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Leslie Byrne Willing to Take on Davis Next Year

Tim Craig

Democrat. Leslie L Byrne said today she will likely be a candidate for Congress in the 11th District, even if incumbent Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va) decides to seek reelection.

"I am running, there is no question about it," said Byrne, who held the seat between 1993 and 1995. "I am just waiting for the next election cycle to get done before we start on the next one."

Byrne filed an exploratory committee earlier this month, when it appeared as if Davis would give up the seat to run for the U.S. Senate. Davis announced last week he will not be a Senate candidate. But Davis, who defeated Byrne in 1994, said he hasn't decided whether he plans to seek reelection.

Byrne says "it doesn't matter who is in and who is out" because she thinks Davis, who won with 56 percent of the vote last year, will be vulnerable in 2008.

"This district has turned decidedly Democratic and, the things he used against me during the so-called Republican Revolution, it turned out I was right and he was wrong," said Byrne, referring to her match up against Davis in 1994.

In 1994, Davis criticized Byrne for being too close to former President Bill Clinton, who was unpopular that year. But two-thirds of Americans now say they approve of the job Clinton did while he was in office, according to a Washington Post poll last month.

Fairfax County Board Chairman Gerald Connolly (D) ) is also considering a running for Davis's seat. But most political observers think Connolly will shy away from the race if Davis decides to seek reelection.

By Tim Craig  |  October 30, 2007; 2:01 PM ET
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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