- The Washington Times - Monday, November 4, 2002

Frank Creel is running an uphill campaign to unseat Rep. Thomas M. Davis III, one of the most powerful members of Congress.
Mr. Davis has represented Northern Virginia since 1994 and is responsible for electing Republicans nationwide as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Should Republicans retain control of the House, Mr. Davis could become chairman of the powerful Government Reform Committee.
He is so influential and his redrawn congressional district is so overwhelmingly Republican that Democrats have put forth no challenger.
Mr. Creel, a self-described "former Republican," is mounting a underdog campaign as an independent against Mr. Davis.
"I saw the opportunity to take a chance since the Democrats did not field a candidate," said Mr. Creel, 61, of Arlington.
Five of the 11 members of Virginia's congressional delegation Republican Reps. Jo Ann Davis, Ed Schrock, J. Randy Forbes and Robert W. Goodlatte and Democrat Robert C. Scott have no challenger tomorrow.
The entire delegation should to sail to re-election, says the Cook Political Report, a national publication that follows House and Senate races.
Mr. Creel said a victory will bring abortion, gun control and constitutional issues to the forefront.
Mr. Creel is the founder and chief operating officer of NobleCalling Inc., a consulting firm specializing in U.S. politics, international trade and government relations.
He said voters see Mr. Davis as a "career politician who is opportunistic and doesn't have the devotion to principle."
"People have a problem with that," Mr. Creel said. "So somebody had to run."
Mr. Creel, a Vietnam veteran who has not run for office since a student council election in college, says Mr. Davis has moved too far to the political left.
He questions why Mr. Davis is leading a conservative Northern Virginia community when he holds a pro-choice voting record and is advocating passage of the Northern Virginia Transportation referendum.
Mr. Creel opposes the referendum, which would increase the sales tax.
"Richmond has been ripping off Northern Virginia for too long and now they are going to tell us that they are going to graciously allow us to raise our taxes," Mr. Creel said to a group of anti-tax advocates.
Voters in nine Northern Virginia jurisdictions will go to the polls tomorrow to vote on whether to increase the tax by one-half percent to pay for transportation projects to alleviate gridlock.
Supporters such as Mr. Davis, Republican U.S. Sen. John W. Warner and Democratic Gov. Mark R. Warner hope the referendum passes so they can raise nearly $5 billion over the next 20 years to pay for road and transit improvements.
Still, Mr. Creel says he thinks he has a better chance at defeating the referendum than defeating Mr. Davis.
"We're going to win this one," he said. "I mean the tax vote, that is."
Still, Mr. Creel has campaigned diligently.
"Hi, my name is Frank Creel and I am running for Congress against Tom Davis. I am asking for your vote," he told shoppers at the Han Ah Reum International Grocery Store at Route 29 and Gallows Road.
Children swarmed as campaign volunteers inflated big yellow balloons emblazoned with his name.
"Can I have [a balloon] for my son?" asked Taylor Lee, 32, a homemaker from Springfield.
"Sure," said an aide. "Would you like to meet the candidate?"
Mrs. Lee, a mother of two young sons, talked extensively with Mr. Creel mostly about the referendum.
"What will this do to help with public transit, and what do you want to do to improve public transit?" she asked.
Mr. Creel repeated his opposition to the tax, explained that Mr. Davis supported it and said, "Thank you for your time. Whatever you do, vote against the sales tax. It's not good for the area."
Mrs. Lee later said: "I want to be able to take my kids into D.C., and the Metro is not helpful," she said. "Neither are the buses. I don't know how I am going to vote on the tax [referendum], but even though I just met him, he sounds like he would do a good job."
Voter turnout in Virginia is expected to be low, mainly because no big races are on the ballot.
Mr. Creel says this should help him because voters eager to defeat the referendum also will support him.
"I think voter turnout will be approximately 25 percent and so for every voter that stays home on Election Day, that's a net plus for me," he said.

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