Saturday, December 7, 2013

Sam Rasoul Surprise Winner in Primary

Sam Rasoul at the Civic Center this morning.
A couple of weeks ago a neighborhood activist with a good handle on city politics told me that my support of Sam Rasoul for the 11th District House seat in the Virginia General Assembly was a waste of time. "He won't get 1 percent of the vote and I'll bet you on that," he said.

I didn't take the bet because the only bet I've ever accepted, I lost (on a comeback by a football team that defied all logic). Sam won today and, frankly, even I am surprised because I was at the Civic Center to vote this a.m. and the crowd looked heavily tilted to South Roanoke and David Trinkle, the vice mayor of Roanoke. David's well known, successful, well liked, intelligent and progressive. He's also defeated tonight by a guy who outworked him.

Sam and I talked a few weeks ago, shortly after Onzlee Ware announced his resignation, about his prospects over a cup of tea at Panera Bread and I saw a light in his eyes that said, "Possibilities." I knew he would work. I had a strong feeling that people in Roanoke's minority and blue collar neighborhoods would adore him, even with the entrance into the race of the estimable Trish White-Boyd, an African-American professional woman with a lot of party chits to call in. I see her on City Council soon.

Congratulations, Sam. Don't look at the next round as a formality because even though your opponent is a Republican in a heavily-democratic city (designed that way by the Repubs), she has held elective office and knows how to win. But my guess is Sam will work his ass off and then be an outstanding representative in Richmond for the next few years. I see a political career with few limits just beginning.


  1. I love the comments on Blue Virginia that said Sam would never win and if he did it would be a disaster for the Democrats. Sorry, but tonight I get to have a "stick-out-my-tongue-and-go-pppbbbtttttt" moment. Go Sam!

  2. Dan, Sam also came to me before Onzlee's resignation was even announced. I think he came to many others (noting Joe Cobb's letter to the editor). He did the same thing in 2006. I told him then that he didn't have a chance to beat Bob Goodlatte. I didn't tell him that this time, and I gave him my support because I think he will do a great job for Roanoke. You are right about the reason he won - hard work and talking to the right people (not me so much, but the people in the district who voted for him). I was not surprised that he won.