- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 8, 2000

RICHMOND Republican challenger George F. Allen last night defeated Sen. Charles S. Robb of Virginia, denying him a third term and delivering to the GOP the last statewide office held by a Democrat.

Mr. Allen rolled up 52 percent of the vote to Mr. Robb's 48 percent, with about 94 percent of precincts reporting.

"Tonight, my friends, we begin moving forward and it sure is sweet," Mr. Allen told a packed ballroom at the Richmond Marriott just after 9:30 p.m.

"The people of Virginia have spoken, and they've endorsed our positive, constructive vision for the future, and I can't wait to go to work for the hard-working, tax-paying families, individuals and enterprises in the Commonwealth of Virginia and America."

The Republican trend in Virginia carried over to the House of Representatives as Edward L. Schrock defeated Democrat Jody M. Wagner in the fight for a seat vacated by a Democrat. Republicans filled two other seats vacated by members of their party.

The results tipped Virginia's House delegation to the GOP, with six Republicans, four Democrats and one independent, former Democrat Virgil I. Goode Jr., who will caucus with Republicans.

Northern Virginia returned all three of its incumbents to the House. With most precincts reporting, Republicans Thomas M. Davis III in the 11th District and Frank R. Wolf in the 10th District claimed 62 percent and 84 percent of the vote, respectively. Democrat James P. Moran in the 8th District garnered 63 percent.

In Maryland, voters returned all eight incumbents to the House. Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes, a Democrat, won a fifth term by handily defeating Republican Paul H. Rappaport with 61 percent of the vote and most precincts reporting.

Maryland's liveliest House race was in the 8th District, encompassing most of Montgomery County. Republican incumbent Constance A. Morella won a close race with Democratic challenger Terry Lierman, taking 52 percent of the vote in her bid for an eighth term.

Also in Montgomery County, 55 percent of voters rejected a ballot question that would have imposed term limits on county officials.

In Prince George's County, voters overwhelmingly refused to repeal term limits for the county executive and members of the County Council.

The District's restructured school board will be headed by Peggy Cooper Cafritz, who beat an incumbent, the Rev. Robert G. Childs, for the president's seat with 54 percent of the vote. She was backed by Mayor Anthony A. Williams.

Incumbent Democrats on the D.C. Council easily won re-election in contested races: Kevin Chavous in Ward 7, Jack Evans in Ward 2, Sandy Allen in Ward 8 and Harold Brazil in one of two at-large races. Another council incumbent, Republican Carol Schwartz, handily claimed the second at-large seat in the six-candidate race.

In Ward 4, Democrat Adrian Fenty, who defeated council veteran Charlene Drew Jarvis in the Sept. 12 primary, rolled up a huge win over opponent Renee Bowser.

Mr. Allen, 48, a former governor, never trailed in the polls throughout the Senate race in Virginia. A win by Mr. Robb, 61, would have been the bigger surprise.

Mr. Allen's victory handed the incumbent his first defeat in five runs for Virginia office, beginning with his 1977 run for lieutenant governor. Mr. Robb won the governorship in 1981 and his Senate seat in 1988.

"I am very, very grateful to all of you, and I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to serve this great commonwealth for the better part of the last quarter century," Mr. Robb said in his concession speech.

Mr. Robb, surrounded by his family at the McLean Hilton just after 9 p.m., said he told Mr. Allen he would work with him to ensure a smooth transition of power.

In 1994, Mr. Robb won re-election by beating Iran-Contra figure Oliver North by about 3 percent, aided by overwhelming support from blacks and a split vote from Republicans. Some voted for independent J. Marshall Coleman, a former Republican state attorney general who ran as an alternative to Mr. North.

Mr. Robb was pegged as the most vulnerable incumbent Democratic senator in the nation. The state Democratic Party pumped about $6 million into the campaign, with most of that coming from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Republicans were just as eager to capitalize on his position. The state party spent about $8 million, much of that from its own senatorial campaign committee.

Interest groups weighed in with their own televisions ads, ranging from abortion rights supporters, the Sierra Club, gun-control advocates and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People on Mr. Robb's side to the National Rifle Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for Mr. Allen.

Mr. Allen raised about $10 million, Mr. Robb about $8 million.

The two candidates presented voters with a real choice, especially on fiscal matters.

Mr. Robb always has claimed the ground of fiscal responsibility, saying his first priority is to balance the budget. He said he supports targeted tax cuts, but they weren't a priority.

Mr. Allen, meanwhile, is a tax-cutter to the core. But he also is a budget-watcher and a die-hard enemy of waste.

The centerpiece of Mr. Allen's campaign was a tax break for education costs. He proposed to give families a tax credit which comes off the bottom line of the tax bill up to $1,000 per child for as many as two children, for expenses such as tutoring and supplies such as computers or books.

Mr. Allen touted it as mixing three of his biggest priorities tax cuts, education and parental control. Mr. Robb slammed it as a tax cut, not an education plan. He said the money would be better spent by the government.

The two-term incumbent ran on the basic Democratic platform of including a prescription drug plan in Medicare and supporting environmental protection, civil rights laws and abortion rights.

In Maryland's 8th District race, Mr. Lierman tried to topple Mrs. Morella, who as a popular Republican is something of an anomaly for the Democratic-leaning district. A health-care entrepreneur and lobbyist, he spent millions from his own pocket on television ads arguing that she had helped conservatives thwart liberal priorities.

Mrs. Morella's centrist-to-liberal voting record earned her more than 60 percent of the vote in seven elections.

Mrs. Morella said the contest the most expensive House race in Maryland's history was a watershed event. She said she spent about $900,000 to Mr. Lierman's $2.3 million.

With most votes tallied in Virginia's House races, Republican Eric I. Cantor took 67 percent of the vote to fill the seat of retiring Republican Thomas J. Bliley Jr. in the 7th District.

Jo Ann S. Davis claimed the 1st District seat with 58 percent to become the first Republican congresswoman from Virginia. She succeeds Rep. Herbert H. Bateman, a Republican who announced his retirement last year and then died in late summer.

"I'm just excited, really excited," she said last night. "The people here are just great. The people came through. We just stayed positive and stayed on course."

In the race that tipped the balance of Virginia's House delegation from even to Republican, Mr. Schrock defeated Ms. Wagner, a Democrat, with 52 percent of the vote for the seat of retiring Rep. Owen B. Pickett, a Democrat.

In the 5th District, Mr. Goode, who defected from the Democrats to become an independent, beat underfunded Democratic challenger John W. Boyd Jr. with 67 percent. Other House incumbents in Virginia won re-election.

Virginia voters also approved an amendment to the state constitution that requires money from the state lottery to go to education, and approved an amendment that guarantees the right to hunt, fish and harvest game, subject only to laws enacted by the General Assembly. The measures passed with 83 percent and 60 percent of the vote, respectively.

• Jabeen Bhatti, Daniel F. Drummond, Margie Hyslop and Clarence Williams contributed to this article.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide