Another year, another “holiest day of the year” – St. Patrick’s Day with Guinness, Harp, green cookies, corn beef and cabbage, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA11) and 993 well-fed and enthusiastic Democrats, of course. Oh yeah, and a stage full of Democratic elected officials, introduced by Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Bulova, plus a straw poll (this year for VA-10, won overwhelmingly by State Sen. Jennifer Wexton, who has been endorsed by Rep. Connolly). See below for video of the speeches – by Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax and Rep. Connolly, plus Board Chair Bulova introducing all the elected officials – and photos of the festivities.
Some of the elected officials in attendance tonight included: Del. Hala Ayala (pronounced…let’s just say “creatively” by Sharon Bulova, LOL), Del. Eileen Filler-Corn, Del. Elizabeth Guzman, Del. Mark Keam, Del. Mark Levine, Del. Kathleen Murphy, Del. Ken Plum, Del. Marcus Simon, Del. Kathy Tran, Sen. Dave Marsden, Sen. Chap Petersen, Sen. Jennifer Wexton, Sen. Scott Surovell, Dranesville District (Fairfax County) Supervisor John Foust, Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross, Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins, Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay, Mt. Vernon District Supervisor Dan Storck; Fairfax County School Board members Karen Keys-Gamarra, Megan McLaughlin, Tamara Kaufax, Ilryong Moon, Dalia Palchik and Jane Strauss; PW County Supervisor John Jenkins, Loudoun County Board Chair Phyllis Randall, PW County School Board member Lillie Jessie, PW County Clerk of the Court Jackie Smith, Fairfax County Sheriff Stacy Kincaid, etc.
A highlight of the evening was Rep. Connolly’s short eulogy to his friend Rep. Louise Slaughter, who passed away earlier today at age 88. Also worth noting is that tonight’s event was the last one to be held at the Kena Temple in Fairfax after many years there, as the Temple is being torn down and the property redeveloped.
In Rep. Connolly’s speech, he pointed out that if the November elections go the way Pennsylvania just went, “next year you can call me Chairman Connolly again!” Connolly also talked about what a “sad time in our country” it is, with the latest outrage by Trump, and how he “never thought we’d be talking about a President of the United States providing hush money to a porn star, that was a new one for me.” Connolly joked that things have gotten so bad in the White House that he misses Omarosa.
As for the VA-10 Democratic straw poll, the only candidate in attendance tonight was Jennifer Wexton, who perhaps not surprisingly won the straw poll with 82% of the votes. Do straw polls matter? Hard to say, but I do recall the first time I went to this event was in 2006, where Jim Webb defeated Harris Miller 58%-42% in that year’s St. Patrick’s Day straw poll, and event which Webb’s senior strategist Steve Jarding said after Webb won the election was – in his opinion – a significant turning point in that campaign. And who am I to disagree with Steve Jarding? 🙂