The cherry blossoms are blooming, the daffodils are popping, and as March prepares to go out like a lamb, primary season is roaring into Hunter Mill District like a lion. We are currently in the midst of the filing season for candidates in many state and local races, and in the face of all the high-profile retirements, whether you prefer to Pick Your Pony or press the flesh at the 2023 Lasagna Dinner, it is looking like an exciting year to be a Hunter Mill Democrat!
Primaries are funny things because, like any other election, you have to be all in for your candidate and give everything you can as a volunteer and a supporter. But unlike in a general election, when the dust settles and a candidate is either nominated or endorsed, we will only succeed if we rally to elect the nominee/endorsee—regardless of whether it’s the one we would have chosen. In the end, we all want to keep Fairfax County a special shade of deep sapphire, and the only way we can do that is for candidates and their supporters to be enthusiastic and respectful. The press loves a “Dems in disarray” story, and Republicans will go to great lengths to turn us against each other.
Also, primaries are a great opportunity to engage our neighbors and friends in the civic process. Invite your friends to get engaged with the candidates and our local committee during this time. As the saying goes “democracy is not a spectator sport”.
We are fortunate in Hunter Mill to expect such a great selection of candidates, and to have such a deeply engaged and committed group of activists who back them. Let’s look forward to some real democracy in action, and select the best candidates we can for November.
Qualified voters who are not members of the Fairfax County Democratic Committee will need to preregister between April 10 and May 5.
There will be a period of online voting from May 13 to May 20, with in-person voting on May 20 available at multiple locations. Those locations are not yet announced but will be announced no later than April 22.
The candidate filing deadline is April 6.
Primaries can be challenging for parties with passionate members like ours. We encourage everyone to fully support their preferred candidates, but that engagement should not involve using any official FCDC or Hunter Mill title. If democracy is going to prevail, party officials must remain neutral in their official capacities and keep their thumbs off the scales.
For our part here at the Hunter Mill Democrat, our publication standards remain neutral as well, which means that we will publish events and announcements that are submitted to us and are salient to the Hunter Mill District Democratic Committee. We encourage candidates to let us know about their events so we make Hunter Mill Democrats aware and give them the opportunity to engage.
We’ll start our post-Labor day political mad dash with some big local politics news: per a letter, he circulated to friends and colleagues, long-time Hunter Mill Democrat Del. Mark Keam says he will be leaving the Virginia House of Delegates to pursue a new job opportunity. Del. Keam, who lives in Hunter Mill’s very own Vienna, has been in the Virginia Legislature since 2010. He was the first Asian-born immigrant and the first Korean American elected to state office in Virginia.
In the Virginia House of Delegates, Keam has been a practical, steadfast, and busy Democrat, drafting and introducing over 200 bills. He is credited with a significant role in passing over 120 measures into law. Keam has been a champion of government accountability, education, civil rights, healthcare, and myriad other Democratic priorities. It’s safe to say Virginia is a better place to live because of Del. Keam’s 12 years in the Virginia House, and we are thankful for his service to the Commonwealth.
In addition to Keam’s legislative accomplishments, he has been a mainstay at meetings of the Hunter Mill Democrats and of the Fairfax County Democrats. We have always appreciated his attendance at meetings, often giving us insight into the latest legislative and political developments. Sometimes, he just comes by to say hello and check in with friends and constituents. We’re sure we will continue to see him here in the Hunter Mill community, and we wish him all the best on his next career adventure.
In order to fill Del. Keam’s seat, the Speaker of the House, Republican Todd Gilbert, will need to call a special election. We will keep you updated with information on a special election when there is more information to provide, so we can do everything possible to fill Keam’s big shoes with another Democrat.
Update: House Speaker has set the special election date for January 10, 2023
Bring a friend and help us get Democrats to the polls in November by canvassing for our candidate, Representative Gerry Connolly. Saturday, October 15th, 11 am and 2 pm at Starbucks Reston Plaza America, 11610-A Plaza America Dr, Reston. For more information and to sign up go to Hunter Mill Dems Canvass for Gerry Connolly.
January 6, 2021 is a day that is burned in the memory of every democracy-loving American. The images of that day are burned into our memories, and we will never forget that even after a violent mob sought to overthrow the Constitutional order, most Republicans came back into the chamber and voted against certifying the legitimate results of a free and fair election.
Before the 2021 election here in Virginia, Republicans were already setting the stage to claim fraud if they lost. When they won, not a single one of them raised questions about “election integrity” or “voter fraud.” In the meantime, Republicans in Fairfax County are trying to recall every Democratic elected official they can using campaigns of lies and deception. It is clear that allegations of voter fraud have never been in good faith, but are part of a war on democracy, the end goal of which is the complete de-legitimization of Democratic voters. Some have even written that “voter fraud” effectively just means “Democrats voting.”
If the promise of the United States of America means anything, it means the right to vote. We cannot forget that the Republican Party is now actively against democracy unless they are winning, and party leaders will call their supporters to violence to overturn elections they lose. That means it is left to us, the aptly named Democratic party, to promote democracy and the right to vote.
As we remember the horrible events of this day last year, we must recommit ourselves to the activism that led us to expand voting rights here in Virginia, and do everything in our power to preserve those hard-fought gains.
Happy New Year, Hunter Mill Democrats! Thank you for joining the party for the 2022–2023 biennium. We’re glad to have you with us, and we have a lot of work to do. We will get started with the first meeting of the biennium on Wednesday, January 12, 2022 starting at 7:30pm. As you are no doubt aware, the COVID-19 pandemic is still very much with us, so the meeting will be held virtually via Zoom (register here). We look forward to seeing everyone for the new biennium.
Hunter Mill Democrats need help to staff the Democratic visibility tables at the North County Governmental Center Early Voting site and at the polls on Election Day. If interested, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
LOCATION: North County Health Services parking lot 1850 Cameron Glen, Reston, Across from the North County Governmental Center (police station)
The Hunter Mill District Democratic Committee (HMDDC) recognizes the difficulty Democratic campaigns may be having collecting petition signatures in the pandemic environment. We want to help.
On Saturday, January 30, HMDDC will be staging a multi-campaign, drive-up event to facilitate signature gathering. All statewide campaigns have been invited to participate. House campaigns for announced candidates serving the Hunter Mill District have also been invited to participate. Confirmed campaigns include:
Jennifer Carroll Foy
Mark H. Levine
House of Delegates
We are very aware of pandemic restrictions on outdoor gatherings. Therefore, we are going to set up three areas well-spaced apart where campaigns can be staged to collect signatures from people arriving in their vehicles.
Participants must arrive by car, must stay in their car, and are required to be masked. No walk-ups.
Participants wishing to sign a petition for a House of Delegates candidate must live in that District. You should know in which House District you reside, or at least the candidate’s name.
Participants wishing to sign a petition for a statewide candidate do not have to live the Hunter Mill District. To expedite the process, you should know in which Congressional District you reside.
Participants can sign petitions for more than one candidate in a race!
On January 7, 2021, the Hunter Mill District Democratic Committee held the first-in-the-Commonwealth straw poll for statewide candidates.
HMDDC had three primary goals for this event: 1) raise money for the committee, 2) present statewide candidates to HMDDC members and volunteers, and 3) get an early look at how the candidates lined up against each other. By most accounts, we achieved all three goals.
The event was open to all, and the individual campaigns were encouraged to bring supporters to participate. Participation did require pre-registration and the purchase of a “ticket.” Over 250 tickets were sold, which exceeded the Committee’s expectations, as did the total amount raised ($6,100+), which included contributions in excess of the ticket price.
It is important to note that this straw poll was not a scientific poll of the candidates’ support across the Commonwealth. Roughly 60% of the ticket purchasers were from Northern Virginia. Fewer than 20% of purchasers were HMDDC members. Participants skewed heavy to the campaigns that recruited them to attend. And voting was done using the Zoom Webinar polling feature which may not be as secure as in-person paper ballots.
In the end, attendees came away excited at the prospects for 2021 in Virginia. Democrats have a strong field of competitive candidates in every statewide race.
Below are the results.
Three of the announced gubernatorial candidates spoke to attendees. Justin Fairfax and Terry McAuliffe did not attend.
Jennifer Caroll Foy: 36%
Jennifer McClellan: 36%
Lee Carter: 14%
Terry McAuliffe: 11%
Justin Fairfax: 2%
None of the above/No preference: 2%
Only one of the announced Lt. Governor candidates (Paul Goldman) did not attend the event. Due to technical and timing issues, Elizabeth Guzman did not have the chance to speak until after the poll had been conducted. In an effort to achieve a more equitable result, another poll was taken after Del. Guzman spoke. In the interest of transparency, the results of both polls are shown below. While the need for two polls came about by accident, seeing both numbers may provide some interesting insight. Notably, both polls reflected consistent number 1, 2, and 3, rankings.
First Poll (Before Del. Guzman spoke)
Sam Rasoul: 46%
Sean Perryman: 24%
Elizabeth Guzman: 8%
Mark Levine: 7%
Hala Ayala: 5%
Andria McClellan: 5%
Xavier Warren: 3%
None of the above/No preference: 2%
Paul Goldman: 0%
Second Poll (After Del. Guzman spoke)
Sam Rasoul: 45%
Sean Perryman: 22%
Elizabeth Guzman: 17%
Hala Ayala: 6%
Andria McClellan: 4%
Mark Levine: 3%
None of the above/No preference: 1%
Xavier Warren: 0%
Paul Goldman: 0%
Both announced Attorney General candidates spoke to attendees.