Here’s some video from a great event this afternoon for teacher, Iraq combat veteran and former U.S. Marine Atif Qarni, as he opened his campaign office for Virginia State Senate in Manassas. This district, the 29th, has been represented by Chuck Colgan since 1976 — almost 40 years! Colgan has now, at the age of 88, announced his retirment. This coming November, Democrats need to hold this seat. Although it went for Barack Obama and Tim Kaine (each got 63% of the vote) in 2012, for Mark Herring (59%-41%) in 2013, and for Mark Warner (56%-41%) in 2014, Democrats can’t take this district for granted, as turnout tends to drop off on the Democratic side in “odd-year,” non-gubernatorial election years like this one. All the more reason to have someone like Atif Qarni who can get people excited to turn out and vote. But first, of course, Qarni will have to win a three-way Democratic primary (the other two candidates being Michael Futrell and Jeremy McPike), and then beat presumptive Republican nominee Hal Parrish. So, obviously, there’s a lot of work to do. I’m supporting Atif because I think he’d make a superb State Senator, fighting for education, small business and smart transportation improvements, among other things. He’d also, of course, be a strong supporter of Medicaid expansion and many other things I care about. With that, check out the video of Atif Qarni below, as well as video of the other speakers, which I’ll post in the comments section. And obviously, if you agree that Atif Qarni would make an excellent member of the Virginia State Senate, please click here and support him in whatever way you can. Thanks, and go Atif!