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The Bob celebration begins

The victory party is beginning.

The main ballroom at the Richmond Marriott is getting crowded, as we hear soon-to-be-governor Robert F. McDonnell might come down from the presidential suite within the hour.

Former Virginia senator George Allen called McDonnell the "GOP's next star," when we asked him about what the Republican's victory meant. House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said a McDonnell win would inspire conservatives. "We're going to roll up our sleeves tomorrow," he said.

Cantor took the podium moments later, saying that Bob had stayed true to his conservative creds while "leading us out of the wilderness."

Many of the conservative faithful who began the celebrations said they were fed up with President Obama and McDonnell's election might mean their voices would be heard in the political arena.

"I feel wonderful. I'm so happy," said Diane Brownie, 57, an administrative assistant from Henrico County. "I feel like I might be listened to now."

Brownie was on her second drink by 8:30 p.m. but pledged to keep it tame. Not so for many other revelers. The wine and liquor is flowing.

Matching the volume is the temperature. Despite cool weather outside, it's like a furnace in here.

By Derek Kravitz  |  November 3, 2009; 8:40 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Derek Kravitz , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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