The Augusta Free Press today has an interesting story on Jim Blubaugh's race for the open seat in the 15th district. According to the article, the mountainous district, which includes the counties of Rappahanock, Shenandoah, Page, and a small part of Rockingham County, is larger in square mileage than the state of Rhode Island.
With Mark Warner's popularity soaring, it's not surprising that Blubaugh, a retired federal government executive with over 30 years' experience, will be running as a "Mark Warner Democrat":
"[Warner] worked very hard on creating compromise. That's what everybody finds so admirable about Gov. Warner. It wasn't a matter of who to blame. It was about getting Virginia out of the mess that it was in. And not only did he get the state out of the mess that it was in, but he brought us to a point where we have a fiscal surplus that is absolutely amazing.
According to Blubaugh's campaign site, his platform includes support for:
- strong schools and a strong community college;
- more jobs and better jobs, with health benefits;
- control over unplanned growth;
- fiscal responsibility, ensuring that Richmond spends our tax dollars wisely;
- more open land for hunting and fishing;
- clean air and water.
The open seat in the 15th is formerly held by Republican Delegate Allen Louderback, who has held the seat since 2000. Blubaugh's Republican opponent for the open seat, Todd Gilbert, had a 4-1 fundraising advantage as of the end of last month; that might change in the next couple of days as this month's reports come in.
In 2003, Democrat Thomas Lewis earned 37% of the vote, but raised only approximately $5,000 to the incumbent's $80,000. Blubaugh should do considerably better in a race for an open seat and with more money in the bank. It shows great promise that he's racking up so many miles in his "Blue Truck", reaching out to voters all over his huge district.
Hat tip to Adam at the great VAYD-6thCD blog.