<bt>Republican Jim Dillard will go into his 31st year in office next year after winning a decisive victory against two challengers for the 41st District House of Delegates seat. Dillard got 58.2 percent of the vote while his closest rival, independent candidate Michael Golden got 25.23 percent. John Wolfe, another independent, claimed 8.5 percent of the vote.
"When you get right down to it, it was pretty much a slam dunk and a rejection of this right-wing extremism and this simplistic solutions," said Dillard.
Conservatives, including Golden, he added, "didn't have a clue of what the situation was down there [in Richmond]."
Throughout the campaigning, Golden criticized Dillard for his willingness to raise taxes, casting himself as a taxpayer advocate who would hold the line against state revenue increases. Wolfe campaigned on his frustration at Richmond's perceived lack of support for Northern Virginia.
Golden said he wasn't disappointed with his showing, adding that his race was a "foundation-building exercise."
He said he would consider running again next election.
"I'm committed to this," he said. "There are a lot of Republicans who really, really wanted to support my candidacy."
Although he ran as an independent, Golden said he would probably try to run as a Republican next time.
John Wolfe could not be reached for comment.
Dillard said he would continue advocating for more school funding. He has set himself against the more hard-line conservatives in his party, calling for increases in taxes to finance the state's obligations.
"I'm going to keep doing what I've been doing and that is to try and protect education funding," he said. "That's going to be difficult because of the shortfall that we're facing."