This morning Darcy Burner conceded her Congressional race to Dave Reichert. Vote counting reported last night showed Burner now behind by 4727 votes – too wide a margin to make up in the remaining ballots left.
Speaking at a press conference this morning Burner said, “The voters of the 8th District have spoken.” She noted that this “wasn’t an end but a beginning.”
Darcy Burner’s race was a study in running campaigns. She ran an aggressive campaign on the issues, including the Iraq War. Her main liability going in was that she had never run for public office before so she was learning on the job. As McGavick showed though, even running a winning campaign for someone else for the same seat doesn’t guarantee success.
Because Burner had not been involved in politics or other activist campaigns she had to build support from the ground up. And it didn’t help when it turned out she wasn’t exactly a strong voter herself.
A large part of her campaign was spent early on in trying to build credibility among people in her district and among the Democrats. She wisely got involved in establishing contact with and working with Washington state bloggers to increase her name familiarity and exposure to local and national blog readers and the media that read blogs. The blogosphere also helped her raise money.
Her lack of political experience was also one of her assets. She was a fresh face and could not be criticized for taking on a difficult task. She freely spoke her mind and exuded passion. She showed that she could rise to the occasion and became a barnburner in raising money, support and credibility.
Also hitting hard at the end was the usual Republican hit ads that twist the truth and lie about candidates, like saying Burner was for raising taxes on everyone. Her position was to raise the lid on social security taxes and not support tax breaks for millionaires. The truth doesn’t really matter though in attack ads..
Hopefully Burner will stay involved in politics and build on her successes to take Reichert on again in two years. Sometimes it takes more than one election to win. Seeds planted in the 2004 races finally saw fruition this year.
We strongly urge Burner to stay involved in Democratic politics and continue to build her base in the 8th. The Democratic Party needs more candidates like Darcy Burner. The election on Nov 7th was only a beginning as this country tries to undo 6 years of Republican catering to corporate America and neoconservative thinking.