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State Democratic Party chair: Every vote will count

Brian Moran’s father was a successful high-school football coach, and Moran, the chairman of the Virginia Democratic Party, remembers what his dad had to say about what it took to win high-stakes games on the gridiron.

Football games in November aren’t won on the football field in November. They’re won in August on the practice field.

That was the message that Moran brought to a group of 55 local Democrats at the grand opening of the Waynesboro Democratic Party election headquarters on Saturday.

“The nation is looking for Virginia to deliver for President Obama as well as Tim Kaine. We need to make sure that our volunteers are appreciated and encouraged to keep moving and working over the next several weeks,” Moran told reporters before speaking to volunteers at the event.

Representatives from the campaigns of President Barack Obama, U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine and Sixth District congressional nominee Andy Schmookler were all on hand to sign up volunteers for the fall. The Central Shenandoah Valley is not exactly a Democratic stronghold, to say the least, but Democratic candidates have been running better in recent election cycles, and as Moran noted in his talk with reporters before the event, Democrats “need to have a presence here” to be successful statewide.

“Our message resonates whether you’re in Waynesboro, Charlottesville or Alexandria. It’s one where you talk about strengthening the middle class, investing in education, improving our economy. That’s a message we can take on the road wherever we go in the Commonwealth of Virginia. That’s why we’re here in Waynesboro. Every vote here in Waynesboro is just as important as a vote in Richmond or Alexandria,” Moran said.

Virginia has famously become a so-called battleground state, though it was a long, hard road getting there from the Democratic perspective. It began with Mark Warner, who won an uphill battle in a 2001 gubernatorial election to jumpstart the Democratic resurgence that saw Kaine succeed him in 2005, Jim Webb unseat Republican George Allen in a U.S. Senate race in 2006, and culminated with Obama becoming the first Democratic presidential candidate in 44 years to win the Old Dominion.

The 2008 surge may have caught Republicans by surprise, but the GOP was able to rebound just a year later to sweep the three statewide races, and then in 2010 regained a majority in Virginia’s House of Representatives delegation.

“I’d be surprised if the Republicans got surprised this time. They should know that we’re coming after them,” Moran said. “But again, our message resonates. President Obama is talking about investing in education, infrastructure, creating jobs. That’s a strong message here for the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

Moran is “confident” that Democrats will do well in Virginia on Election Day, but concedes that there is still much work to be done.

“It’s competitive. Let there be no mistake. It’s a competitive race. That’s why I’m here in Waynesboro today, to make sure that we get every vote that we can here in Waynesboro,” Moran said.

Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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