Colors of Democracy

Colors of Democracy

To the Editor:

Something seems different. Actually, 59,629 things seem unusual. Why such a specific number? It is the almost exact number of registered voters in Virginia’s 34th House of Delegates district (the same district that Great Falls is a part of). And what is so precisely different about these voters? Their shifting political tendencies.

Let’s take a look at 15 years worth of election statistics for the 34th House seat (keeping in mind that in 2011 the district was slightly redrawn due to the 2010 census). According to The Virginia Public Access Project a Republican has won every election cycle—except in 2007 when the Republican incumbent withdrew from the race. In fact, in 2003 and 2005 Republicans ran unopposed for the delegate seat. Financially, in 1997 the Republican candidate raised $205,786 compared to the democrats lowly $12,023—similar financial reports from the 1999 election.

As of Oct. 14, according to blue Virginia, the Democratic candidate for the 34th seat, Kathleen Murphy, is up 3 percent in the polls over incumbent Republican Barbara Comstock. Three percent does not seem like a lot, but with Election Day only a few weeks away, it speaks volumes of the realigning this community has experienced in the past year. In previous elections Democrats were outspent, slaughtered in local elections, and it was not even a contest.

This kind of political change is contagious. It is a slow process, but it yields results. For example, Virginia Public Access Project states that the 34th went blue for President Obama in the last two elections. This trend will continue in the upcoming elections. I believe that the beginning of this liberal transition starts with the 34th, and Kathleen Murphy. The fate of the commonwealth will be determined on Nov. 5th.

Laura Roman

Great Falls