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Virginia Reel

The tapping of Virginia’s newly inaugurated Gov. Timothy Kaine to deliver the Democratic response to President Bush’s State of the Union Address last week, was not the only interesting political development in the Old Dominion.
Trifecta in Loudon: In effect, the victory last month of Demo-crat Mark Herring in the special election to replace Republican State Sen. Bill Mims (who had resigned to become deputy state attorney general) completed the Democratic Party’s "trifecta" in the populous Northern Virginia county. Two months after Loudon was carried by all three Democratic candidates for statewide office and a Democrat unseated Republican Delegate Dick Black, Herring defeated conservative GOPer Mick Staton, Jr. with 61% of the vote.
Attorney Herring, stepson of former Democratic State Sen. Charles Waddell, raised more than $61,000 to Staton’s $35,000 and had the strong editorial endorsement of the Washington Post and the apparent popularity of Gov. Kaine on his side. In addition, Herring hit hard at County Supervisor Staton’s being the son-in-law of former legislator Black, an outspoken conservative. At one point, Staton backers charged, the Herring campaign sent out a brochure highlighting a newspaper interview in which Staton said he learned everything about politics from "my father-in-law." In fact, he had said that he learned everything about politics from "my father," — former Republican Rep. (1980-82) Mick Staton of West Virginia, also a solid conservative but in no way as controversial a figure in the district as Black was.
The 35-year-old Staton’s defeat came just over a quarter-century after his father lost a special election for Congress, but came back to win that November. Young Staton has not said whether he will seek a rematch with Herring in 2007.

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John Gizzi has come to be known as ???the man who knows everyone in Washington??? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on what???s going on in the nation???s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as ???Gizzi on Politics??? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of ???Gizzi???s America,??? video interviews that appear on Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. John???s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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