Meet E. Wayne Powell, a Democrat running for the Democratic nomination to challenge Eric Cantor for Virginia's 7th Congressional DIstrict House seat. I am convinced that Powell is the kind of serious candidate with the potential to mount a powerful campaign against Eric Cantor.
Powell's education and experience—especially his service in the military—make him exceptionally well equipped to face Cantor. Cantor may be more vulnerable in 2012 than he has ever been before. The debt ceiling talks moved Cantor into the national spotlight and highlighted Cantor's irresponsible partisanship and reckless disregard of what is best for the nation. The 2012 elections may be the best opportunity we have to defeat Cantor, or at the very least present him with a serious challenge that will weaken his ability to help Republican candidates nationwide.
Historically, because the 7th Congressional District has been seen as unwinnable for Democrats, the 7th District race has attracted "protest" candidates that did not run serious campaigns and did not present Eric Cantor with genuine challenges. These "protest" candidates have run for a variety of reasons: self-promotion, promotion of beliefs outside the mainstream Democratic Party, or as a token candidate simply to have a name on the ballot without actually conducting a full-scale campaign. Powell is something very different: he is organized and is mounting a serious campaign aimed at hitting Cantor in the areas where he is weakest.
In past campaigns in Virginia's 7th District, Democratic campaigns against Cantor were not started until the month of May in the year of the campaign, just five months before the election. A campaign might acquire some borrowed office space by the end of September, and by the first Tuesday in November, the campaign would be over and Cantor safely re-elected. We are now fourteen months out from the November 2012 election and Powell has hit the ground running. On July 24, 2011, Wayne Powell opened his campaign headquarters--a full fifteen months before the election! Powell already has the support of dozens of local activists in the 7th district.
In the days and weeks to come, Powell is going to begin a dialogue on this site about his candidacy. In the meantime, on behalf oh his campaign, I would like to invite you to check out E. Wayne Powell for yourselves. Read his biography, follow his news page, and "like" his campaign's Facebook page. Because of Eric Cantor's high profile and role within the Republican leadership, this is necessarily going to be a national campaign that draws on supporters from across the nation. I hope you will join us as we move forward with this challenge to Eric Cantor.