UVA prof running to beat Goode in ‘08
Since first winning election in 1996, Rep. Virgil Goode (R) has proven an unbeatable incumbent, easily winning re-election in each of his last five campaigns. Now, a UVA professor believes he's the man who can prevent it from becoming six.
Today, history professor David Shreve tells the Hook, "I am seeking the Democratic party nomination in the Fifth District."
A scholar specializing in fiscal and monetary policy, Shreve says he's in the race because of what he sees as a class disparity along geographic lines. "In the southern regions they've got some serious economic problems," he says, "I think I'm the man to tackle them."
Fred Hudson, chair of the Fifth District Democratic Party, says Shreve has impressed him so far. "Dave is a very attractive candidate," he says, "He's very articulate, he's got a lot of time he can devote to this type of process, and he is a very, very good Democrat, all of which add up to being a very strong candidate for the nomination."
Hudson also disclosed that Brydon Jackson of Pittsylvania County has officially expressed his interest in the nomination to the Fifth District Democratic Committee. After a career in law enforcement, Jackson is now the Director of Operations for the Danville branch of NSR Solutions, an IT services provider. Jackson was not immediately available for comment at the time of this post, except to say that, "I'm in the exploratory phase right now."
Should Shreve ultimately win the nomination, the task of unseating Goode is a tall one, especially considering how other Charlottesville-area Democrats have recently fared in this largely rural district. In the three times Goode has run as a Republican (he was elected as a Democrat, and ran as an independent in 2000) he soundly defeated former Charlottesville city counselor Meredith Richards in 2002 with 64 percent of the vote, he won by the same margin in 2004 against Nelson businessman Al Weed, and again defeated Weed in 2006, this time with 59 percent.
Asked if he's concerned about nominating another Charlottesville area candidate, Hudson says that, "The answer to that question is yes, but at the same time we're looking for the strongest candidate who can represent the values of the Democratic party throughout the district."
Currently, Shreve says he's in the process of leaving UVA to edit a book for the National Governors Association in celebration of that organization's centennial. He says working from home has allowed him time to travel the district and speak with other Democrats. "I am actively shooting for the nomination," he says, "and I hope in the next few months to cultivate a broad base of support."
Shreve grew up in Louisiana and earned his Ph.D. from Louisiana State University in 1995. He came to the University of Virginia in 1999 to teach and to work as an editor on the Miller Center of Public Affairs Presidential Recordings Project. In his time in Charlottesville, Shreve has worked as a consultant to the Virginia Organizing Project, a group that is "dedicated to challenging injustice by empowering people in local communities to address issues that affect the quality of their lives." In that capacity, Shreve penned an essay published in the Hook on January 26, 2006 entitled "Back to school: Support state sales tax break."