Wednesday, November 07, 2012
Robert Hurt defeats John Douglass in 5th District
The Republican will start his second term after fending off a challenge from a retired general.
The latest from our Blue Ridge Caucus politics blog
From The Roanoke Times
Republican U.S. Rep. Robert Hurt easily won a second term Tuesday in the sprawling 5th Congressional District by defeating Democratic challenger John Douglass and Independent Greens candidate Kenneth Hildebrandt.
Regionally, Hurt, 43, a lawyer from Chatham, handily defeated Douglass, a 71-year-old retired Air Force general from Fauquier County, in the counties of Bedford, Franklin and Henry and the city of Bedford.
Hurt reacted Tuesday night to his re-election.
"It's always a good reminder on Election Day of the profound blessings we have in this country," he said. "And it's an honor to be on the ballot and an honor to have the faith of the people of the 5th District for the next two years."
The 5th Congressional District stretches from the Southside Virginia counties that border North Carolina north beyond Charlottesville to include three counties on the outskirts of Northern Virginia that were added after the redistricting that followed the 2010 census.
Douglass first planned to challenge Republican 10th District Congressman Frank Wolf until he learned that redistricting had placed his home in Fauquier County in the 5th District.
Four years ago in the 5th Congressional District race, Democratic challenger Tom Perriello narrowly defeated Republican incumbent Rep. Virgil Goode of Rocky Mount. Perriello served one term and was defeated by Hurt in 2010.
Goode was the presidential nominee this year for the Constitution Party.
After retiring from the Air Force, Douglass served as an assistant secretary of the Navy. He is a former president and chief executive officer of the Aerospace Industries Association, a lobbying group.
Hurt served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 2002 through 2007 and in the Virginia Senate from 2008 through 2010. He also was once a member of the Chatham Town Council.
Hurt began the campaign with name recognition in much of the district from his first term in Congress and time in the Virginia General Assembly. Douglass started from scratch, holding town hall forums and visiting festivals weekly.
According to reports filed through Oct. 17 with the Federal Election Commission, Douglass had raised $980,353 and had $63,778 in cash moving into the campaign's final weeks. Hurt had raised $1.84 million and had $428,887 in cash.
Hurt and Douglass clashed largely along partisan lines during the campaign. The men agreed that job creation was the race's biggest issue but described different approaches to realizing that goal.
Douglass said federal government officials needed to collaborate with state and local officials and business leaders to invest in education, worker retraining and strategies to attract new industries.
In turn, Hurt said "crushing taxes and crushing regulations" made it hard for small businesses and farms to succeed. On Tuesday, he said voters had responded to that message.