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Sun Gazette: New ‘Progressive Caucus’ to Stay Out of Primary Fights Print

BY Scott McCaffrey

Created:  Friday, July 29, 2011 7:19 AM

The newly formed political-action committee of the Virginia Progressive Caucus will stay out of a number of high-intensity local Democratic primary races, instead focusing its efforts on promoting the candidacies of like-minded candidates in the Nov. 8 general election.

The political-action committee currently is in formation, and will be accepting financial support that will be funneled to candidates of its choosing. It is an offshoot of the Virginia Progressive Caucus, which was founded earlier this year by 21 Democratic members of the General Assembly, mostly in the House of Delegates.

Among them are a number of members from the Sun Gazette coverage area, including Dels. Bob Brink, Mark Keam, Kaye Kory, Ken Plum and James Scott.

The political-action committee does not plan on getting involved in the contentious Democratic primaries in the 30th and 31st state Senate Districts, said Mary P. Dooley, an aide to Del. Patrick Hope (D-47th), who co-founded the caucus.

Hope said that the goal of the new political-action committee was to mobilize a base of core Democratic voters for the general election, which is expected to have a very low turnout statewide.

“Democrats in Virginia have failed to do that in many elections, because progressive voters have struggled to determine who the candidates were that would really stand up and fight for their values,” Hope said. “We hope to see this PAC give voters an additional tool in determining that, as well as providing the financial support to those candidates to help them be elected.”

The political-action committee has no specific fund-raising goals, organizers said.