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And now, Philadelphia: Northern Va. Democrats ready to nominate Clinton-Kaine ticket

With Donald Trump now the official presidential nominee of the Republican party, politicos have shifted their focus to Philadelphia, where a largely unified Democratic party is set to nominate Hillary Clinton for president this week.

For Virginia, the presidential contest just got expressly more intriguing with Clinton's selection of Sen. Tim Kaine as her running mate.

A cadre of Democratic office holders from Virginia — and Northern Virginia, in particular— will be on hand in the City of Brotherly Love, including delegates Mark Herring, the attorney general and a Leesburg resident; state Sen. Barbara Favola (D-31st); and Loudoun County Supervisor Koran Saines (D-Sterling).

Virginia is once again a pivotal battleground state, and Loudoun County — with its expanding and politically diverse electorate — is one of the keys to winning Old Dominion.

Herring touched on Old Dominion’s significance in an email exchange with the Times-Mirror.

“We’ve seen for a few election cycles now that the road to the White House runs right through Virginia and I think it’ll be the same case this time. We are a state that both parties want to win and we’ll see a lot of both candidates and campaigns between now and the fall,” Herring noted. “I’ve been fortunate to run and win in Loudoun, and I’ve always found that Loudoun voters, like Virginia voters, are practical, pragmatic people who want you to earn their support with a positive vision of how you can make their lives better.”

State and national polls show a tightening race in recent weeks. While Clinton once possessed a comfortable national lead nearing double digits, she now holds a razor-thin edge. The latest Real Clear Politics average of prominent national polls shows Clinton ahead of Trump by 1.9 percentage points — one month ago, the margin was 5.9 points.

The Democrat’s dip in the polls came shortly after FBI Director James Comey issued a statement on the bureau’s investigation into Clinton’s usage of personal servers during her time as secretary of state. While Comey did not recommend criminal charges against Clinton, he said her department was “extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information” — something Republicans have been highlighting on a daily basis.

State Sen. Favola, speaking on Clinton’s controversies and questions about her judgment — from the email server to her time as secretary of state, which involved the deadly terrorist attack and fallout in Libya — defended Clinton, saying she is a “very trustworthy person” who “has not been convicted of anything.”

“She’s been in public life almost her entire adulthood. When you’re in public life for that many years, your opponents are going to gnaw away at a couple of your flaws or your less-than-perfect decisions,” Favola said. “Is she perfect? Nobody’s perfect, but she exercises good judgment, and I think that’s what this comes down to. You have to look at the entire package. Certainly Hillary is far more trustworthy than Donald Trump.”

In addition to Herring, Favola and Saines, local delegates to the DNC include Clinton backers Marlene Barney, Denise Pierce, Anjan Chimaladinne and Chris Peterson and Bernie Sanders supporters Donna Corbett and Michael Sandler.

Forecasting the DNC, Herring said, “I think the American people are going to see a really stark contrast between the fear and division being stoked in Cleveland by Trump and his Republican Party, and a positive vision about what our country can be when we’re all united and working towards the same goals.”

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