Wednesday, June 10, 2009

From Hopeful to Humble at the Appreciation Parties

Patrick Hope, right, talks to supporters at his campaign victory party last night. The tally gave Mr. Hope the win in the Democratic primary for the House of Delegates' 47th seat with about 36 percent of the vote. (Click to enlarge the image.)

Early last evening at Miles Grant’s post-campaign party, when campaign volunteer Christopher Gill was “hopeful, but realistically so,” he said, “This is the local McGovern campaign.”

He meant that they may have lost, but they, especially the volunteers, will continue.

“The mere fact of trying creates a positive effect,” Mr. Gill said. He and other volunteers met for one last campaign party at Union Jack’s English pub in the Ballston Commons Mall.

The five Democrats ran to replace Al Eisenberg, pictured at Patrick Hope's victory party last night. The three-term delegate is not running for a fourth. (Click to enlarge the image.)

Although their candidate took fourth place in the five-way Democratic primary in the House of Delegates race, many of the volunteers who stopped to mingle over hors d'oeuvre and drinks said the experience was a good one and that they would continue with other activities, maybe even try for office themselves.

“We had a great campaign,” running on important issues like environmental action and equal rights for all Mr. Grant said in a brief interview at the pub. “I’m just happy to be drinking my first beer since being a candidate.”

At his campaign party, Andres Tobar told a few gathered in a north Arlington living room, “I didn’t make it...I just wanted to thank you so much.”

He said Patrick Hope would take the fight for the House of Delegate’s 47th seat to the November election. “I’m very delighted with his victory.”

Mr. Tobar, who came in fifth place, left his own party to go to congratulate Mr. Hope at his.

The scene at the home of Mr. Hope's campaign chair was decidedly more upbeat as party-goers, some of the elite from the Arlington political scene, including Al Eisenberg, the incumbent who is stepping down after six years in the House of Delegates.

Andres Tobar gives Patrick Hope a congratulatory hug after the election results came in Tuesday evening. (Click to enlarge the image.)

“You have supported so many great people over the years,” Mr. Eisenberg said.

“Including you, Al!” another person yelled.

Mr. Eisenberg’s wife, Sharon Davis, picked up the speech from there, “We’ll work with Patrick to make a smooth transition next year.”

Miles Grant campaign volunteer Christopher Gill checks early poll results with another volunteer at Union Jack's English Pub last night. (Click to enlarge the image.)

Ted Bilich, a donor to Mr. Hope’s campaign and a supporter from Ashton Heights, said, “This is exciting. I think he’ll be good for our district.”

For his part, Mr. Hope, looking tired, and hot, and a little overwhelmed, said, “It’s still such a shock.”

“I’m looking forward to a lot of work,” he said, and was thankful for all the support. “I’m relieved, but I’m also very humble.”

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