Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Ray of Hope for the 9th District House Seat

Anthony Flaccavento
For those of us still bemoaning the disastrous loss of two of the most effective, honest and courageous representatives in the U.S. House of Representatives in the last election cycle--Tom Perriello and long-serving Rick Boucher--a glimmer of light just appeared on the horizon from Abingdon.

A man named Anthony Flaccavento is running for the 9th District seat bought by Morgan Griffith, who didn't think enough of the district to live in it while running to represent it, but had plenty of Koch Brothers moolah to make the purchase. Griffith is the immobile hard-right idealogue whose career has been marked by party splinter group first, party second, personal ambition third and everything else down the line. His contributions to the 9th District's quality of life during his reign can't be scored because one cannot score nothing.

Flaccavento has been described as a pragmatist who works for the people he would represent. He is an environmentalist, an economic developer and a job creator (something Griffith talks about, but ends his involvement there). The challenger's primary activity is to connect farmers and small ag businesses with markets and resources. He has worked with tobacco farmers to help them find sustainable alternatives for that hateful crop. He understands rural Virginia and its unique needs.

His work has involved housing, food, farming, sustainable forestry and coal field reclamation. He has actually lived in the district--how novel--since 1985, so one would surmise he has an interest in it other than self-promotion.

Flaccavento is prepared for the Republican noise machine to crank up the volume in order to keep the seat. He was quoted in the New River Voice* as saying, "I know there will be a misinformation campaign against me, but I think the core of what I’ve been trying to do my whole life – which is practical movement towards a better economy and better communities – will resonate with a lot people." Here's that story, which gives a good bit of background on the 9th's Next Best Hope.

(Photo: New River Voice. *I'm on the editorial board of the Voice.)


  1. The Roanoke Times is shedding reporters at a furious pace. Will there be anyone left to cover the election and give this guy (who sounds like the ideal replacement for Moran Griffith) and anyone else in the race? Does the Democratic Party have any interest in getting the 9th District back in the fold and will it put any money in the race or has it conceded it to the money party? The last race was disgusting and it would be nice to see Griffith removed from any office with his tail between his legs.

  2. The dems have given up on this one before it even starts because they are and always have been intimidated by the Griffith ilk. All you have to do to beat him is to reveal his record, something he goes to great, great lengths to avoid. Fact is that the 9th has no representative in the House. He brings nothing back (same as when he was in Richmond; no accomplishments). I think the guy running against him can win, but he'll have to do it w/o the party, whose priorities are upside down. As for The Times, forget it. In the best of times, The Times does not do well with coverage of local representatives. Else Griffith would have been defeated long ago by an outraged electorate.