While most have enjoyed a relaxed holiday season, Virginia's 8th House District candidates Greg Habeeb (R) and Ginger Mumpower (D) have been busy tweeting, updating blogs, and making appearances with elected officials as they sprint to the finish line for the special election to be held on January 11.
Their days have been filled by knocking on doors, making phone calls, hosting meet-and-greets, raising funds and on Monday, January 3, both candidates will participate in a public forum to address issues and answer questions from voters. The forum will take place at 7:00 pm at Andrew Lewis Middle School in Salem.
When Delegate Morgan Griffith pulled off the almost-unthinkable in November by defeating long-time Democratic incumbent Rick Boucher in the 9th Congressional District, Republican eyes turned to attorney Greg Habeeb, 34, to fill the Republican spot. He gained the endorsements of Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA 6), Governor Bob McDonnell, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, Attorney Gen. Ken Cuccinelli, former U.S. Senator and Governor George Allen, as well as the man who previously held the position, Morgan Griffith. He has also received endorsements from the National Rifle Association as well as numerous local businesses.
Democrats turned to Ginger Mumpower, 50, a local jeweler with face recognition from her business ads quipping, "Ginger your Jeweler," who had won public office in her 20s on Radford's city council. Becoming "Ginger your Delegate," she has received endorsements from U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), former delegates Dickie Cranwell and Chip Woodrum of Roanoke as well as other Democrat leaders. She even lists some Republicans and teachers under her endorsements.
Since November 2nd, Habeeb and Mumpower, who were the only candidates to file in their respective party primaries, have spent their time identifying and contacting voters to increase turnout and participating in a ground game that pulled in numerous volunteers who also worked through the holidays.
Though the 8th House District has been represented by a Republican for decades and is largely conservative, some including former Virginia Democratic chairman Dickie Cranwell think it could be won by a Democrat. Republicans, however, have worked hard to retain the seat hoping to keep it on the GOP side of the aisle.
Whichever candidate wins on January 11, they will have to quickly hit the road to Richmond because the 2011 session of the General Assembly begins the next day.