Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

November 7, 2012

Griffith re-elected in Va.’s ‘Fightin’ Ninth’

By BILL ARCHER
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD, Va. — The coalfields of Southwest Virginia sent a strong message via the ballot boxes on Tuesday, re-electing incumbent U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Va., to another two-year term in the House of Representatives with the kind of margin of victory similar to the kind of numbers that former Congressman Rick Boucher enjoyed from the Democrat-dominated “Fightin’ Ninth.”

Griffith defeated political newcomer, Washington County, Va., farm owner/business entrepreneur Anthony Flaccavento, by a 179,871 to 113,256 vote margin, in unofficial, pre-canvassed vote totals. Griffith’s win was 61.30 percent to 38.60 percent with all 374 precincts reporting — a victory that was closer to the kind of victory margins that Boucher posted through his long tenure in office.

“I’m tired right now,” Griffith said in a telephone interview before he went to his victory party at the Holiday Inn at Bristol, Va. “It is very gratifying to receive the support of the people of the Ninth Congressional District.”

When he ran in 2010, Griffith pledged his solid support to the coal industry, and strengthened that alliance during the 2012 campaign.

“It clearly helped,” Griffith said of his support from the coal industry. “I think the race in Virginia will be close, but in the end, I think the support from the coalfields helped Gov. (Mitt) Romney and Sen. (George) Allen. Historically, the coalfields of Virginia have been solidly behind the Democrat Party, but that is not the case in this election.”

Griffith said that the message he will carry with him when he returns to Washington, D.C., is that people “want their government to help businesses create jobs without unnecessary federal policies,” he said. “I worked to help businesses create jobs during my first term, and I plan to do the same this term,” he said.

Flaccavento’s campaign communications Director Dave Miranda, said Flaccavento will issue a statement today.

— Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.com