5th District Congressional Race Underway

Nelson County farmer Al Weed has started running against Congressman Virgil Goode for the 5th district congressional seat for the November 2004 election. Weed already has a pair of paid staffers, a couple of dozen volunteers, and a campaign office, almost a year and a half before the biennial election. If this race seems familiar, it’s because Vice Mayor Meredith Richards ran it just last year, losing to Goode with 36.5% of the vote. Richards leaves open the possibility that she may run against Weed for the Democratic nomination, saying that she intends to decide by Christmas. Bob Gibson has the story in today’s Progress.

Disclaimer: I’m heavily involved with Al Weed’s campaign. You know, in case it’s not totally obvious after reading the story.

11 Responses to “5th District Congressional Race Underway”

  • Al’s gonna beat down Virgil, and good, come November ’04.

    Just calling it up.

  • I’m all for ousting Goode, but unfortunately I have never heard of Al Weed, and I consider myself as someone who is up on local current events. That is a problem.

    The problem with Meredith Richards campaign, as I saw it, was that not enough people REALLY knew who she was. People know Goode, if ya know what I mean. This Al Weed guy is really gonna have to get out there in the media and in the public and mean it.

  • I’m all for ousting Goode, but unfortunately I have never heard of Al Weed, and I consider myself as someone who is up on local current events. That is a problem.

    You’ve never heard of him because you’re a “Charlottesville liberal,” like me. :) If Virgil weren’t in Congress, you’d have never heard of him, either, unless you lived in southside.

  • The fact that many people don’t know Al Weed is exactly why he’s starting a campaign for Congress in 2004 so early. If he can gather the money and people resources needed to tell his story, he is the ideal candidate for the 5th district.

    This is a guy with a record of military service stretching from Vietnam to Bosnia. He’s a farmer from Nelson County. He’s initiated and led public service projects in areas ranging from economic development to evironmentalism.

    If you look at Al Weed’s resume, you’d think that the 5th district had been gerrymandered just for him.

    No doubt, he’s the right candidate for the district. The challenge will be to harness the resources to get the message to voters.

  • Getting 40% or 45% of the vote? You know you can’t beat Virgil but it’s important for you to try. What part of the 5th district outside the city of Charlottesville do you think you have a chance?

    And Waldo how much time can you take off in your Va Tech semester to work on this election. All I can say is that unless Bush losses and the democratic has huge coattails you don’t stand a chance.

  • Anyone can unseat Goode if they mount a good enough campaign. That is the challenge for Weed obviously. And since he is getting a year and a half head start, the getting the message across MUST start now. People, IMHO, vote for who they know best.

  • Why in the world couldn’t Al Weed Win? "He’s a Democrat" doesn’t count — the 5th is a democratic district, as the election of L.F. Payne and subsequent election of then-Democrat Virgil Goode demonstrated. Note that Al didn’t just up and decide to run — many folks in town (myself included) were seeking somebody capable of unseating Goode, and individually came to the conclusion that Al was the man. Fortunately, he came to agree. :) He’s much more Fifth District than Virgil Goode. We just have to let the Fifth know that. :)

    I will be a political science student, so I ought not have to take a whole lot of time off, but instead be able to integrate my campaign work into school. More importantly, I’m working to make myself an optional component within the campaign (I’m one of many volunteers, anyhow) so that I can disappear for a month for exams and nobody will notice. :)

  • No actually they can’t. Beating an incumbent is incredibly diffcult. Incumbents have a better than 90% success rate.

    If you were talking about Rep. Moran in NoVa, who is in real trouble and might not get the Democratic nod then Ok.

    Goode is straight talking, fits the demographics of the 5th district, and extremely well loved in the southern part of the district.

    Al Weed can get his message out but unless he can create dissatisfaction with Goode, Weed will lose.

  • "Al Weed can get his message out but unless he can create dissatisfaction with Goode, Weed will lose."

    All very true. But the seeds of dissatisfaction are being sowed in the growing distaste that "on-the-fence" voters have for Bush and his policies, which Goode supports for the most part. If Bush can’t raise he approval ratings by election season (they have been sinking noticably of late), then that leaves the door open wider for Weed to shove Goode out.

  • Agreed, he is very close to his constituency. People who live here can identify with him. You could sweep the entire district and not find a better choice.

  • Pack it up boys! It’s impossible to unseat an incumbent, so there’s no point in trying. Lord am I glad that everyone doesn’t think like that.

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