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Elections of years past: Virginia Congressional elections of 2001 and 2004

We're looking back at two women making Congressional runs in the early 2000s.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — There are two more Virginia elections to look back on ahead of the midterms this November.

13News Now has been digging into the Vault to find election coverage from the past all month long. Today, we’re looking back at two women making Congressional runs in the early 2000s.

The first was in 2001, when a special election happened that June. Nine-term Congressman Norman Sisisky died of lung cancer earlier that year, leaving the seat in Virginia’s 4th District vacant.

Republican State Senator and Chesapeake native Randy Forbes would make his first run for Congress, winning the 4th with 52% of the vote. He would hold onto the seat for 16 years.

Despite losing the election, his opponent also remains a local household name - known as one of the most recognized and outspoken members of the state senate to this day - State Senator Louise Lucas.

It would be Lucas’ last attempt at a Congressional seat, but the Portsmouth native has had a legendary political career spanning more than four decades.

Fast forward three years to 2004, and another well-known name would make a run for the House of Representatives. This time, it was in Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District.

Longtime Republican Delegate Thelma Drake was the party’s choice when incumbent Ed Shrock abruptly ended his re-election campaign.

She only had 60 days to campaign, but still managed to pull off a win against Democrat and Iraq war veteran David Ashe.

When she took office in 2005, Drake became the third woman to represent Virginia in Congress.

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