Virginia – 2nd District

Democrat Candidate Funds On Hand Recent Poll Phil Kellam $517,000 45% Republican Thelma Drake $708,000 42%

In 2004, Freshman Republican Thelma Drake replaced retiring Republican Ed Schrock with a modest 55%. This year she faces a serious challenge from Phil Kellam, a well-known elected official from Virginia Beach. Since the beginning of the year this race has gone from a safe Republican hold to a genuine battle. The Cook Political Report ranks this race a “TossUp.” The District Surrounded by the Chesapeake Bay and the ocean, the 2nd District is comprised of portions of Norfolk and Hampton, and Virginia’s Eastern Shore, but the majority of its population lives in Virginia Beach. It includes beach communities and large numbers of U.S. Navy personnel. In 2004, as it sent Drake to Congress by a 30,000-vote margin, it also supported Bush by a 40,000-vote margin. However, it’s not impossible territory for Democrats; Tim Kaine won this district in his successful 2005 race for Governor. About Phil Kellam Kellam has deep local roots – his father was a judge, and the family’s tradition of public service is reflected in Virginia Beach’s Kellam High School, named for the candidate’s uncle. Phil Kellam has won three elections as Virginia Beach Commissioner of Revenue, focusing on improving efficiency and responsiveness in local government. In Congress, he promises to stress “security, efficiency, opportunity, accountability and personal responsibility.” He’s also focusing on gas prices, veterans’ benefits and ethics. About Thelma Drake A former member of the state House of delegates, Drake received substantial support from Washington’s Republican establishment in her first race and in this cycle. An across-the-line conservative, Drake favors ending progressive taxation, increasing offshore oil drilling, and Bush’s Social Security agenda. She votes 98% of the time with GOP leadership, and she has been rewarded with fundraisers featuring Dick Cheney and Laura Bush. Fundraising and Polling Drake has raised $1.4 million this cycle, more than 60% of which is from party committees and PACs. She retains $708,000 on hand. Kellam is a competitive fundraiser; he has brought in $730,000, of which more than 70% comes from individuals. He retains $517,000 on hand. Kellam has significant polling momentum. He was behind in March but tied by April, and in a July internal poll, Kellam actually led the incumbent 45-42. Sources:,,,
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