lost a man whom I personally believe was the best Representative in the House of Representatives.  He worked tirelessly for the 5th, traveling all over this huge district every weekend to meet with his constituents.  Extremely intelligent, but humble.  Easy to talk to and solution oriented.  Determined, honorable, honest.  

      Those who voted for Mr. Hurt will eventually realize they replaced a leader, with an empty suit.  

    • totallynext

      “In my opinion, he is still very viable … The sky’s the limit for him…He’s universally respected. If he wants to stay in politics, he’s the kind of person you want in politics. He’s principled. He’s earnest. He’s polite. He’s all of those things. He can come up to Fairfax, and he’ll probably win forever.”  Tom Davis

      Please please please….come to Fairfax

    • Peggy

      As someone from C’ville who supported Tom and believed in him, I am so sorry to see him go.  He had a tremendous following in Albemarle, and still does, because he was extremely hardworking, sincere, smart and respectful. Good luck, Tom, in your future endeavors!