Virginia's Congressional races are getting a lot of attention of late. Tom Periello has become a darling of the blogosphere for his fight against the backwards Virgil Goode, and Judy Feder has moved her race against Frank Wolf out of "safe Republican" territory. Down in Hampton Roads, Glenn Nye has been gaining attention in his challenge to Karl Rove and George Bush's favorite Virginian, Thelma Drake. And everyone expects the Democrats to pick up the open seat in VA-11 that Tom Davis is leaving.
Meanwhile, down in the 6th District, Sam Rasoul has been working hard, under the radar, to make a difference for his neighbors. Sam is running against Bob Goodlatte, who has held the seat since 1993. This is a reliably Republican district, but Sam Rasoul is the kind of Democrat who has a chance to change its representation. He's a young businessman who has made it a point to knock as many doors as he can (shades of Gary Trauner), and show up at as many events as he can in order to actually meet as many voters as he can and talk to them.
This is the kind of hard work and real voter outreach that makes a difference and changes minds in the long-haul. With his campaign against Bob Goodlatte, Sam is more than fighting for VA-06 in 2008, he's fighting for the Democratic Party in VA-06 in the long-haul. His campaign, for example, has a goal to knock 100,000 doors in a district with fewer than a million voters. That kind of Democratic outreach can make a huge difference in Democratic turnout in November, not to mention 2009 and beyond.
Sam has detailed opinions and plans on a wide range of issues. He is fighting against income inequality, one of the scourges of Virginia's economy. And he has made the case for universal healthcare from a businessman's perspective. These issues resonate in the Valley, and in a year like 2008, with economic insecurity at the top of so many people's minds, Sam's clear thinking on these issues may help him over the top.
There has been very little fanfare for Sam's campaign in the major media, possibly because there has been little to no polling of the race. That does not mean it is not an interesting race to watch. The level of energy and effort being put forth by this unregarded campaign should be commended and considered. In VA-06, Sam Rasoul is still rolling.