Progressive Change

When Republican Congressman Tom Davis announced he would not seek reelection, VA-11 became a top targeted district for both parties. The Democratic primary attracted two political heavy-weights: County Board Chairman Gerry Connolly and former Congresswoman Leslie Byrne who was determined to win back her seat.

Connolly had developed a moderate political profile during his years in local government. We understood from the beginning that Byrne would attempt to appeal to Democratic primary voters by raising doubts about Connolly’s progressive credentials.

This booklet was one of the earliest pieces we mailed, telling the story of Connolly’s 40 years of progressive activism. We mailed several subsequent pieces reinforcing this message.

When Byrne went negative, portraying Connolly as too tied to corporate interests, it proved utterly ineffective. Connolly won this primary with 57% of the vote despite being significantly outspent. We went on to win the general election, putting this seat back into the Democratic column.

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