The Norfolk Democratic Party Committee is meeting on a Saturday and Piccadilly, a breakfast joint propped along a highway in this scrubbed-clean hardscrabble town perched on the Chesapeake Bay, is loud with the clatter of dishes, cutlery and politics.
Until, that is, Elaine Luria is asked to take the podium and deliver a three-minute pitch for her candidacy for Congress.
“Good morning!” she says in the clipped, brisk tone of the U.S. Navy commander she was until last June.
Luria takes 4 1/2 minutes — not that anyone objects — and she uses it to lay out a plan.
“I’m going to tell you what we have to do to take this district back in 2018,” she says. Without notes, she rattles off the margins by which Democrats won almost every election in the district since 2010 — except for the ones for the U.S. House of Representatives. “Last year, who won this district? Ralph Northam by FOUR POINTS.” Northam is the incumbent Democratic governor.