It is with great sadness that I report that my friend Matthew Berry lost his primary to Patrick Murray. Berry had 6,651 (48.25%) to Murray’s 7,133 (51.74%).
Noting that this “is the only district in Virginia that has had a contested Republican primary in the last three congressional elections“, Michael Barone finds that turnout was way up:
Turnout in 2006 was 4,409 and turnout in 2008 was 5,863. Turnout in Tuesday’s primary, with 2 of 156 precincts yet to report, was 13,531. In other words, more than double 2008 and triple 2006; and more than both put together. Another indicator of Republican enthusiasm this year.
One thing which may have helped Murray was that he had Mike Lane running his campaign. Mike was the last Republican elected in Arlington County. And his successful campaign was the last Virginia campaign I worked on. We won a special for County Board in April 1999, largely on our Get Out the Vote (GOTV) operation. Mike knows a lot about GOTV and my sense is that’s what put his candidate over the top.
While Matthew won Arlington and Alexandria, Murray racked up big margins in the Falls Church City and the Fairfax County portions of the district. Murray may owe some of his margin to efforts in some socially conservative evangelical churches to encourage their parishioners to vote against the gay candidate.
Matthew did run a great campaign and it must be heartbreaking to lose so narrowly. My thoughts are with that good man at this difficult time.