The Washington Post

Del. Patrick Hope falls, breaks ribs during door-to-door campaigning Sunday

Falling down 10 steps, breaking and fracturing several ribs and suffering “some pretty ugly bruising” are not enough, apparently, to suspend campaigning for the day for state Del. Patrick Hope (D-Arlington).

Hope, one of seven Democrats vying to win the June 10 primary for the congressional seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. James Moran, tripped and fell on an exterior staircase Sunday while going door-to-door in the Woodlawn area of Fairfax County, near Mount Vernon.

Despite pain in his ribs, he knocked on two more doors and left flyers until he agreed to go to Virginia Hospital Center for treatment, said campaign aide Benjamin Tribbett. There he found he had broken one rib and fractured others. Physicians there gave him painkillers, a rib belt and prescribed rest.

Three hours later, Hope, a health-care attorney and lobbyist for the American College of Cardiology, turned the injury into a talking point.

“While I was in the hospital waiting for x-rays, I had some time to think about this injury,” he said in a press release. “There are around 84,000 residents of the 8th Congressional District who do not have insurance. In fact, many of them live near Route 1 in Fairfax County where I was door knocking. What would they have done if they suffered a similar injury? Many of them may have chosen not to go to a hospital and waited to see if the injury would heal on its own.... Those that did go to a hospital would likely have been unable to pay for their care- and those costs would be passed on to all of us with increased premiums. That’s why I have said my first bill in Congress will be one to take in the 20,000,000-plus Americans that will be uninsured even after Obamacare is fully implemented so that every American will have health care.”

Hope, who previously survived several ankle sprains and a dog bite, had been trying to visit every precinct in Virginia’s 8th congressional district, which covers Alexandria, Falls Church, Arlington County and part of Fairfax County. With 13 days left before the primary, his campaign will have to abandon that strategy.

Other candidates in the primary race are Don Beyer, Adam Ebbin, Bill Euille, Lavern Chatman, Derek Hyra and Mark Levine.

The last voter forum scheduled before the primary is set for Friday evening at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

Patricia Sullivan covers government, politics and other regional issues in Arlington County and Alexandria. She worked in Illinois, Florida, Montana and California before joining the Post in November 2001.

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