From Fairfax County Democratic Committee (FCDC) Chair Dan Lagana, regarding Fairfax County School Board member Ilryong Moon’s decision to quit FCDC and, apparently, remain on the ballot for November, despite losing the FCDC nomination contest in May.
An Open Letter to The Honorable Ilryong Moon
Dear Mr. Moon:
Parents, voters and Democrats across Fairfax County are in your debt for decades of service and leadership as a member of the Fairfax County School Board. I wish I did not have to write this letter. As one who has supported you in the past I now ask that you, having the lost the FCDC endorsement, withdraw from this fall’s election.
Regrettably, though, your refusal now to withdraw from this fall’s election campaign poses a clear threat both to your legacy of service and the election prospects of candidates who have been endorsed by the Democratic Party.
The entire ticket is at very real – not imagined – risk. Voter recognition of your name on the ballot will draw votes from one or more of the endorsed candidates. There is no scenario, nor method of campaigning, which will guarantee your re-election along with other Democrats. However narrow your path may be, in order to win you must attract enough Republican votes in addition to Democratic votes. Most likely, however, you will draw votes primarily from Democratic candidates.
We all remember when, in 2015, one of your former School Board colleagues and fellow Democratic endorsee lost his bid for re-election under similar circumstances. Another candidate, having failed to win our endorsement, refused to withdraw and received more than enough votes on Election Day to enable Republican Jeanette Hough win a seat on the school board– and subsequently to join forces on the Board with two other bigoted homophobes. That 2015 Republican ticket ran a scurrilous anti-LGBT campaign, which singled out vulnerable and often isolated children in order to achieve political gain.
Now, in 2019 the same strategy has returned, albeit with a new face. The GOP is hiding inside a new Trojan Horse: School boundaries. Familiar tropes have returned: “Protect our schools,” “No to social engineering,” “Keep communities together” (read: build a wall!) and “return to excellence” (read: Make America Great Again).
The election of even one or more Republicans gives credence to those views.
The importance of unity among Democrats cannot be overstated. We are confident that you, a self-described “Strong Democrat,” do not want to do anything that might help elect Republicans who most assuredly will promote regressive school policies antithetical to your beliefs.
Mr. Moon, please withdraw from the School Board race, and join me in supporting our Democratic-endorsed candidates, Karen Keys-Gamarra, Rachna Sizemore Heizer, and Abrar Omeish. I am sincerely—profoundly—appreciative of your service, but your campaign poses a threat to the Democratic endorsees, while offering you little to gain. I hope that you reconsider and withdraw from the race.