Deeds meets a surprise 'feisty' woman at forum
State Sen. R. Creigh Deeds had an unlikely encounter with a political opponent during a town hall-like forum Monday afternoon -- the sister of the top Democrat in Virginia's General Assembly.
During the question-and-answer portion of a Deeds' visit to Greenspring Village, a Springfield retirement community, a 74-year-old Alexandria woman asked Deeds about his transportation plan. She was fed up, she said, with having to "literally make an appointment to pull out" of her driveway off of Duke Street, where she has lived for more than 14 years.
But when Deeds, a Democrat from Bath County who is facing Republican Robert F. McDonnell for governor, started to answer her question, the woman cut him off. Deeds had talked about the difficulties Virginians face with congested roads and needed improvements; Ellie Schendell said he was being evasive.
"You don't get off the hook that easy," she interjected.
Deeds called Schendell "feisty," which drew laughs from the crowd of about 100, and went on to talk about his plan for a bipartisan commission to look at possible new sources of revenue for state transportation funding.
Afterwards, Jared Leopold, a Deeds spokesman, said Schendell asked a "good question." But Schendell left the forum unconvinced.
Schendell is an older sister to Senate Majority Leader Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax), who introduced Deeds at Monday's event. Saslaw confirmed the familial connection but downplayed any political disharmony between siblings.
After the event, Schendell said Deeds' answer about transportation funding was akin to saying, "We're screwed." She also said that Deeds had not made "transportation a priority."
Schendell added that her politician brother would probably be upset upon finding out about her moment in the spotlight Monday.
"He's going to kill me when he finds out," she said.
October 26, 2009; 5:51 PM ET
Categories: Creigh Deeds
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