Continuing on with my “easy” endorsements, we now turn to Kenny Boddye, who is running for the Democratic nomination for Occoquan District (Prince William County) Supervisor. This highly diverse district runs from the Occoquan River in the north, to Potomac Mills in the south and includes Lake Ridge in the west.
Just to give you an idea of how “blue” the Occoquan District is, check out the November 2018 U.S. Senate election results, in which Democrat Tim Kaine won the following precincts: Occoquan (68.1%-29.5%), York (83.5%-14.8%), Bethel (67.1%-30.2%), Rockledge (65.1%-32.9%), Lynnwood (62.4%-34.6%), Antietam (68.1%-28.9%), Chinn (68.0%-30.2%), Old Bridge (74.1%-24.0%), Springwoods (74.6%-23.4%), Mohican (63.5%-33.3%), Westridge (66.5%-31.5%), Lake Ridge (66.2%-31.6%), McCoart (51.1%-46.6%) — losing only Yates Ford by a very narrow (49.1%-48.4%) margin. In sum, Kaine *crushed* Stewart in Occoquan – the district, interestingly enough, where Stewart was first elected back in 2003. Of course, a LOT has changed since 2003, both demographically and politically, so Occoquan District is not at all the same as it used to be, but still…the fact that Stewart got crushed in the district he used to represent is telling.
Looking at those numbers, you might be wondering, how could we possibly lose this district in November? Two factors: 1) the current Supervisor, Ruth Anderson (R), is not just an incumbent, but also married to former/long-time Del. Rich Anderson (R), who lost to Democrat Hala Ayala in the 2017 “blue wave” election, and is running to regain his seat this year (so both Ruth and Rich will be on the ballot in November); and 2) Democratic turnout tends to “drop off” BIG TIME in off/odd election years like this one, while Republican turnout tends to be more steady. The latter factor is the most important, in my view; if Democratic turnout is strong this November, and doesn’t “drop off” significantly, the Democratic candidates should win easily in districts like Occoquan. If it *does* drop off as its done historically, pre-Trump, then we could lose even deep-blue districts like this one.
But let’s think optimistically for now, and assume that Democrats can and will win Occoquan this November. Of course, that will also require a strong Democratic candidate, and for my part, I’m going with Kenny Boddye (running against Aaron Cedric Edmond) in the June 11 Democratic primary. Why Kenny Boddye? Here are my reasons:
- First off, let me just make clear that Boddye and Edmond are both good guys and strong progressives, with impressive track records, as far as I’m concerned. Either would make a far, far better supervisor than Ruth Anderson, who is a typical Republican, who has absolutely no vision for Occoquan and also absolutely no willingness to raise the revenues to pay for essential needs. No, thanks!
- I’ve known Boddye since late 2016, when he started running for Virginia House of Delegates, and can attest to the fact that he’s a very smart, very passionate, very active progressive, environmental and Democratic activist. That means a lot, as far as I’m concerned.
- Boddye’s been a “front pager” at Blue Virginia since December 2016 (you can see his posts here), and I’ve always really admired his clear, eloquent and powerful writings, on topics ranging from Prince William County politics, Corey Stewart of course, Virginia politics, LGBT equality, racial equity and the fight against racism and bigotry, environmental protection (including the fight against the “reckless, racist, ripoff” Atlantic Coast Pipeline and Mountain Valley Pipeline), etc.
- Boddye has been very active, and helpful, working to elect Virginia Democrats up and down the ballot (e.g., Babur Lateef, Victor Angry, Tim Kaine). That includes the person he lost the 2017 Democratic House of Delegates primary to – Hala Ayala. To me, the fact that Boddye didn’t sulk or “take his ball and go home” – as I’ve seen many candidates do – after losing a primary, but instead rolled up his sleeves and got right back to work, says a great deal about Boddye’s character, all of it very good. Thank you for doing that!
- Boddye has also been very active in leading on important issues. For instance, see here for video of Boddye urging the PW County Board of Supervisors to adequately fund public schools. There are many more examples, such as this video of Boddye speaking in support of a pro-ERA resolution.
- While both Boddye and Edmond are clearly strong Democrats and progressives, Boddye’s campaign website issues section covers a much wider range of issues than Edmond’s, including: “Local Education”; “Housing As a Human Right”; “Healthcare and Human Services,” “Transportation and Transit”; “Budget Priorities, Taxes and Spending”; “Jobs and Economic Development”; “Land Use, Conservation, and Power”; “Public Safety, Fire and Rescue”; “Embracing Diversity In Our Community.” All these sections are well written and detailed, giving us a good idea where Boddye would push to move Occoquan and PW County if and when he’s elected to the Board of Supervisors.
- A few examples include of what Boddye wants to do include: creating “a Clean Power Plan to make Prince William County fossil-fuel free by 2035″; “preserving the green spaces, natural resources and historic resources of the county”; “establishing a public defenders office in Prince William County to provide dedicated professional defense for county residents, regardless of criminal history or documentation status”; “ending any existing partnerships with Immigration & Customs Enforcement which use local tax dollars and/or local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration laws”; “creat[ing] and execute a plan to reduce class sizes and eliminate trailers, including investing $174M into new schools“; “support[ing] a study for extending Metro to Prince William County and overall transit expansion such as the VRE”; focusing on “mixed use development and walkable communities“; “enact[ing] policies that will diversify the job base, including data centers, technical and tech jobs, etc.”; and “advocat[ing] for the creation of a Diversity Business Council, who will work to advise the Board of Supervisors on strategies to track, promote and grow minority-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned, immigrant-owned, and other types of businesses.” All great stuff, which I strongly support, and which would make both Occoquan and PW County much better and more equitable places to live and work.
- Finally, note that this isn’t the first time I’ve endorsed Kenny Boddye. Back in December 2017, I endorsed him for Chair of the Occoquan Democrats, writing at the time: “If you don’t know Kenny, in short he’s a force of nature, one of the most committed and effective Democratic grassroots activists I’ve encountered in recent years. He’s also a passionate progressive, environmentalist, and one of the friendliest people I’ve met in politics (and no, the “in politics” part is not a backhanded compliment).” 🙂
So with that, I strongly endorse Kenny Boddye again, this time for PW County Supervisor from the Occoquan District. Go Kenny!
P.S. In 1Q19, Boddye raised $12k and has $8k on hand; Edmond raised $6k and has $571 on hand.