Senator-Elect Chap Petersen Endorses Leslie Byrne For Congress
Democratic Party United to Change the 11th District Next Year
In 2005, Chap Petersen and Leslie Byrne both ran for Lt. Governor in the Democratic Primary. Combined they received 89% of the vote in the 11th Congressional District in a four way primary.
Being former primary opponents, some people may be surprised that Chap is supporting Leslie, and certainly so early in the campaign.
Chap’s Statement on why he is endorsing Leslie Byrne for Congress and why now:
“I have known Leslie Byrne for many years. We served together in the Virginia General Assembly. She is a great voice for working families."
"A couple years ago, Leslie and I competed for the Democratic nomination for Lt. Governor. We had some lively debates which was healthy for us and the party. The thing I always respected about Leslie was that she told it straight no matter the audience. She gave the same answer in Halifax that she did in Fairfax. That type of integrity is rare in politics."
"A year later, Leslie and I were two of the first Virginia Democrats to support Jim Webb. Leslie's endorsement gave enormous credibility to Jim's maverick candidacy. It is no exaggeration to say that her leadership at a crucial stage helped turn Virginia and the U.S. Senate blue."
"Leslie is seeking office for all the right reasons. She represents the core principles of the Democratic Party. I am proud to endorse her candidacy for U.S. Congress."
"I wanted to get involved early in this primary because it is very important that the Democratic Party is united as soon as possible in replacing Tom Davis with a voice that represents real change in the 11th Congressional District."
Following Petersen’s statement, Leslie released her comments on this very positive development for her campaign:
"Chap and I got to know each other well during the primary. We came away with a lot of respect for each other. His endorsement means a great deal to me.”
The Democratic Primary will be held on June 10th, 2008.
Background for media: Chap and Leslie are the only two Democrats in Virginia history to defeat Republican incumbents in both houses of the Virginia legislature.