Obviously, Virginia’s 9th CD has been a tough one for Democrats in recent years, which makes the fact that we’ve already got two Democrats running for Congress there (see below) very striking. At this point, Democrats have a slew of candidates running for Congress in 2018, both here in Virginia and across the country. For instance, in Virginia’s 1st CD, we’ve got PW County School Board member Ryan Sawyers, U.S. Marine Edwin Santana, “author, professional genealogist, historian, and professional speaker” Vangie Williams, Army veteran and businessman John Suddarth and former Navy nuclear submarine officer Tom Hicks. In the 2nd CD, we’ve got public school teacher Karen Mallard and former Air Force Commander Dave Belote. In the 5th CD, we’ve got U.S. Marine Roger Dean Huffstetler, journalist Leslie Cockburn, investment associate Ben Cullop and attorney Andrew Sneathern. In the 7th CD, we’ve got former CIA officer Abigail Spanberger and former combat Marine Dan Ward. In the 6th CD, we’ve got regional planner Peter Volosin. In the 10th CD, we’ve got State Sen. Jennifer Wexton, U.S. Army veteran Dan Helmer, former State Dept. official Alison Friedman, former Obama administration official Lindsey Davis Stover, past Fairfax teachers union president Kimberly Adams, Loudoun School for the Gifted founder Deep Sran, and former federal prosecutor Paul Pelletier. We’ll see about VA-06, with the announcement last week by Rep. Bob BADlatte that he won’t be seeking reelection (good riddance!).
As for the “Fighting Ninth,” the two announced Democratic candidates are, in order of their announcements (see their videos below): 1) Anthony Flaccavento, who ran against Rep. Morgan Griffith (R) in 2012, losing by a 61%-39% margin, and who describes himself as “a family farmer, community leader and small business owner from Abingdon, in the heart of Virginia’s Ninth District”; and 2) Justin Santopietro, who graduated from Blacksburg High School, has a Master’s Degree from GW University and was a Legislative Intern for Sen. Al Franken before starting a career in financial services. I look forward to hearing more from both candidates, and of course invite them to introduce themselves to Blue Virginia readers.