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NLS Dissects The 51st District

By Greg L | 5 January 2008 | 51st HOD District | 24 Comments

NLS has a very interesting post looking at the election results in the 51st District that political junkies in Prince William will find rather informative.

With that it seems clear to me that despite all his weaknesses as a candidate, Faisal Gill still could have won this election if he had won the convention in a more legitimate manner and united the party behind him. However with everything that happened, Gill was never able to unite the grassroots Republicans who didn’t vote for him at the convention behind his candidacy. In the end, Tom Kopko and his advisor’s were Faisal’s final undoing, and appear to have cost the Republican Party this seat.

What amazes me from these numbers is that Faisal actually could have won this election if he had not upset so many people at the convention, which I would have never guessed. It just goes to show what matters in a local race- ties to terrorist suspects that are funding overseas killers- Prince William didn’t seem to care. Cheating at a convention against a well liked school board candidate- voters cared and that actually moved votes. Amazing, and a sad look at what actually moves the electorate.

I agree with this analysis.  Let’s hope this serves as a strong reminder to future local party chairmen of what the primary responsibility of that office really is.  Thankfully, there’s a self-correction mechanism here, that being the general election.

The opinions expressed here are solely the views of the author, and not representative of the position of any organization, political party, doughnut shop, knitting guild, or waste recycling facility, but may be correctly attributed to the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. If anything in the above article has offended you, please click here to receive an immediate apology.

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  1. Anonymous said on 5 Jan 2008 at 9:06 pm:
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    I really think another lesson to be learned is NOT to run a school board candidate with very little knowledge of what it takes to win a GA seat in the case of Lucas. She ran an awful campaign. NO excuse for this convention even being close with all of Gill’s baggage.

    1. She could not decide if she wanted to run and entered way too late.

    2. She did not appear to have a good grasp of issues outside the local school board level. She appeared very shallow at times.

    3. She Did NOT even run a campaign and was completely outworked once she threw her hat into the ring. Just ask other elected officials around the state how hard they worked to secure their party nomination. I think she tried to be the Anti-Gill candidate and that just was not enough in and of itself.

    This race should not have been close at the convention level. The reason it was so close was Lucas just did not have a clue about what it takes to run a decent campaign. This should have been a BIG TIME BLOWOUT at the convention. She did not make a good effort until the weekend before which was too little, too late while Gill was backed by a major piece of the party machine in Va, Boyd Marcus who knows how to win against week opposition. I hope a BOS member or a serious minded candidate can emerge to run against Nichols in 09. Lucas and Gill are absolutely terrible candidates.

  2. AWCheney said on 5 Jan 2008 at 9:58 pm:
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    Boyd was well paid for his expertise…Gill had plenty of cash. If you had actually been at the convention, Anonymous, you would have seen, and heard, why Gill won. Kopko was also on Gill’s payroll.

  3. Anonymous said on 5 Jan 2008 at 10:11 pm:
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    Oh, I was there AW. My point is there was NO reason for this to have ever been CLOSE so this type of thing could potentially happen.A competent candidate running against Gill would have worked much harder and smarter earlier. Come on now, no one with Gill’s past baggage should have even been close. The ONLY reason this was close was Lucas lack of constuctive effort until it was too late. Lucas potentially had everything going for her for this to have been a blowout. She squandered it with either poor campaign skills or lack of effort. Convention or no convention she should have won this by at least 20% so there could be no controversy at the end of the day. The easy way out is to blame Gill and Kopko and the 11th district committee. There was no excuse for Lucas to lose this race or for it to have even been close in the first place. This is what happens when you attempt to run as the anti-candidate with no effort to explain why you should win. A savy campaigner would have crushed Gill at the convention because they would have outworked himprior to the convention instead of expecting people to hand you the nomination like Lucas.

  4. freedom said on 6 Jan 2008 at 6:26 am:
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    Anonymous….I don’t care how hard one campaigns, it’s very difficult to win at a convention when one candidate has money to hand out, brings a 400 member religious voting block that has never voted before, and offers that block of votes (as well as money) to local Republican leaders.

    It simply evidences the fact that each HOD seat has its price….and in this case, the ante offered to local politicians was worth more than the seat. :(

  5. Jonathan Mark said on 6 Jan 2008 at 8:04 am:
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    If Faisal Gill–who is the former Director of Government Relations from the terrorist-led American Muslim Council–brought 400 people to the Republican Party then the question is how many did he drive away.

  6. Not TK said on 6 Jan 2008 at 8:30 am:
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    Gill filed a ton of delegate forms, but when all of the duplicates were removed, he only had a small margin advantage. Had the credentials committee stood up to kopko, and disallowed those delegates who had filed “same name different signature” forms, Gill’s advantage would have been slimmer still. However, as NLS clearly demonstrated and what we who were following this covention know, the fix was in. The credentials committee had filed a fraudulent report of the delegates, and when the vote totals didn’t match, Kopko didn’t care. Gill had paid him good money, so he wasn’t going to let rules, RPV advice, and the good of the party get in the way. He sat on the Lucas appeal until it was too late to do anything. Gill was an illegitimate candidate from the start.

  7. Anonymous said on 6 Jan 2008 at 9:17 am:
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    Freedom and Johnathan Mark,

    I too thought Gill was an absolutely awful candidate. That being said, someone with all this baggage should have been easily beaten and badly if they would have put any effort at all into getting delegates. Lucas apparently did little to nothing until the weekend right before the convention. We can keep blaming Kopko and company for questionable events at the convention but this convention should NOT have been close at all. This is what happens when a political lightweight runs on a single anti-Gill platform.

    It works both ways, the anti-Gill folks have been crying for months on how this election was stolen, bought, or whatever from them but the bottom line is they had an awful candidate to run against a very savy Gill. Faisal was not a good candidate but in the end he completely outworked Lucas for delegates which made it a close race in the end while Lucas just expected the nomination handed to her and did very little until it was too late. The Lucas and Gill people are both very bitter about the results of the convention but in reality it should have never been this close if the opposing candidate was GA material and in the end I don’t think either Lucas or Gill will ever serve in the General Assembly.

    Its much easier to cry about Kopko and company than to really understand why the anti-Gill candidate lost. If some of the ardent Lucas supporters would have gotten off the blogs and gone out to work or attempted to make her make a decision earlier, work much harder and smarter earlier we would have a much different outcome the day of the convention. That being said, Lucas did not have what it takes to do the job and win big.

    I hop the GOP actually finds a smart, and politally savy candidate to run in 09.

  8. freedom said on 6 Jan 2008 at 9:32 am:
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    Anonymous, it’s simple….you don’t know of what you speak!!!

  9. opditch said on 6 Jan 2008 at 10:14 am:
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    REf: Anonymous said on 5 Jan 2008 at 9:06 pm: and later….

    Sounds like an “Anonymous” person that is trying to paint falsehoods about Lucas so she won’t run again…. sounds like someone is bent on this…. wonder who “Anonymous” might be?

    example: “Lucas apparently did little to nothing until the weekend right before the convention.”

    I don’t think this is very accurate…. I was there.

  10. Anonymous said on 6 Jan 2008 at 11:16 am:
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    OP, I apologize if you think I was just anti-Lucas, I just think expectations cannot win races in the GA, you actually have to work until you are about to drop and then work some more. Maybe she just did not work just ahd hard but not smart enough last time, but it did appear that Gill put in a better effort for a longer time.

    I all say if that Lucas was such a great candidate she should blow Gill out of the water. He was a terrible candidate. This race at the convention should never have been close.

    It literally takes 24/7 campaigning to win a convention race for GA. Just ask the other GOP or Democratic delegates for that matter that have done it this way. Lucas would have blown Gill out of the water in a campaign but she started way too late and did not do what was necessary to win big. It would not have taken much of a smart effort to crush Gill.

    NO, the convention probably was not completely fair but there are some around here who want to paint a picture that Lucas is the best thing since sliced bread was created but if Lucas was a great canidate she should have wiped out a canidate with questionable past ties so there could be no questions come convention day. The google faisal gilll stuff handed out was done way too little and way too late and looked amateurish. She and whoever was helping her expected potential delegates to actually do work for themselves. If she worked hard and raised enough money and really gone negative early and often this would have been a blowout. Yes its hard work to get delegates but a good campaigner could have easly had more support than Gill.

    I frankly don’t care who runs but the easy way for the Gill haters is to just blame a supposed bad convention that was appealed and denied by the 11th district committee. Instead the Gill hater crowd should look at a candidate who can not only win a general election but is will to do what it takes in the background and not expect the nomination to be handed to them.

    Lucas could be a good (great) candidate in the future if she endeavors to give a better (smarter) effort and can raise some money to get a decent consultant. She just cannot run again as the anti-candidate and have a bunch of the bitter crowd around and expect this to fall in place.

  11. XYZ said on 6 Jan 2008 at 11:27 am:
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    BITTER! What a fitting word. Great post!

  12. opditch said on 6 Jan 2008 at 2:05 pm:
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    “get a decent consultant.” hummmm … now we’re getting some clues about who mr or ms “Anonymous said on 6 Jan 2008 at 11:16 am” really might be, huh?

    oh, I do think you’re talking like you’re “just anti-Lucas” and you don’t have to apologize, just identify yourself.

    O. P. Ditch

  13. Anonymous said on 6 Jan 2008 at 2:46 pm:
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    Many choose to remain anonymous for various reasons. There is a long history of this dating back to the times of Ben Franklin and other founding fathers. I am definitely not in either the Lucas or Gill camp. I just did not think Lucas ran a well organized campaign, probably because she got started so late or did not have the expertise the Gill people brought on.

    I am definitely NOT just anti-Lucas but I am sick and tired of hearing that Lucas was supposedly cheated out of the convention and still playing the blame game. I am sick and tired of the bitterness and vitrol from both sides. Get over it! With a quicker start alot more money and donors and smarter work, she could (should) have won this in a landslide. With all of Gill’s baggage, this should have never been close enough for potential problems in a convention to matter. You can get away with small campaigns for school board but not in the big time GA races anymore. Just look at how much money was spent last year in the nominating constests and compare it to how much Lucas raised. It may not be fair but money is the only tool to really get message penetration.

    GOP committees around this state are dominated by right wingers. The only way Lucas really can secure the nomination if she wants it in 09 will be to get rid of the vitrolic, bitter crowd and make nice to conservatives. She cannot win as long as the committee is divided. Committees around the state will always be dominated by right-wingers , if she cannot get along with them and this battle continues, she will never secure this nomination. The right-wing will find someone else in 09.

  14. Jonathan Mark said on 6 Jan 2008 at 5:47 pm:
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    It may be too late for the Republicans in HOD-51. Some Republicans who would have backed Julie to the hilt against Nichols have now gone with the winner and are backing Paul Nichols. They may be secretive, but they are out there.

    Nichols’ campaign was already good enough to win in 2007. Like most freshmen candidates, he will run a better campaign next time. And he will have the advantage of incumbency, which almost always helps.

    I think that the HOD-51 seat is lost to the Republicans for years. It doesn’t matter if it is Julie’s fault (I don’t think so), Kopko’s, Stewart’s, Gill’s, whoever’s. The PWCRC is going to have a lot of trouble saying “Remember that Gill guy we ran two years ago? Forget about him! We made a mistake. Vote for our new, great candidate.”

    It’s too late for that. If Paul Nichols does what he is supposed to do, and it looks as if he is, then he will raise as much money next time as he did this time ($300K to Faisal’s $200K) and he will be the heavy favorite to win.

  15. AWCheney said on 6 Jan 2008 at 6:06 pm:
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    “We can keep blaming Kopko and company for questionable events at the convention but this convention should NOT have been close at all.”

    Anonymous, when a convention is “fixed” and timing, communication to candidates, etc. are controlled by the “fixers,” it’s an uphill battle at best! Add to that the great sums of money to which Gill apparently had access (strange how much political money he can throw around, particularly when it came to buying endorsements); the chaotic lack of organization in credentials leading to the very real possibility that non-citizens were actually able to vote at the convention (aided and abetted by a “Motor Voter” policy with absolutely no safeguards); minimum ballot security, made virtually nonexistent by the lack of experience of some and lack of ethics of others…the list can go on and on. RONALD REAGAN would have had an almost impossible task under these circumstances!

  16. Loudoun Insider said on 6 Jan 2008 at 6:10 pm:
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    I agree somewhat with anonymous in his’her analysis, but I do wonder if this commenter is setting the stage for a new candidate to take the GOP reins next election against Nichols. Anonymity is a good thing, although I would suggest coming up with a consistent pseudonym for convenience sake since you have been commenting alot.

    Gill was an atrocious candidate, and I still can’t believe he did as well as he did in the general. The Gill camp was expert at deflecting (as much as they could) any criticism of Gill’s questionable past by raising the spector of racism or religious bigotry. Lucas certainly should have won this and perhaps she didn’t work as hard or as early as she should have. The convention still stunk and will be a divisive incident for a long time, and you definitely cannot blame Lucas for that.

  17. John Light said on 6 Jan 2008 at 7:15 pm:
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    Anonymous, I replied to your little diatribe on “The Mason Conservative”, and I find it funny how you call the Lucas campaign lazy, yet you basically copied/pasted from one site to another then to another. Seeing that you do not have a pair to either put your real name or actually think up a pseudonym, I think you will see that most people on here know that you know absolutely NOTHING about politics in general or the 51st in particular.

    You talk about asking people around the state what it takes to win. Well, if you had bothered to ask them about Julie Lucas or Faisal Gill, you would have found that except for those who received around $13,000 from Gill, EVERYONE was stating that Ms. Lucas should win and we should do all we can to stop Gill and his people.

    Well, seeing as how you are posting on multiple sites, here is my response to you as posted on

    To the person who did not sign their name (or alias) who wrote: “She could have outnumbered Gill’s supporters by 3-1 but she did not work at all. She ran an absolutely horrible campaign and did virtually nothing until a few days before the convention.”

    Let me go on record and say that you are right. She DID slack off. All she did was make phone calls every night, send out mailers, have volunteers working non-stop for her every night and all day on weekends. Her campaign was going against someone with unlimited funds from terrorist organizations around this country (go to vpap.org and you will see that nobody from the 51st dontated money to the Gill campaign).

    If the Lucas campaign HAD gotten off of their butts, they could have done a better job raising money not from the lowly mom and pop from the 51st (come on, who actually raises money legitimately anymore, right “no-name”???). If she had worked, MAYBE she could have gotten some other terrorist organization to fund her money, then, stuff the ballot boxes as the Gill campaign did in the 50-worst convention, paid off the pwers-that-be, and then won the election.

    Unfortunately, the Lucas campaign ran a campaign with honor. They did not have men working for them who believe a womans job is to vote the way their husband tells them to. They did not have men working for them who have violated the UCMJ. And they DID NOT have workers who not only speak the language, but are actual voting citizens of the 51st.

    So yes, I agree with you. She DID slack off on her campaign. She DOES have a history of that, you know. She won her last election against just one person with 65% of the vote, this time with two opponents she only got 71%. MAYBE if she worked harder, she could have gotten 99%. The other 1%, why those would be Faisal Gill supporters seeing as how the rest of his supporters live in Texas, Maryland, Illinois, The Department of Homeland Security lol.

  18. John Light said on 6 Jan 2008 at 7:21 pm:
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    ok, seeing as how for whatever reason my first post did not get posted, here is a follow-up to “Anonymous”:

    You state that Ms. Lucas should “make nice to Conservatives”. What are you, an idiot??? She IS a Conservative. Maybe you mean the Conservative Muslim community that wants to keep women down, wearing burkas, and walking back and forth in their driveway all day and IF they vote they are to vote the way of their husband. Is that it?

    Somehow I do not see Ms. Lucas compromising her values to accomodate you and your vitrolic banter. No, she CANNOT “win as long as the committee is divided” so what needs to happen is get rid of the Tom Kopko’s, Faisal Gills, Denny Ds and the rest of those vile people and get the committee full of people who have values, do not violate the law be it civilian or military, and whose loyalty is to the United States and NOT to some terrorist organization or the almighty dollar.

  19. Anonymous said on 6 Jan 2008 at 8:53 pm:
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    Mr. Light, the bitterness and hate that flows forth is amazing. I guess all the vile people you are referring to are conservatives in the committee.

    I do think campaigns have taken a “professional” feel, especially in the General Assembly. It takes thousand upon thousands of dollars to stay compettive in a primary or convention setting here in Virginia for the state general assembly. Unfortunately it takes more than mom and pop organization to win big now. That is very disappointing to me as well.

    I dont’ think Gill or Lucas ran good campaigns. Gill did not get enough broad support and Lucas did not get enough support generally. Since she does an excellent job at the school board stuff, she should really win big. That is a compliment, NOT a bust. I really don’t believe she started early enough. Had she started or announced at the same time as Faisal, this would have been a blowout. I have just been generally tired of seeing the same people play the blame game.

  20. CONVA said on 6 Jan 2008 at 9:20 pm:
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    Everyone seems to missing the real point. Gill lost because a few folks, that are aware of his dismal tenure as the Vice chair of the committee, told everyone they knew what about his lack of attention to his immediate job. How he screwed up the committee picnic, was late to every meeting if he showed up at all. Plus his swagger, and condesending demeaner. Yes, Julie started too late and really never got into the swing of things until about three weeks prior to the convention. But remember, technically she won the convention, that is if Kopko would have followed the RPV’s advice.

  21. John Light said on 6 Jan 2008 at 11:37 pm:
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    Anonymous - yet you STILL attack Ms Lucas as saying she did not run a good campaign. And 3 weeks out?? Come on. Please don’t quote history to ME by saying that cowards have been hiding behind “anonymous” since the times of Ben Franklin. Actually, in those days lives could be lost for speaking against the government…and they were. Heck, we fought a war over a 2% tax hike - nowaday’s people HOPE for a 2% tax hike.

    Plane and simple, Julie was out door knocking every single moment she could the moment she got into the race. Tell me, what did YOU do? You were probably one of those who is not man enough to admit that you are a traitor to this country and supported Gill. What you call “the blame game” I call an After Action Review. For people who were man enough to serve in our military they know that that is what happens after a fight when you state what went right and what went wrong with what happened. In the case of the 51st, EVERYTHING went wrong because Ms. Lucas never had a chance yet she kept fighting, her supporters were called racists for being against the Al Queda supporter backed Faisal Gill, and her literature which stated FACTS was called a “smear campaign.”

    There is absolutely nothing that was done ethically in the Gill campaign and hopefully we will NEVER hear from his supporters, or him, again. Paul Nichols has that seat now and barring any major screwup will retain that seat for years to come. While Ms. Lucas was being honored as an up-and-coming Republican Politician in Washington DC, Faisal Gill was in direct violation of the UCMJ as well as working with those who support terrorism AGAINST the United States. Gill disgusts me as a man and as an American. He is everything that this country is not, and sladerous attacks by cowards like you serve the debate no better.

    So, big boy, or should I say, big GIRL, if YOU can do a better job…go for it. Let’s see YOU step into the ring. Let’s see YOU debate the issues, what are YOUR solutlons, how are you going to keep taxes down while ensuring that our children get a decent education where they can learn without being intimidated by some 3rd world gang. Somehow, I don’t think you will do it because by judging from your diatribe, you are not a has-been, you are a never was. You say “since she does an excellent job on the school board” - I know, and every reader knows what you really mean. You are condensending saying that that is a “woman’s place”, on the school board and no higher.

    Yes, Michele McQuigg did about as an effective job in Richmond as Hillary Clinton did in New York (which is, not a thing) so you probably cast your vote for Michele just to get her out of Richmond. However, to say that Julie is not Conservative enough? Well, maybe not if you are Muslim or from the Middle East, but since she is neither, I will put my vote on her any day over ANY candidate you run against her.

  22. John Light said on 6 Jan 2008 at 11:41 pm:
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    CONVA - no, Gill lost not just because of those reasons. It is because good Americans saw his multitude violations of the law (some received only last January in the state of Maryland - multiple moving traffic violations) - both civilian and military - as well as questionable ties to terrorist supporting organizations (has he denounced The American Muslum Council???) and acceptance of money from questionable people. The voters of the 51st just did not trust him in Richmond.

  23. Jonathan Mark said on 7 Jan 2008 at 12:22 am:
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    Not only did Gill never denounce the American Muslim Council (for whom he was the Director of Governmental Relations) but he stated that he was proud of all of the organizations that he had worked for.

    Gill’s excuse, if you can call it that, was that now-imprisoned AMC founder Abdurahman Alamoudi was not involved in the day to day operations of the AMC while Gill was there.

    Perhaps. But Alamoudi wasn’t in jail (yet) either, and neither had he given up his control of the AMC.

    Gill may take a break from politics for awhile. I don’t know. But those who put him over, including Kopko, Stewart, McQuigg, Bolling and Cuccinelli, are still around.

    If as some suggest this whole Gill candidacy was about a belief that Gill could recruit 400 people in PWC (out of 300,000) to be Republicans then I have to think that it was pretty stupid. For every person the Gill candidacy attracted it alienated several.

    If Gill is out of politics fine. The resentment lingers and festers, until Cuccinelli, Bolling, Kopko, Stewart and McQuigg explain WHAT IT WAS THAT THEY WERE THINKING.

  24. Anonymous said on 7 Jan 2008 at 12:46 am:
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    Mr. Light what exactly have I said that upsets you? Just curious?

    I coplimented Ms. Lucas by saying she has done a good (great) job as a school board member. Thee weeks is not exactly alot of time to do any campaign for anything especially in todays environment with campaigns costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. All I did was imply that you cannot expect to run a school board race like a state delegate race. All I did was imply that she got into the race way too late and was indecisive at first. All I did was explain that she probably needed to raise much more money to stay competitive and hire a big time consultant like her opposition. Gender does NOT matter. I was just sick and tired of hearing about the hate crowd who comes up with every excuse in the book on why they lost. If Lucas was the candidate you all have made her out to she would have never lost anything and probably would have gone straight to the U.S. Senate to replace John Warner.

    Its people like you that have gone way oveboard who are going to cost her big time if she runs again. I do feel very bad for her in this aspect. I really cannot imagine having that type of hatred toward anyone. I applaud BVBL for his reasonably objective analysis after this was done. Too bad some of the other Lucas supporters could not take the same cue. I am done with this debate and I am certainly sorry if I have offended you in any way. I just tried to bring some much needed balance into the debate on how Gill secured the nomination.

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