The Thrill of Defeat

By: Erin Tate
By: Erin Tate

"I'm too old to cry. It hurts too much to laugh. So we're gonna sing, y'all!"

Ben Jones knows how to deal with defeat.

Accompanied by the Cooter Garage Band at a Richmond hotel, Jones sang away his election loss to Republican incumbent Eric Cantor.

It wasn't a very close race, Cantor defeated Jones 71 to 29 percent, but his supporters remained spirited.

"There's not many candidates that can come to their own party and "be" their own party," said Chesterfield supervisor Ed Barber.

Widely known as Cooter Davenport from the hit tv series "the Dukes of Hazzard," Jones appealed to voters with his southern charm.

"Anybody who meets him, ahh, it's a real person there," said supporter Meredith Gorfein.

Cantor supporters say the congressional champion is just as impressive.

"Eric is conscientious, hard working and in one term in Congress has already marked himself as a leader," said Delegate Bill Janis.

Cantor's nine years of experience in the house and solid reputation in Congress assisted his win.

Cantor's new initiatives will include a boosting of the employment rate there in the face of recent plant closings in Page County.

"One of the big focuses I would like to pursue is job creation for Page County and residents who have lost their jobs," said Cantor.

And Cooter fans shouldn't fear. You can expect to see another grassroots campaign in 2004.

"I have not yet begun to fight," said Jones.

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