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Reactions to Marsden's stunning victory

Anita Kumar

Virginia's incoming governor Bob McDonnell (R) congratulated Virginia's newest senator Dave Marsden (D) tonight on his upset against Steve Hunt (R) in Fairfax County.

"I look forward to continuing to work with him in the years ahead in his new capacity,'' McDonnell said. "In these tough economic times, Virginians need leaders in Richmond who will work together to create new jobs and more opportunities. While we may not agree on every issue, I know that Dave and I share a commitment to making this a better Virginia for all our citizens."

Marsden will be sworn in tomorrow at noon when the General Assembly convenes its 60-day session. His victory leaves Democrats with a solid two-seat advantage in the Senate, 22-18.

Earlier, C. Richard Cranwell, chairman of the Democratic Party of Virginia, said the victory sends "a clear message: Virginians want moderate, bipartisan leadership that keeps our Commonwealth the best state to do business and the best state to raise a child."

Marsden, a two-term delegate from Fairfax County served as the head of the state Department of Juvenile Justice under both Republican and Democratic governors, won the 37th state Senate seat vacated by Attorney General-elect Kenneth T. Cuccinelli (R) by rallying a voter base reeling from big losses in November's statewide and House races. His win leaves Democrats with just 38 seats in the GOP-controlled House.

Tonight, Marsden pledged to focus on tax relief for middle-class families and help small businesses grow jobs. "Tomorrow, I head to Richmond to tackle Fairfax's problems head on,'' he said in a statement. "I look forward to working with my new colleagues in the Senate to ensure we keep fighting for small businesses, we keep education funding strong for Fairfax, and we responsibly balance the budget to move Virginia forward."

In Virginia Beach tonight, Republicans easily won a special election to replace former Sen. Ken Stolle (R), who was elected sheriff in November.

Businessman Jeff McWaters (R) defeated Democrat Bill Fleming by a margin of 78 to 21 percent.

McWaters said he will work to recruit businesses to create jobs, cut the size and cost of government and prioritize transportation projects.

"Make no mistake, I am a conservative Republican but my door will be open to all, Republican, Democrat or independent," he said.

By Anita Kumar  |  January 12, 2010; 10:54 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Ken Cuccinelli , Robert F. McDonnell  
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