The wait is over. Tom Perriello was confirmed the winner of the Fifth District congressional race yesterday at the end of a recount process that saw the Democrat outpolling Virgil Goode by 727 votes.
“I’m gratified that after an exhaustive democratic process, we now can say with certainty that this election is over, and the Fifth District has asked me to fight for jobs and economic relief in Washington,” Perriello said.
“I am humbled that the voters have entrusted me with this sacred duty, and I am eager to represent the entire district as we work together to put our communities back on the path to economic revival,” Perriello said.
The outcome was a monumental upset for Perriello, a political unknown who trailed Goode, a six-term incumbent with deep roots in Southside in the heart of the district, by 34 points in a mid-August poll. The closest that Perriello got in the public polls was a still-rather-wide eight-point margin in early October.
“When people ask how we were able to come from 34-points behind to win in a district that John McCain carried, I tell them of our commitment to a people-powered campaign, fueled by thousands of individuals and the largest grassroots network the district has ever seen. We showed with this historic upset that people are ready to trade in the old politics of fear and division for a new style of positive, solutions-oriented public service,” Perriello said.
Goode came under fire for among other things backing out of a scheduled televised debate with Perriello in October and for running TV commercials featuring a darkened image of a bearded Perriello that referred to him as being from New York.
Perriello, 34, is an Albemarle County native who was able to raise and spend $1.8 million for his upstart campaign. Goode, who trailed his challenger in the money race for much of the campaign, in the end did outspend Perriello, but only by $100,000.
– Story by Chris Graham