From the Loudoun County Democratic Committee:
Leesburg Democrats took a stand this week, voting Kelly Burk back onto the Town Council in a Special Election Tuesday. Burk, a dedicated public servant who previously had served on both the Leesburg Town Council and the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, defeated Republican Dwight Dopilka by a margin of 53 to 46.7 percent.
Loudoun Democrats rallied around Burk in the weeks leading up to the election. Dozens of LCDC members, as well as other concerned Leesburg residents, volunteered for Burk’s campaign, knocking on doors, making calls, mailing post cards and working the polls on Election Day. “Kelly has so many friends and supporters in Leesburg,” said LCDC Leesburg District Chair Katrina Cole. “As a team we helped Kelly defeat the apathy that normally surrounds local elections and the manufactured anger that the Republicans were pushing.”
This election is an early sign that Loudoun residents are not happy with the actions taken
so far in 2012 by the new all-Republican Board of Supervisors. Whereas Burk narrowly lost her Supervisor race to Ken Reid last November by a 51.4 to 48.4 percent margin, she rebounded this week with a solid 6+ point win. “There is a latent Democratic majority in Loudoun County,” said LCDC Chair Evan Macbeth. “The controversial and self serving actions of the new all-Republican Board of Supervisors are recalling Democrats to action.”
State and National level politicians also recognize that Leesburg and Loudoun are important battlegrounds in a potentially decisive swing state for the 2012 Presidential Election. It became clear after the fact that national Republican organizations had poured money into the local Loudoun elections last November, which helped fuel the Republican near-sweep and directly contributed to Burk’s loss. Following-up on last year’s PAC infusions, Dopilka received $1,500 from a PAC as part of his Council special election campaign this year. That money represented 50% of the non-loan contributions to Dopilka’s campaign.
Democrats were mindful of the need to fight back and gain some momentum for this November’s contests. Accordingly, Virginia State Democratic Party Chairman Brian Moran attended a Burk canvass the weekend before Election Day, and U.S. Senator Mark Warner recorded a campaign phone call on Burk’s behalf. State Senator Mark Herring, a Leesburg resident, made several appearances for Burk. Burk’s message of experience and progress resonated with the thousands of voters who were contacted by this concerted Democratic effort.