Virginia's 1st congressional district election, 2008

Virginia's 1st congressional district election, 2008
Virginia's 1st congressional district election, 2008
2007 ←
→ 2010

  Rob Wittman.jpg Replace this image male.svg
Nominee Rob Wittman Bill Day
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 203,839 150,452
Percentage 56.6% 41.8%

VA 1st Congressional District.png

Representative before election

Rob Wittman

Elected Representative

Rob Wittman

The Virginia 1st congressional district election, 2008 was held on November 4, 2008, the same day as the United States presidential election, 2008. The candidates appeared on Cathy Lewis' TV program, What Matters, on October 15.[1] The candidates held a spirited and well-attended[2] debate on October 22 in which differing opinions on health care and the economy played a central role. Wittman defended his vote against the bailout package, while Day said he would have voted for it, and Larson said that it would have been better for the economy if the banks had been allowed to fail. On Medicare, Wittman advocated restructuring the system, while Day argued for expanding it and Larson shocked the audience by calling for its abolition.[3][4] Wittman won the election.[5]




Incumbent Rob Wittman is the Republican nominee.[6] A Westmoreland County resident, former State Board of Health field director for the Division of Shellfish Sanitation and past member of the Virginia House of Delegates,[7] he has only held the seat since January 2008, having won the Virginia's 1st congressional district special election, 2007 to succeed deceased Congresswoman Jo Ann Davis. He has taken up many of her causes, including the FairTax, veterans' interests and getting rid of the remainder of the ghost fleet stationed at the James River.[8][9][10] Like Davis, he is also introducing legislation to allow Virginia to regulate the importation of trash from other states.[11]


Bill Day was the Democratic nominee.[12] He previously ran for Virginia Delegate representing the 31st District, losing to Scott Lingamfelter[13] by a close margin of 45% to 55%, one of the best showings from a Democrat in the heavily republican district.[14]

Day earned a bachelor's degree in construction from Arizona State University in 1974, an MBA from Harvard in 1983, and a master's degree in counseling from West Virginia State University in 1991. He resides in Fauquier County where he worked as a mental health counselor. Day is very active in the community, and has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity in both Fauquier and Prince William County, and Mend A House in Prince William County. Day is an advocate of energy independence and renewable energy technologies. [15]

The Democratic Party of Virginia held its convention on May 17 in Williamsburg, Virginia and selected Keith Hummel, the only person running for the Democratic nomination at the time. Only four votes were cast to not nominate anyone.[16] A Westmoreland County physician and self-described "populist Democrat", Hummel also operates a farm and winery. The issues he was running on included enacting trade and tax policies to protect American jobs and American interests (rather than those of a few multinational corporations); using the military for defense rather than offensively; providing better health care and other benefits to veterans; and universal health care.[17].


Anarcho-capitalist Catlett resident Nathan Larson filed a declaration of candidacy on May 7, and was certified for the ballot on June 6. He was nominated by the Libertarian Party 1st Congressional District Convention on June 3[18][19] and endorsed by the Independent Greens of Virginia on June 12.[20] The main issues he is running on are free market roads and transit privatization,[21] which he believes are the solution to DC Metropolitan area traffic congestion, recently ranked the second-worst in the country.[22] He supports auctioning off the Interstate Highway System and rail systems such as Amtrak to private investors.[23] According to Larson, entrepreneurs wishing to build new roads and railways could obtain the necessary contiguous land parcels without invoking eminent domain. He says this could be done through dummy purchasers, option contracts and other devices commonly used by private sector developers.[24][25] Larson seeks to dissolve the U.S. military and establish a competitive market for defense services.[26] Prior to his campaign, Larson was a student senator and cannabis reform activist at George Mason University.[27][28]


US House election, 2008: Virginia District 1
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Robert J. Wittman 203,839 56.57
Democratic Bill S. Day 150,432 41.75
Libertarian Nathan D. Larson 5,265 1.46
Turnout 360,292 72.06
Republican hold Swing

See also


  1. ^ Conversation with the Congressional Candidates, What Matters, October 15, 2008, 
  2. ^
  3. ^,0,3738147.story
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Rob Wittman for Congress
  7. ^,0,4378561.storyhe
  8. ^ The Online Office of Congressman Rob Wittman - Ghost Fleet
  9. ^ The Online Office of Congressman Rob Wittman - Taxes & Economy
  10. ^ The Online Office of Congressman Rob Wittman - Veterans
  11. ^ - Wittman's bill looks at out-of-state trash
  12. ^ Bill Day Announcement Fred2Blue
  13. ^ Day for Delegate 2007 house of delegates campaign website
  14. ^ Virginia Public Access Project Virginia Public Access Project
  15. ^ Bill Day for Congress 2008 official campaign website
  16. ^ Democratic Party of Virginia | Event | Meeting, 1st Congressional District Democratic Committee
  17. ^ Hummel for Congress official campaign website
  18. ^
  19. ^ Virginia State Board of Elections : CandidatesList-Results
  20. ^ Third Party Watch » Blog Archive » Independent Greens congrats to Nathan Larson for making ballot for Congress
  21. ^
  22. ^ Mummolo, Jonathan (September 19, 2007). "A Ranking Writ In Brake Lights: D.C. 2nd in Traffic". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 27, 2010. 
  23. ^ Transportation - Larson2008
  24. ^ Nathan Larson to run very active Libertarian campaign for Congress in Virginia’s 1st district
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^ LPVA - News
  28. ^ Grievance filed over marijuana bill

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