When Del. Ken Plum (D-36) walked into his polling place to vote early Tuesday morning, he was stopped several times by people wishing him luck.
But it wasn’t luck Plum rode to re-election Tuesday, it was 25 years of building a solid record on issues important to residents, from public education to environmental protection.
"I’m very pleased to have the confidence of the people in my district," said Plum, who’s lived in Reston for 33 years. "I’m doubly pleased by the statewide results and [Democratic candidate for governor] Tim Kaine’s victory."
Plum won the 36th District in the Virginia House of Delegates for a 14th term by taking 15,071 votes (79 percent), while Ferguson finished with 3,912 votes (21 percent), according to unofficial results from the State Board of Elections.
Plum’s opponent was Libertarian candidate Donny Ferguson, a newcomer who’s lived in the district less than a year. In the course of the campaign, Ferguson raised $14,569, but Plum raised more than 11 times that, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.
Running against Metrorail coming to Reston and against raising taxes, Ferguson’s message didn’t connect with Reston voters. But Ferguson was impressed with the results. "Twenty-one percent in this district is very good," said Ferguson. "Some people said there was no way Ken Plum could finish below 90 percent in this district, and they were proven wrong."
In the end, voters overwhelmingly chose Plum’s experience.
While Plum said he never felt threatened in the race, he worked hard the last few months to boost turnout in the democratic-leaning district, hoping to help Kaine’s race for governor.
During his years in office, Plum has been widely recognized for his constituent services and his availability to residents.
A retired teacher, Plum has also developed a reputation as a respected bridge-builder in Richmond. In the last few years, Plum has worked with a Republican House and Senate to create bipartisan alliances. Residents expect Plum to continue to use his seniority to carry Reston values and policies to Richmond.