Video: See below for video of last night’s candidate forum for the Democratic nomination for the 86th House of Delegates District (the one vacated by Jennifer Boysko, who was just elected to the State Senate, replacing Jennifer Wexton, who was elected back in November to Congress). The four candidates are (left to right on the stage): former Herndon Mayor Mike O’Reilly, political consultant and renewable energy expert Chad Thompson, dentist Ibraheem Samirah and Fairfax County NAACP President Kofi Annan. The debate was ably moderated by Loudoun County Democratic activist Morris Meyer. Note that the nominating caucus will be held TOMORROW, Saturday, January 12 (see here for more details).
Topics covered last night included: 1) opening statements; 2) activism, organizing, and/or work with legislation that would prepare the candidate to serve in Richmond; 3) what are the most pressing issues in Virginia today (O’Reilly said the first issue is dealing with taxes, also mentioned the opioid crisis, “sensible gun control,” redistricting and the need for Democrats to take control of the General Assembly; Thompson said there are many important issues, but singled out expanding health care, promoting a green economy and protecting the environment, Metro/transportation/tolling; Samirah talked about reducing health care costs and expanding coverage to everyone; Annan said he’s been working with legislators the past couple years, added that “changing demographics”/”diversity” is the “most critical [issue] “we need to focus on in this district” and that we “can’t just bury our heads in the sand”); 4) the Virginia tax system (e.g., should it be more progressive?); 5) “social issues” – choice, LGBT equality, same-sex marriage, bathroom bills, etc. (Annan said it’s “noone’s business who people sleep with” and has been endorsed by FCPS Pride; Samirah said he’s “been on the front lines” fighting for LGBT equality and will continue to do so; Thompson said he’s strongly pro-choice, supports the ERA, is pro-LGBTQ; Thompson said he’s “certainly” pro-choice, that he has one sibling who’s a Lesbian and one who’s transgender and strongly supports LGBTQ equality); 6) do the candidates support a “Green New Deal” (Thompson seemed very skeptical of it; Samirah said he’s “hugely supportive” of it and said he’s against fracked-gas pipelines, also said he wouldn’t take money from Dominion Energy; Annan said he also will not take money from Dominion Energy, that he will support any initiative to move towards a clean energy economy for moral, environmental and economic reasons; O’Reilly said he’d be “surprised if any Democrats other than maybe Dick Saslaw will take money from Dominion,” didn’t hear a specific/direct answer on the Green New Deal); 7) closing statements.
With that, check out the video…and if you are a Democrat in HD 86, make sure you vote tomorrow (see here for more details)!