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GOP targets Houck's state Senate seat page 2
Republicans hope to claim Edd Houck's state Senate seat.

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Date published: 9/18/2011


University of Virginia political analyst Larry Sabato pointed out that he has seen TV ads from both campaigns--not something normally done in August, and an indicator that this is going to be a big-money race.

Reeves says there's no doubt his party is strongly supporting his candidacy.

"It's huge. This is a predominantly Republican district," he said in an interview at his campaign office. "It's in the top three races in Virginia, maybe top four. I see no reason why we're not going to take back the majority" in the state Senate.

But he also likes to point to his grass-roots support, noting the $21,411 he has received from 394 people who made contributions of $100 or less. Houck's reports, Reeves notes, show half that from small-money donors, while a lot of Houck's money comes from Richmond lobbyists and corporate PACs, something not unusual for incumbents of either party.

"The majority of our support comes from the grass roots," Reeves said. "Our campaign appeals to mom and pop, those folks who want to see a change."

Reeves has spent the summer traveling the district, knocking on doors, and says everyone wants to talk about one thing: jobs. Everyone knows someone looking for work, someone 30 days from the street, he said. He's embarking on a tour of the district specifically to talk to business people about ways the state government could encourage job creation.

Houck, too, is traveling the district, especially the new portions gained in this year's redistricting process. As a sitting senator, he must balance politicking with representation, he said, and has spent much of the past few weeks helping constituents deal with the fallout from the Louisa earthquake and Hurricane Irene.

"I've spent countless hours in Louisa and in Orange and in Culpeper, not campaigning but helping and working with local governments, the school system, citizens, trying to deal with these natural disaster things that have happened," Houck said. "In the midst of this campaign, I can't stop being a senator and being attuned to constituent service."

Houck says it is clear that Republicans are targeting him, pointing out their hefty donations to his opponent. He has had opponents in each of his seven past elections, Houck said, and is used to defending his record, but this time the attention is a bit different.

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