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Sullivan Wins 48th District Special Election

by Ethan Rothstein | August 19, 2014 at 10:00 pm | 1,534 views | No Comments

Richard “Rip” Sullivan (D) is the newest member of the state General Assembly after soundly defeating Republican Dave Foster in tonight’s special election.

Sullivan won 62.21 percent of the vote, not counting provisional ballots, and captured 3,934 of 6,277 votes cast in Arlington. Sullivan will replace Del. Bob Brink, who resigned in June, representing the easternmost parts of Arlington and the McLean area of Fairfax County.

The election was scheduled for tonight by House of Delegates Speaker William Howell, a move Sullivan panned during his campaign — and did again in his victory speech at O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub in Clarendon — as an attempt to get low voter turnout in the Democratic-leaning district. Brink, who was there to congratulate Sullivan, said he was “surprised” at Howell’s decision.

“Rip showed you can’t game the system,” Brink told ARLnow.com. “I think he’s going to do a tremendous job. He’s shown he is a thoughtful legislator who can get things done. I think he’s going to be great.”

Sullivan credited his team for leading a successful campaign — two campaigns within eight weeks, he pointed out, after winning the Democratic “firehouse” primary in early July — and the district’s voters for supporting him despite the unusual election timing. According to Arlington General Registrar Linda Lindberg, it’s the first general election Arlington has had in August in at least 20 years, and she said she couldn’t find record of any August election before that.

During the campaigns, Sullivan focused primarily on social issues, such as women’s reproductive rights, and on expanding Medicaid. Foster’s campaign hinged largely on his opposition to the streetcar, while hoping his education experience — he was a two-time chair of the Arlington School Board and the head of the Virginia Board of Education under former Gov. Bob McDonnell — would garner some swing votes.

“I had great faith and confidence in the voters of the 48th District,” Sullivan said. “I knew they would care about more than one issue. I wanted to talk about all of the issues and I think that resonated with voters. They knew what they were getting with me.”

Brink retired after being appointed Deputy Commissioner for Aging Services for Virginia. Sullivan said Brink, known in Richmond as a dealmaker, has offered guidance.

“Bob was highly regarded for his intellect and demeanor,” Sullivan said. “I expect to rely on him and consult him regularly. I hope to follow in his footsteps as someone people can trust and work with.”

Sullivan is an attorney and a partner at Reed Smith in Washington, D.C., and serves as an adjunct professor at the George Mason University law school. He lives in McLean with his wife, Beth, and the two have four children.

Special Election Already Drawing Sizable Turnout

by Ethan Rothstein | August 18, 2014 at 4:55 pm | 1,359 views | No Comments

48th District candidates Rip Sullivan (left) and David Foster (right)The special election to replace retired Del. Bob Brink in the 48th District is tomorrow, and despite the unusual timing, turnout among absentee voters is strong.

The election is between Democrat Richard “Rip” Sullivan and Republican Dave Foster, two attorneys who have had to throw together campaigns in less than two months after Brink announced his resignation on June 27.

According to Arlington General Registrar Linda Lindberg, her office has already received about 1,000 ballots, which is more than the total number of absentee ballots cast in the county for the June Democratic primary for the 8th Congressional District seat. Lindberg theorized that the numbers are inflated because so many people will be out of town tomorrow, but was still surprised at the volume.

“What’s really significant is when you consider the June primary was the entire County, but this election is only 13 precincts,” Lindberg told ARLnow.com in an email today. “We expected our numbers to be comparable to the primary for the precincts involved, not to necessarily exceed them. So in that respect, yes, absentee turnout has exceeded expectations… The numbers are clearly a reflection of the work the campaigns have done to get out the vote.”

Each candidate took time away from campaigning this afternoon to speak with ARLnow.com, and both said they felt good about their chances tomorrow.

“We have overcome, I think, quite well what I have viewed as a trap election,” Sullivan said, referring to House of Delegates Speaker William Howell’s decision to hold the election so soon after the seat was vacated. “[Howell] opted to set it on this fast track, I think knowing a lot of people would be out of town on vacation or taking their kids to college… I think we’ve done a nice job in putting a full-scale professional campaign into six short weeks, and we feel real good about our chances.”

Sullivan said voters told him their priorities in the election were expanding Medicaid in the state and the state’s economic circumstances, particularly after Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced that Virginia is facing a $2.4 billion shortfall in the budget next year.

“It’s certainly a bigger shortfall than anyone would want,” Sullivan said. “I was talking at the debate (Aug. 5) about how Virginia, and Northern Virginia particularly, needs to focus like a laser on diversifying our economy and weaning off a dependence on federal dollars.”

Foster said the voters he’s spoken to have told him they oppose the Columbia Pike streetcar. He said if he’s elected, he will push for a referendum and explore funneling $160 million-plus in potential state transportation funding away from the streetcar. He also said the voters “know me” from his former tenure on the Arlington School Board.

“The voters appreciate my record of service on education issues in particular,” Foster said. “Arlingtonians know me not simply as a Republican, but as someone who knows how to work on a bipartisan, pragmatic basis to get things done.”

Foster noted that Sullivan’s campaign received a $35,000 donation from the Democratic Party of Virginia last week, a sign, he said, that they believe Republicans have a chance to win the Democrat-leaning district. In all, Sullivan has raised more than $165,000, according to the latest data from the State Board of Elections. Foster has raised just over $100,000.

“We’re definitely in the hunt,” Foster said. “We think we have him on the ropes.”

Polling places will open at 6:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m. tomorrow. The State Board of Elections allows you to double-check your polling place online. The 48th District runs along the Potomac River from Crystal City to Rosslyn and Clarendon and includes the McLean area of Fairfax County.

Rip Sullivan: Why You Should Vote for Me

by ARLnow.com | August 14, 2014 at 1:30 pm | 913 views | No Comments

Rip Sullivan (photo via Facebook)This month, we asked the candidates for the House of Delegates 48th District special election to write a sub-750 word essay describing why Arlington residents should vote for them on Aug. 19.

Here is Democrat Richard “Rip” Sullivan’s unedited response:

The election on August 19th is not just about the candidates. It’s about the values of this District’s voters and our shared vision of a more welcoming, innovative, forward-looking society.

I’m running to be your next Delegate because I share the core values of 48th District voters — opportunity, inclusiveness, and equality. I’m running because I refuse to sit back as 400,000 Virginians are denied healthcare services. I’m running so that our children inherit a clean environment. I’m running because voters of the 48th district deserve a Delegate who will passionately fight for their values, not minimize the importance of those values for the sake of winning an election.

The Washington Post endorsed my candidacy last week, noting that I’ve taken “forthright stances” and that “voters would know what they are getting with Mr. Sullivan.” Throughout this campaign, I’ve made clear where I stand and how I will vote on all the issues of importance to the 48th District.

  • On Medicaid, I unequivocally support expansion immediately.
  • On gun control reform, I support reinstating the one-gun-a-month law, universal background checks, limits to high capacity magazines, banning assault weapons, and closing the gun show loophole.
  • On women’s reproductive health, I believe those decisions should be between a woman and her doctor. I will fight to protect a woman’s right to choose.
  • On LGBT issues, I fully support marriage equality and ending workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • On the environment, I’ve shown how we can create a 21st century economy, with Virginia as a leader in creating jobs through clean technology and energy innovation.

In telling voters who I am, I have not tried to reposition myself or suggest that this is a single-issue election, because voters in the 48th District should base their vote on the many issues that will come before the General Assembly.

This is in stark contrast to my Republican opponent, Dave Foster, who is on the wrong side of so many issues. After interviewing him, the Washington Post concluded that Mr. Foster is a “shape-shifter,” saying “he has scrambled to rebrand himself… by taking vague, wait-and-see stands on several key issues.” The Editorial Board went on to highlight that his campaign strategy is “designed to mainly shift attention away from tough votes.”

And Mr. Foster acknowledges as much. At our most recent debate, Mr. Foster – again – refused to reveal to voters what his positions are on choice, gun control, marriage equality, or climate change. He sheepishly concluded to the audience that “I don’t talk about gun control and abortion… as I campaign for this because I know one has to establish priorities.”

Really?

Those are issues Dave will have to vote on in Richmond, and they are priorities to the voters. Voters are entitled to know where he stands before they cast their vote. (more…)

Dave Foster: Why You Should Vote for Me

by ARLnow.com | August 14, 2014 at 12:30 pm | 866 views | No Comments

Dave Foster (photo via Foster for Delegate)This month, we asked the candidates for the House of Delegates 48th District special election to write a sub-750 word essay describing why Arlington residents should vote for them on Aug. 19.

Here is Republican Dave Foster’s unedited response:

I have demonstrated as a two-term chairman of the Arlington School Board and President of the state board of education that my problem-solving, consensus-building style gets results for our citizens. We need effective bipartisan representation in Richmond to address the Arlington streetcar, Medicaid, schools, the state’s economy, and the many other pressing issues we face. I will be that voice for the citizens of the 48th District.

I have been married for 33 years to Martha Tyahla Foster, of McLean. Our two children attended Arlington and Fairfax public schools and graduated from Virginia universities. I was President of the Arlington County Civic Federation and involved in numerous other community nonprofits, advisory committees, and PTA’s. It is my concern for the welfare of our community that led me to seek the office of Arlington School Board and the same concern motivates me to seek the office of House of Delegates.

I am concerned, as you are, about having a balanced, rational approach to transportation issues in our area. Unlike my opponent, I oppose the Arlington Streetcar proposal because it is neither practical nor affordable and will consume up to $164 million in state transportation funds that could be better used elsewhere. Roads and Metro, schools and tax relief are far more important to Northern Virginians than this ill-considered project, which will not only require an initial investment of over $500 million but also an annual operating subsidy of several million dollars. If elected, I will introduce legislation to create a public referendum on the streetcar proposal so that taxpayers can have a voice in this decision just as they do on local bond proposals.

As a two-term Chairman of the Arlington School Board and former President of the Virginia Board of Education, I have worked for lower class sizes, improved school safety, enhanced foreign language offerings (Mandarin and Arabic), Virginia’s “No Child Left Behind” waiver, improved Standards of Learning (SOLs), and many other shared priorities. I would like to continue to my work to strengthen our public schools as your Delegate in Richmond. We must protect the cost-of-competing adjustment to state funding that recognizes the higher cost of providing high-quality education in Northern Virginia. We should also give our school boards increased local control over public school calendars and budgets. I know from leading both the Arlington School Board and the state board how critical adequate funding and local decision making are to our schools.

We must once again make Virginia the best place to start, expand, or relocate a business. I will protect our right to work law and oppose mandatory project agreements of the kind that almost derailed the Silver Line Metrorail. I will also resist the imposition of costly and unwarranted state regulatory mandates that duplicate federal mandates. Building upon the transportation package passed by the last General Assembly, with a focus on projects that reduce congestion, improve safety, and spur economic development, is also a priority.

Because I am the most experienced and effective candidate, I ask for your vote on August 19th.

Foster, Sullivan to Debate Prior to Special Election

by Morgan Fecto | July 10, 2014 at 10:00 am | 466 views | No Comments

48th District candidates Rip Sullivan (left) and David Foster (right)(Updated at 11:50 a.m.) Nominees for the 48th district House of Delegates seat, Republican Dave Foster and Democrat Rip Sullivan, plan to debate at George Mason University’s Arlington campus Aug. 11 prior to the special election Aug. 19.

“I am pleased that even in the short time afforded by this special election, we will be able to discuss the issues,”  Foster said in a press release yesterday.

Foster is the former President of the Virginia Board of Education and an Arlington resident. He works as a partner in the Fulbright & Jaworski law firm in D.C.

Sullivan, a former Fairfax Transportation Advisory Commission member and Fairfax County resident and partner at Reed Smith law firm, called for a debate soon after he defeated six other candidates in the Democratic caucus on Sunday. 

“I’m an issues-oriented guy, which is why I’ve served on boards and commissions dealing with housing, education, transportation, and legal policy over the last 25 years,” Sullivan said in a press release. “I look forward to a substantive debate where we can talk about the issues we’ll face in Richmond.”

Sullivan opposes widening I-66 inside the beltway and will try to “incentivize use of public transportation and expand mass-transit opportunities” if elected, according to his website. He supports Medicaid expansion in Virginia, increased gun control and reproductive health rights for women.

Foster is opposed to the Columbia Pike streetcar, and if elected, would spearhead a public referendum to end the project that he called “impractical and unaffordable.” Foster also “pledged to work for a solution to the Medicaid expansion controversy that has roiled Richmond this year,” according to his website. As a former Arlington School Board member, he said he supports “adequate funding and local decision making” for Arlington schools. Sullivan said on his website that he wants to “tackle the issues of overcrowding and larger class sizes currently facing Arlington.”

After the sudden resignation of Del. Bob Brink (D-48), who retired last month to serve as Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s Deputy Commissioner for Aging Services, Sullivan received more votes than six other Democratic nominees in the “firehouse” primary. Foster was the only Republican to run for the open seat.

In addition to the Arlington debate, another debate between Foster and Sullivan is scheduled to take place at the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce on the morning of Aug. 5.

Democrats, GOP Select 48th District Candidates

by Ethan Rothstein | July 7, 2014 at 10:20 am | 1,185 views | No Comments

Rip Sullivan (photo via Facebook)Richard “Rip” Sullivan was selected as the Democratic nominee to replace Del. Bob Brink (D-48) during an instant runoff primary election on Sunday.

Seven candidates were on the ballot for the hastily-scheduled “firehouse” primary. Sullivan was listed as voters’ first choice for the 48th District seat on 905 of the 2,126 ballots cast on Sunday at two locations: Yorktown and McLean High Schools. Voters were asked to rank their preference of candidate and, during the instant runoff process, the candidates with the lowest number of votes were eliminated one-by-one — and their votes reassigned — until one candidate received a majority of votes.

In the fifth round of ballot counts, Sullivan secured the nomination with 1,111 votes, ahead of Paul Holland’s 523 and Andrew Schneider’s 444 votes. In the first ballots cast, David Boling received 209 votes, Atima Omara-Alwala received 159, Yasmine Taeb received 77 and Jackie Wilson received 58.

Brink officially retired from the House of Delegates on June 30 to become Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s Deputy Commissioner for Aging Services. Brink had served as delegate for 17 years, and most recently was re-elected last fall after running unopposed. House of Delegates Speaker William Howell announced the special election would be held Aug. 19, making the election filing deadline today at 5:00 p.m.

“Speaker Howell threw all he had at us, but Arlington and Fairfax Democrats demonstrated their firm commitment to the democratic process, which is why turnout far exceeded expectations,” Sullivan said in a press release. “Republicans in the House of Delegates continue to refuse to expand health care to hundreds of thousands of Virginias, refuse to accept the reality behind climate science, and continue impose limits on women’s reproductive health. These are not my values, and these are not the values of the 48th district.”

Dave Foster (photo via Foster for Delegate)Sullivan, a Fairfax County resident, will be joined on the ballot by former Arlington School Board Chairman Dave Foster, who was announced as the 48th District Republicans’ nominee hours before the Democratic caucus’ votes were counted. Before Sunday afternoon, no Republican had publicly expressed interest in running for the open seat in the Democrat-heavy district.

Foster, an Arlington native who has also served as the President of the Virginia Board of Education, said if elected he plans to introduce legislation to bring a referendum on the Columbia Pike streetcar to the General Assembly, calling the streetcar “impractical and unaffordable.”

“Roads and Metro, schools, and tax relief are far more important to Northern Virginians than a half-billion dollar trolley,” Foster said in a press release. He added he would fight for more local control over school decisions. “I know from leading both the Arlington School Board and the state board how critical adequate funding and local decision making are to our schools.”

Sullivan and Foster are both attorneys: Sullivan is a partner at Reed Smith and Foster is a partner at the law firm of Fulbright & Jaworski.

Photo (top) via Facebook. Photo (bottom) via Foster for Delegate

Dates for 48th District Special Election, Dem Primary Set

by ARLnow.com | June 30, 2014 at 5:25 pm | 1,236 views | No Comments

Voter in Pentagon City on 6/10/14(Updated at 8:00 p.m.) State officials are wasting no time in scheduling a special election to replace the retiring Del. Bob Brink (D-48).

Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William Howell, a Republican, signed a writ today ordering a special election be held on Tuesday, Aug. 19. The filing deadline for candidates is the end of the day on Monday, July 7.

Local Democrats scrambled to schedule a primary election to meet the filing deadline. Democrats will hold a “special firehouse primary” at Yorktown High School (5200 Yorktown Blvd) from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 6.

Already, ARLnow.com has received announcements from two Democrats seeking to replace Brink, who’s leaving the legislature to join Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s administration. Rip SullivanDavid Boling and Paul Holland sent out press releases today, announcing their candidacy.

According to the Democratic blog Blue Virginia, other potential candidates include Andrew Schneider, Peter Fallon, Atima Amara and Steve Baker.

Moran Weighs in on Cantor Primary Loss

by ARLnow.com | June 11, 2014 at 10:45 am | 1,835 views | No Comments

Rep. Jim Moran at Don Beyer victory party in Alexandria(Updated at 3:05 p.m.) House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) lost a primary challenge last night to David Brat, a professor at Randolph-Macon College.

The result stunned the political world, as did Brat’s convincing margin of victory: 56 to 44 percent.

The D.C. punditocracy, trying to comprehend Cantor’s unprecedented loss, floated a number of theories: conservative voters were upset with Cantor about possible immigration reform, talk radio hosts endorsed Brat, Brat captured the anti-establishment Tea Party vote, Democrats voted in the open primary to spite Cantor, etc.

It has also been suggested that Cantor spent too much time in D.C. and not enough time in his Richmond-area district. Cantor maintains a condominium in Arlington, near Pentagon City, public records show.

Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), speaking to ARLnow.com outside of Don Beyer’s victory party in Alexandria, said he had just seen Cantor on the House floor earlier that day and was “shocked” that he was voted out of office, presumably by the same conservative voters that Cantor had tried so hard to court over the years.

“Compared to this guy Brat, Eric was so much more competent, informed, and showed leadership in his party,” Moran said. “I disagree with his positions but between the two of them he was by far the more accomplished, capable statesman.”

Moran marveled at the irony that someone regarded as a “young gun” conservative leader was apparently considered not conservative enough by Republican voters.

“He was very conservative,” Moran said. “If you’re conservative, he’s the guy you should have voted for, not some guy to doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Eric is very much anti-immigration… I was bitterly opposed to his position. But the idea of voting against him because he wasn’t sufficiently anti-immigration is nonsense.”

In a press release Wednesday morning, the Democratic polling group Public Policy Polling claimed voters in Cantor’s district actually support immigration reform, but were unhappy with Cantor and with the GOP leadership in the House.

“Both Cantor and the GOP House leadership are deeply unpopular, even with Republican voters, and that likely led to his loss,” Public Policy Polling concluded, based on a poll conducted Tuesday night.

“I think the fringe of the Republican Party is taking over the party,” Moran said. “The Republican Party has lost control, it has a tiger by the tail and it can’t rein it in. It’s bought in to the Fox News and the hate radio stuff and now it’s out of control. You need some government, and yet these people want no government. ”

Moran said redistricting in Virginia might have hurt Cantor.

“When you gerrymander a district so you only put conservatives in there, you don’t get a balanced district and this is what you get,” he said. “I think a more moderate district, it turns out, probably would have been in his favor. But Eric didn’t want a moderate district, he wanted as much concentration of conservatives as possible, and this is what he wound up with.”

Despite the fact that the news about Cantor was a couple of hours old, Moran, who is retiring after 12 terms in the House, was still battling disbelief.

“Wow, isn’t that something,” he reflected.

Beyer Declares Victory in Congressional Primary

by ARLnow.com | June 10, 2014 at 7:45 pm | 2,385 views | No Comments

(Updated at 10:00 p.m.) By a wide margin, former Virginia lieutenant governor Don Beyer has captured the Democratic nomination to succeed Rep. Jim Moran in Congress.

With all precincts reporting in Virginia’s 8th Congressional District, Beyer had 46 percent of the vote, compared to 18 and 14 percent respectively for runners up Del. Patrick Hope and state Sen. Adam Ebbin.

Rounding out the seven active candidates in the race, Alexandria mayor Bill Euille had 8 percent of the vote, lawyer and pundit Mark Levine had 7 percent, former Northern Virginia Urban League president Lavern Chatman had 5 percent, and Virginia Tech professor Derek Hyra had 1 percent.

“Tonight is the culmination of the hard work, the heartfelt values, and the shared ideas of many, many, many good people,” Beyer, 63, said in a statement. “I am honored and humbled to be your standard bearer.. Now we turn our attention to November… We must carry the Virginia ideals of integrity, community, progress, and compassion forward to all voters.”

Just past 7:40 p.m., via Twitter, Hope conceded the race.

“I just called @DonBeyerVA to congratulate him on his victory tonight,” Hope said. “Congratulations and I look forward to voting for him in November.”

Other candidates, including Ebbin and Levine, soon followed suit. Moran, who’s retiring after 12 terms, released a statement congratulating Beyer on his victory.

“Don ran a tremendous campaign,” Moran said. “He distinguished himself with a deep knowledge of foreign policy, a steadfast commitment to addressing global climate change, support for common sense gun laws, and consistently strong progressive values. He’s the leader Northern Virginia needs in Congress. I’ll be proud to be his constituent.”

Moran and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe were among the Democratic officials to attend Beyer’s victory party at the Alexandria Seaport Foundation on the Old Town Alexandria waterfront. Also spotted at the party was former candidate Bruce Shuttleworth and his family, Arlington County Board candidate Alan Howze and Del. Alfonso Lopez.

Hope, the only Arlington-based candidate in the race, performed best in his home county. Hope had 33 percent of the vote in Arlington compared to Beyer’s 39 percent.

Hope, at his election party at the Greene Turtle in Ballston, told dozens of his yellow-shirt-clad supporters that he was proud of the campaign he ran.

“None of us could keep up with Don Beyer,” he said. “A lot of Virginia Democrats see Don Beyer the way national Democrats see Al Gore. They wonder what would have been if the voters had been smart enough to vote for him for governor.”

Turnout was relatively light in Arlington. Just after polls closed, Arlington County General Registrar Linda Lindberg said her earlier estimate of 10-12 percent voter turnout would likely prove “pretty close.” With 14,411 votes cast in Arlington, turnout was just above 10 percent.

While some north Arlington precincts reported double-digit turnout, Lindberg suggested that south Arlington turnout was comparatively lower. One Crystal City precinct reported 2-3 percent turnout, she said.

Beyer, who owns an eponymous chain of car dealerships, has long been considered a favorite in the race. He held an advantage in name recognition and led the crowded field of Democratic hopefuls in fundraising. This morning, he was featured in a New York Times article that focused on his allegiance to President Obama.

After serving as a regional finance chairman for Obama’s 2008 campaign, Beyer was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein. He served from 2009-2013.

In his victory declaration, Beyer channeled the president’s 2008-era slogans of hope and change, saying: “The last few weeks, I have taken to quoting St. Augustine of Hippo, who said, ‘Hope has two beautiful daughters, Anger and Courage. Anger about the way things are. And Courage to change them.’”

(more…)

Light Voter Turnout Reported in Arlington

by ARLnow.com | June 10, 2014 at 10:25 am | 1,760 views | No Comments

Polling places around Arlington are reporting relatively light turnout so far this morning for the 8th Congressional District Democratic primary.

“It’s probably a little slower at this point then we had anticipated,” Arlington County General Registrar Linda Lindberg told ARLnow.com. “Some precincts haven’t even had 50 voters yet.”

Lindberg said Arlington is on pace for 10-12 percent voter turnout, barring a late surge in voters. Two years ago, when heavily-favored incumbent Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) faced off against Bruce Shuttleworth in the Democratic primary, overall turnout was 7 percent.

Election officials at Arlington Central Library were surprised at the low turnout considering the impact of the primary. Chief Election Officer Stephanie Sanders said that at 9:05 a.m., 45 voters had come through the door, and while there is usually a rush when polls open at 6:00 a.m., she said no voters came in until 10 or 15 minutes after the doors opened.

“People just voted in April for the [Arlington County Board] special election, so there might be voting fatigue,” Sanders said. “It’s almost always busiest here in the morning, so we’ve already missed our busy period.”

Another theory: the gloomy morning may have dissuaded some voters from making the trek to their local voting stations. So far, however, there have been no reported problems at the polls, according to Lindberg.

While many elections see multiple campaign volunteers at polling places passing out flyers and sample ballots, Central Library had just one, a volunteer for Del. Patrick Hope, the only candidate based in Arlington.

“I’ve never seen nobody campaigning,” Sanders said. “We’ve had no authorized representatives come in. We thought we’d have at least a couple.”

Chester Chandler, a 60-year-old Vietnam War veteran, voted this morning, and he said he was “going to miss [Rep.] Jim Moran.”

“He was really concerned with veterans’ affairs,” he said. “I went to his office and he made sure I got my benefits.”

Chester said he noticed that he had seen former Lt. Gov. Don Beyer’s name more than the other candidates over the course of the campaign, adding: “you can tell who’s got the most cheese.”

“Hopefully we get some young people with some different ideas in Congress to make Arlington and this country what it should be,” he said. “I’m 60 years old and even I know something different needs to happen.”

The candidates seeking the Democratic nomination today are Don BeyerBill EuilleLavern ChatmanAdam EbbinPatrick Hope, Derek Hyra and Mark Levine. Three candidates withdrew from contention but are still on the ballot: Charniele Herring, Bruce Shuttleworth and Satish Korpe.

The winner will face Republican Micah Edmond in the fall. The 8th District encompasses Arlington, Alexandria and parts of Fairfax County.

Ethan Rothstein and Morgan Fecto contributed to this report

Dems Honor Moran Before Primary

by Ethan Rothstein | June 9, 2014 at 11:15 am | 670 views | No Comments

Rep. Jim Moran was honored by local Democrats Saturday night, just three days before the primary that will choose his would-be successor.

Hundreds of Democrats were on hand Saturday at the Arlington County Democratic Committee’s annual Jefferson-Jackson fundraising dinner in Ballston. Moran, who was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1990 after serving as the mayor of Alexandria, was the keynote speaker.

Six of the seven Democratic candidates to replace him — Don Beyer, Lavern Chatman, Patrick Hope, Mark Levine, Bill Euille and Derek Hyra — were in attendance, while state Sen. Adam Ebbin did not attend because he was at the Capital Pride Parade, according to his campaign.

Three of Moran’s colleagues in the House — Rep. Gerry Connolly, who represents Fairfax County, Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) and Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) — spoke to honor him, and Edwards, the recruitment chair for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, touched on Tuesday’s primary.

“I wish every one of you in this room a lot of luck on Tuesday,” she said before turning her attention to Moran. “It’s tough to get a Marylander to come across the river, but for Jim Moran, I would swim across that river.”

ACDC Chairman Kip Malinosky presented Moran with a gift of boxing gloves because, he said, the Massachusetts native has always “been a fighter.”

Moran’s fighting reputation stems from his impassioned floor speeches, his penchant for taking unpopular stances, and from two noted incidents in 1995: when he shoved  Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham out of the House chambers, before fellow congressmen and police officers broke up the scuffle, and when Moran threatened to break another Congressman’s nose.

“A champion is leaving the ring,” Malinosky said.

Moran spoke for about 15 minutes in a more subdued tone than many are used to hearing him. He expressed frustration over how difficult it has become to deal with Republicans — “If you’re on the terrorist watch list, maybe you shouldn’t be able to buy an assault rifle. Just a thought,” — and gratitude for being able to serve in the House for more than two decades

“I realize that I’ve been blessed and am very, very lucky to represent this area,” he said. “There are still things that I find terribly frustrating, but we have to keep fighting for them.”

Moran made no mention of the people vying to replace him or the election on Tuesday, but he kept his eye to the future, telling the room the current Republican Party would soon become “anachronistic.”

“We are going to set that example for the rest of the country in areas like Arlington and in areas with people that are representatives like Donna and Xavier and many of our other Democratic leaders,” he said. “I mean, it sounds trite, but the future of this country lies with the Democratic Party.”

Becerra, who was elected two years after Moran in his district in Los Angeles, reminded those in attendance that Moran was in the minority over his years in congress in voting against 1997′s Defense of Marriage Act and voting against the Iraq War after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

“I am proud that I serve along with Jim Moran,” Becerra said. “We will miss you, but you have made us a better country.”

Hillary Clinton to Sign Books at Pentagon City Costco

by ARLnow.com | June 9, 2014 at 10:15 am | 5,301 views | No Comments

Hard Choices by Hillary ClintonFormer Secretary of State and expected 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will be in Arlington on Saturday, signing copies of her new memoir.

Hard Choices will go on sale on Tuesday. The book chronicles Clinton’s four years as Secretary of State and the “crises, choices, and challenges she faced.”

Clinton will be signing copies of the book at the Pentagon City Costco store from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on June 14.

Following Hillary to the signing will be a large tour bus paid for by Ready for Hillary, the Arlington-based political action committee that’s supporting Clinton in her expected 2016 presidential run.

Mark Levine: Why You Should Vote for Me

by ARLnow.com | June 5, 2014 at 2:30 pm | 1,075 views | No Comments

Mark LevineLast week, we asked the candidates for the Democratic nomination in the 8th District congressional race to write a sub-750 word essay describing why Arlington residents should vote for them in the June 10 primary.

Here is Mark Levine’s unedited response:

There is a battle going on in the Democratic Party between its establishment and progressive wings. Conventional Democrats believe the best way to “get things done” is to appease the right wing, give them half of what they want, and declare victory.

I reject this strategy as counter-productive. When Don Beyer caved in to Republicans Jim Gilmore and George Allen, he didn’t win the debate: he lost his gubernatorial election by a landslide and ended up regretfully (and unintentionally) abandoning Virginia’s poor. When President Obama caved in to the tea party in 2010, it did not moderate his right-wing opponents. It increased their obstruction.

In contrast, in 2013, when President Obama stood firm and refused to surrender, the tea party blinked. When my hero Elizabeth Warren refused to back down on consumer protection, she won both the rhetorical battle and the legislation. My former boss Barney Frank insisted on regulating Wall Street firms that were too big to fail. And although he did not get everything he wanted, Paul Volcker’s rule (requiring banks not to gamble with their clients’ money) became law.

I was a good trial lawyer and never lost a case in my home court. Because opposing counsel knew I did not fear going to trial, I settled more than 90% of my cases. My willingness to go to trial increased my chances of a good settlement.

I saw Barney do the same thing on Capitol Hill. Time and time again, Republicans gave us what we wanted because they did not want Barney calling them out in public.

I’ve been The Aggressive Progressive on radio and television for more than ten years. I enjoy facing down right-wing pundits like Bill O’Reilly, promoting liberal values with my Constitution in hand. I’m confident I can pass bipartisan legislation behind the scenes if unreasonable Republicans know that I, like Barney, am unafraid to call them out in public.

We will always have moderate Democrats. The Party is full of them. We have a big tent. But if we in the Eighth Congressional District do not elect an aggressive progressive to make our case, who will? Who will be the Elizabeth Warren counterpart in the House? Barney Frank and so many strong liberals have already left Government. Jim Moran is retiring too, and he was no shrinking violet.

To fill Jim Moran’s seat, we need someone who can work effectively both behind the scenes and in front of a TV camera. We need someone who can reach out to voters nationally so they put pressure on their local representatives to do the right thing. That way, we in the Eighth effectively get more than one vote on Capitol Hill.

I’m Mark Levine. On Tuesday June 10th, I respectfully ask for your vote. I want to be a representative who stands out in a sea of politicians, makes a real difference, and fights the big-business interests who use big money and lobbyists to buy so many of our representatives in Congress. I can’t be bought, because I’ll only be working for you.

Patrick Hope: Why You Should Vote for Me

by ARLnow.com | June 5, 2014 at 2:00 pm | 1,597 views | No Comments

Patrick HopeLast week, we asked the candidates for the Democratic nomination in the 8th District congressional race to write a sub-750 word essay describing why Arlington residents should vote for them in the June 10 primary.

Here is Del. Patrick Hope’s unedited response:

Arlington is my home. When my wife, Kristen, and I were looking for a place to raise a family, we sought out an area with strong schools, a vibrant community, and diverse neighborhoods. That’s what first drew us to Arlington County and Northern Virginia, and why we have chosen to raise our three daughters here, who attend Arlington’s public schools. I believe passionately in public service, which is why I’ve served on numerous boards and commissions trying to make our community an even better place to live. I was a Special Olympics coach for eight years, and chaired the Arlington Community Services Board for five, which dealt with mental illness, substance abuse, and developmental and intellectual disabilities.

Outside of my public service, I am a healthcare attorney, and have worked in healthcare policy for 20 years, first working on Capitol Hill and now with nonprofit doctors organizations’ to expand the access, coverage, and quality of healthcare. The Tea Party may see healthcare as a privilege, but I see it as a fundamental human right.

Since you elected me to the General Assembly in 2009, I have worked tirelessly to promote our progressive values. However, when I first arrived in Richmond, I was shocked to see even some Democrats voting for budgets that defunded our public schools and for redistricting plans that put Democrats in a permanent state of minority. That’s why I founded the Virginia Progressive Caucus — to hold Democrats voting like Republicans accountable. I have championed legislation focusing on issues ranging from disability rights to prison reform, and am now leading the fight to expand Medicaid in Virginia.

One thing I admire about Congressman Jim Moran is that we always know where he stands — I would be no different. I have outlined some of my top policy priorities below, but if you have any questions, feel free to contact me personally at Patrick@HopeforCongress.com.

I pledge to:

  • Support our federal workers by restoring the federal transit subsidy, advocating for a 3.3% pay increase, and never voting for a government shutdown.
  • Defend and expand the Affordable Care Act by using my vast experience in healthcare policy. Even with full implementation, we will still have 20 million uninsured Americans. My first bill will be to bring those people into the healthcare system.
  • Protect our environment by fighting for a progressive carbon tax and investing in renewable energy technologies to spur innovation and reverse the effects of climate change. I will also oppose the Keystone Pipeline and end big subsidies to fossil fuel producers.
  • Protect our social safety net by opposing any efforts to harm our beneficiaries. This is perhaps the greatest difference between Don Beyer and myself — while then-Lieutenant Governor Beyer worked to “reform” welfare in the ’90s, I have a record of defending and protecting our most vulnerable populations, and will continue to do so in Congress.
  • Partner with Senator Elizabeth Warren to allow students to refinance their student loan debt and lower student loan interest rates. I will also work with her to put predatory payday lenders out of business.
  • Strengthen gun control laws by passing universal background checks and bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
  • Champion marriage equality nationwide and end workplace discrimination.
  • Support people with disabilities and their families through increased funding for job placement programs, research, and human services.
  • Protect a woman’s right to make her own healthcare decisions without government interference.
  • Stand up for our progressive values like I have in Richmond as the founder of the Virginia Progressive Caucus. (more…)

Bill Euille: Why You Should Vote for Me

by ARLnow.com | June 5, 2014 at 1:30 pm | 866 views | No Comments

Bill EuilleLast week, we asked the candidates for the Democratic nomination in the 8th District congressional race to write a sub-750 word essay describing why Arlington residents should vote for them in the June 10 primary.

Here is Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille’s unedited response:

Since I announced I was entering the race for Congress in January, I have received support and well wishes from voters in the 8th Congressional District.

In Fairfax County (Lee District, Dranesville, Mt. Vernon, and Mason) and in Falls Church City, I hear: “We’re pulling for you! You have our vote!”

In Arlington and Alexandria, it’s been: “RUN BILL, RUN !”

As we’ve campaigned across the 8th district, voters have not just cheered us on, but have asked questions about where I stand on issues of vital importance to them. I answer just like I’ve governed as mayor of Alexandria since 2003. I have the integrity, skills, honesty and humbleness to be the Congressman.

I believe that EVERYONE should have the opportunity to succeed in our society. For more than 40 years, I have served my community — working as an elected official, as a businessman and with non-profit organizations. I grew up in public housing in Alexandria, then became the first in my family to attend college. I want more of our children to have the same educational opportunities I had. In Congress, I plan to continue the fight to educate our youth, pushing to make student loans more affordable and addressing the income disparities. Today, women make less than 77 cent for each dollar a man earns. I’ll also take on Tea Party Republicans who want to cut education funding.

I believe in a living wage for Northern Virginians. I passed Virginia’s first living wage law. In Congress, I will support raising the federal minimum wage above $10 per hour.

I believe in our small businesses. I’ve led efforts in Alexandria to help small businesses secure the capital they need to thrive. In Congress, I will work with the Small Business Administration (SBA) to help more entrepreneurs launch businesses in Virginia. I personally know the struggles of what a small business goes through. As Founder, President and CEO of William D. Euille and Associations — a contracting firm — not only did I employ people but I provided job readiness training and well as employ veterans.

I believe in and will continue to defend a woman’s right to determine her own medical care. As a strong supporter of the Affordable Care Act, I will also work to make sure everyone has access to quality health care. I will not allow the Tea Party to undermine a woman’s right to determine what happens with her own body. She must have full control over her own reproductive rights.

I believe that everyone in our country is equal under the law. In Congress, I will push for legislation to ensure marriage equality and equal treatment for same-sex couples.

I am running for Congress to continue the great work of my life, serving my community. For more than 40 years, I have worked as a public servant, as a businessman and with non-profit organizations. As mayor of Alexandria since 2003, I am the only candidate who has continuously worked to serve the entire region of Northern Virginia on issues important to all of us.

I am the candidate who is ready to represent the 8th Congressional District on Day One.

I ask for your vote on June 10th. Together, let’s work to make sure everyone is part of our success in Northern Virginia. Send me because I care. Send me to Capitol Hill because I know how to get bills passed and finally send me because we are a great diverse district whose voices will be heard in Congress by electing me.

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