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Making Virginia Trust Again

Since last year, we as Democrats have been asked to look in the mirror and begin the process of reflecting on who we are,...

Del. Sam Rasoul Launches New Initiative to Help Build Trust in...

Intriguing idea by Del. Sam Rasoul (D-Roanoke); will be interesting to see how this works... RASOUL LAUNCHES NEW INITIATIVE TO HELP BUILD TRUST IN DEMOCRATIC...

Video: Sen. Tim Kaine, LG Nominee Justin Fairfax, Del. Sam Rasoul...

Next week, Senate Republicans plan to hold a vote on repealing the Affordable Care Act and - among other terrible things - throwing tens of...

Video: Del. Sam Rasoul (D-Roanoke) Says Don’t Touch Our Drinking Water

Nice work by Del. Sam Rasoul (D-Roanoke): RASOUL: DON'T TOUCH OUR DRINKING WATER  ROANOKE, VA - Delegate Sam Rasoul (D-Roanoke City) held a press conference today stating...

Virginia Democratic House of Delegates Candidates: Don’t Go “Center”…Be You!

by Del. Sam Rasoul It is awesome having a solid slate of candidates for the House of Delegates (HOD) going into November. While the reasons...

VA Del. Sam Rasoul: Nine Reasons Why Business Should Support Single-Payer...

by Del. Sam Rasoul (D-HD 11) One of the most overlooked points in the argument for a single-payer health insurance system is how great it...

Can Sam Rasoul Bring the Democratic Party Back?

by David Jonas, cross posted from KnowVA It’s easy to place a lot of hope on Delegate Sam Rasoul of Roanoke, Virginia. For a Democratic Party...

Winning Elections: The Science of Trust

Guest Post by Virginia Del. Sam Rasoul (D-Roanoke) There is a false narrative that we Democrats must be eye-for-an-eye in our resistance to conservative political...

Sam, I Can’t Understand You

Can I make sense of Del. Sam Rasoul (D-Roanoke) resigning his leadership position in the House of Delegates Democratic caucus? No, I can’t. Sam said...
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Report from the 21st Senate District

In a brilliant move, the Virginia GOP somehow convinced Don Caldwell, commonwealth's attorney and former chair of the Roanoke City Democratic Committee, to run as an independent and third candidate in the 21st state senate race against incumbent Sen. John Edwards, a Democrat they would love to knock off as an insurance policy against losing their state senate majority. Edwards was already facing a formidable Republican candidate in Nancy Dye, a doctor who could eat into Edward's votes from independents and moderate Republicans in Roanoke City.  Was Caldwell offered a judgeship? Was he somehow angry at John Edwards? Who knows? But Caldwell's defection throws the race in the 21th into turmoil. My opinion is that the race is a toss-up.

In 2011 the Republicans tried to knock off Edwards, at that time only one of three Democrats in the senate from west of Charlottesville. (We all remember Phil Puckett's deal with the GOP to get his daughter a judgeship, resulting in his retirement. That leaves John Edwards and Creigh Deeds as the only senate Dems in the western half of the state.) Edwards in 2011 faced Dave Nutter a member of the House of Delegates from Montgomery County. It was felt that Nutter could garner enough votes outside of Roanoke City to beat Edwards. Edwards won with 56% of the vote. However, the turnout was, as usual, low. The total vote in the district was only about 38,000 votes, out of a total population of 188,000. Statewide turnout was about 29%, not a promising statistic for Democrats in off years.

I have heard that Nancy Dye is doing door-to-door campaigning, a tactic that is very effective, but one that John Edwards is not known for. She is well funded since the GOP wants her to win, if at all possible. Edwards is ahead in fundraising, but Dye is close behind him.

One good thing I saw today was a TV ad by the Edwards campaign. It wasn't especially interesting, but it did have John Edwards speaking about his achievements since he was first elected.  If I were his campaign manager, I would tell him to resurrect an effective ad he used in 2011 with his mother telling why her boy should be re-elected. He needs to have ads that make people talk about them, something different from the usual.  Nancy Dye has also run TV ads, beating Edwards to the airwaves by several days.