Next Time, Bring the House

In Virginia’s 4th District, the votes for Obama, Kaine, and Ward were respectively 21,2091, 21,6638, 14,9798, and the votes for Romney, Allen, Forbes were respectively 22,9422, 22,3837, 19,9032, according to calculations I made based on numbers from the Virginia Board of Elections .

The counts for presidential votes were very close to the counts for senatorial votes. The count for each house candidate was much lower, but incumbent Randy Forbes received about 87 percent of the Romney vote, while Ella Ward received closer to 71 percent of the Obama votes*. It seems like a lot of Virginia’s 4th district voters who voted for Obama also voted for Tim Kaine, but failed to vote for Ella Ward.

I make two conclusions. First, this election wasn’t just about race. Second, getting the word out about house races is extremely important. I’m certain that people who voted for Obama and Kaine but not Ward didn’t know who Ella Ward was. Randy Forbes significantly outspent Ella Ward because of his big money supporters, and he had the power of incumbency.

Perhaps I’m in no position to second guess the president’s or Tim Kaine’s successful campaigns, but while volunteering for OFA, I handed out a lot of literature about Obama and Kaine, and nothing about Obama, Kaine, and Ward together. It was a prevailing myth among OFA coordinators that people who vote for Obama will vote down the line, and that it wasn’t worth the effort to tailor the call scripts and the literature for each congressional district. Volunteers were instructed to put in a good word for Dr. Ward, but it wasn’t in writing.

It’s understandably more difficult to find a photo of each house candidate and more expensive to place a photo on the literature that includes photos of Obama, Biden, and Tim Kaine. But we handed out literature customized with information about voting locations. That literature should also have included information about Ella Ward, even without a photo.

I don’t how much Obama-Kaine-[Other Congressional Candidate] literature was distributed throughout the state, and since Obama and Kaine both lost the 4th, it’s possible that house candidates in more hopeful districts received more support from OFA and TK4VA than Ella Ward did. But I do know that the House of Representatives didn’t change very much this time, and I think a little bit of ink would have gone a long way to giving the president a Congress he can work with.

*Quick update (at Nov 9th 19:00): The Virginia Board of Elections just updated their website with absentee ballots. Ella Ward took Suffolk! She was behind when I checked the numbers just yesterday. It seems now that Ella Ward got 77 percent of the Obama votes, and Randy Forbes got 106 percent of the Romney votes.

Ella Ward’s Pancake Breakfast in Chesapeake

Congressional Candidate Ella Ward is hosting an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast on Saturday, August 4, at the Gourmet Breakfast Place on 838 Old George Washington Hwy. N. in Chesapeake.

The cost of admission is $10.00, and admission can be purchased online with ActBlue.

This will be a great opportunity to meet Dr. Ward and her supporters, and to help her get to Washington and properly represent the citizens of Virginia’s 4th District in the United States Congress.

Please see the flyer for more information.

Saturday, August 4th, 2012
8:00am – 10:00am
The Gourmet Breakfast Place
838 Old George Washington Hwy. N., Suite 100, Chesapeake, Virginia 23323.

Portrait of Ella Ward

Ella Ward for Congress

Voters in the 4th U.S. Congressional district can choose to vote in the Republican or Democratic primary tomorrow for their House representative. Those who vote in the Democratic primary will have a choice between Ella Ward and Joe Elliot. Republicans will have Randy Forbes and Bonnie Girard.

Democrats should vote for Ella Ward. I’ve met Joe Elliot, and he seems like a decent person, but his pathetic campaign has been little more than a distraction. He’s done a disservice to his supporters and to 4th District Democrats by continuing his unenthusiastic campaign when he could have been supporting the Democrat who will prove to be the better challenger to Randy Forbes.

Ella Ward is a highly qualified candidate. She has multiple degrees, including a Doctoral Degree in educational administration and supervision from Virginia Tech, and a history of service to her community as a teacher, school administrator, and councilwoman.

Knocking Randy Forbes out of his long-held position as the 4th Congressional district’s representative is a tough challenge. He uses religious rhetoric to deeply divide his constituency and publicly panders to the majority. It’s a winning formula which took him to an easy win over his previous challenger, Dr. Wynne Legrow, despite Dr. Legrow’s education, entrepreneurial success, and military service.

This year, the best chance of defeating Randy Forbes lies with an energetic and highly qualified public servant, Dr. Ella Ward. I encourage 4th District Democrats to get themselves to the polls tomorrow, June 12, and show our support for Ella Ward for U.S. Congress, 4th District.

Portrait of Ella Ward
Ella Ward for U.S. Congress