'Fairfax's Own' Pays Homage
Bob McDonnell's visit to a Fairfax County GOP breakfast pep rally yesterday was a homecoming of sorts. The Burke Fire Department hall was surrounded with those familiar "Fairfax's Own" signs, and the more than 300 activists getting pumped over coffee and pancakes were more than happy to claim him as their own.
But the visit also offered an acknowledgement of the role the county has played this year in reviving Republican hopes after a morale-crushing few years in the once-red state.
McDonnell, who leads Democrat R. Creigh Deeds in the polls, gave a particular shout-out to Fairfax supervisors Pat Herrity and John Cook, whose better-than-expected performances in a couple of elections (along with the success of Republican Frank Fannon and GOP-endorsed independent Alicia Hughes in Alexandria and a close House of Delegates special election in Arlington) helped create momentum for Virginia Republicans this year. ""Pat Herrity and John Cook, the leaders of the revolution," McDonnell said to thunderous applause.
For a little refresher, Herrity faced off against Sharon Bulova (D) in a special election earlier this year to replace now-Rep. Gerry Connolly (D) as chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. Bulova squeaked out a victory, but the closeness of the race energized Republicans who worried they were all but vanquished from the blue-leaning county. Then, Cook won Bulova's old Braddock District seat.
All this after the state went overwhelmingly for Barack Obama last year, the first time in 44 years the state has supported a Democrat for president.
The reality for the GOP is that Deeds has a significant lead in Northern Virginia. And while it is unlikely that Fairfax County will actually go red this year, there's no question they have momentum on their side. Attendance at the pancake breakfast was triple that of last year; there was a waiting list to get in and alas they ran out of pancakes.
October 4, 2009; 11:18 PM ET
Categories: Barack Obama , Creigh Deeds , Election 2008/President , Fairfax County Board of Supervisors , Gerald E. Connolly , Robert F. McDonnell , Sandhya Somashekhar
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