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Posted at 2:59 PM ET, 06/10/2010

A rising star in Murray's camp

By Paige Winfield Cunningham

Every candidate could use a little British ingenuity, right?

Patrick Murray likely benefited from some of that in his victory over Matthew Berry in the 8th District Republican primary. The race turned out nicely for Murray, who raised only half the funds brought in by Berry but beat the former FCC attorney by four percentage points.

One of the minds behind Murray's campaign is Andy Bookless, a London native who advised U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam during his 2006 election campaign and directed the Illinois Republican's 2008 run.

Both of Roskam's races were widely heralded as major GOP wins in two years dominated by Democrats capitalizing on Bush fatigue and then riding the Obama wave. In 2006, both parties poured money into the nationally watched battle between Roskam and Tammy Duckworth. Two years later Roskam won reelection by a larger margin in an environment even more sour to Republicans.

Bookless attributes Roskam's, and now Murray's, victories to excellent ground campaigns. After meeting Murray at a fundraiser in Alexandria, Bookless says he walked the streets with the candidate for a few days and offered to advise as an unpaid volunteer.

Bookless has been crisscrossing the Atlantic for several years. He's worked on local races in England, including a campaign for Theresa May, now home secretary in the British cabinet.

Of course, it's unlikely that Murray will be able to pull out a Roskam-style victory against Rep. Jim Moran, especially in the Alexandria precincts -- no matter how many doors he and Bookless knock on.

Paige Winfield Cunningham is an investigative reporter and managing editor at Old Dominion Watchdog. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

By Paige Winfield Cunningham  | June 10, 2010; 2:59 PM ET
Categories:  Local blog network, Va. Politics, Virginia  
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