Feder Gets Early Start In 2nd Bid Against Wolf

By Sandhya Somashekhar
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Democrat Judy Feder, the dean of Georgetown University's Public Policy Institute who made a strong challenge to U.S. Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.) in last year's election, said yesterday that she will run again in 2008.

Feder raised more than $1.5 million last year in her campaign against Wolf, a 14-term incumbent with a loyal constituency in Virginia's 10th District. Although Wolf won with a solid 57 percent of the vote, it was a smaller margin than in previous elections, and Feder forced him to defend many of his positions.

Heartened by her relative success, Feder said she decided to declare her candidacy for the 2008 race early. She filed her papers in December but accidentally filed them again May 25, she said.

"We came out from nowhere and brought [Wolf] to a level he'd never been before," said Feder, a McLean resident. "This time, I'm able to build on all the work we did last time."

Feder said she has many reasons to believe her run will be more successful this time, including her early start and the name recognition she earned in the 2006 race. She also hopes to gain a boost from voters drawn to the polls by the presidential election and by an electorate that has grown friendlier to Democrats in recent years.

Still, she faces an uphill battle against a popular incumbent in a Republican-leaning district who has spent the past 25 years building a record that includes securing money for Metro, fighting gang violence and championing human rights around the world.

Wolf, of Vienna, is also known for his support of historic preservation and anti-sprawl efforts. He has been one of the most vocal opponents of a high-voltage power line planned for rural Northern Virginia. Last year, Feder hammered Wolf on his support for President Bush and the Iraq war. She said yesterday that she will continue to preach her message that "the nation is headed in the wrong direction."

The 10th District includes Clarke, Frederick, Loudoun and Warren counties and parts of Fairfax, Fauquier and Prince William counties. It also includes the cities of Manassas, Manassas Park and Winchester.

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