Clarification: This post was not meant to suggest that there aren’t ALSO plenty of people in the City of Falls Church who support Simone Pass Tucker–including resident Tom Cash who has chaired the City’s Environmental Sustainability Council. I value his endorsement and those of other members of the community, and would certainly take them into account in casting my vote. This was entirely a statement about the politics of people with no connection to the City getting involved in our local politics while also running their own races.
Unusual endorsements were announced today in the “Little City’s” Falls Church News Press for the special election to fill the city council seat left vacant by the tragic death of Council Member Dan Sze.
A letter was published Thursday announcing support for candidate Simone Pass Tucker, jointly signed by an impressive list of people—with no connections to the City of Falls Church. They include Roanoke City Delegate Sam Rasoul and Prince William County Delegete Elizabeth Guzman (both of whom are currently running in the 2021 Lieutenant Governor race), as well as Herndon Delegate Ibraheem Samirah and Arlington candidate for Delegate, Matt Rogers (running in 2021 against incumbent Democrat Patrick Hope); additionally, the Sunrise Movements of Fairfax, McLean and Williamsburg signed on.
While it’s a little odd for a list of people who don’t live in the City of Falls Church to write a letter to tell residents here that “[f]ew roots go deeper than the community you grow up in—the streets feel like your home, your neighbors feel like family,” the signatories say that they are supporting Simone as “the only candidate who seeks to proactively address the issues facing our community. They are the only candidate with a comprehensive plan to adjust Falls Church to the new climate reality.” I should mention that in a series of interviews I conducted with all three candidates (Simone, Debbie Hiscott, and Joshua Shokoor) last month, all seemed to have a strong sense of urgency about the climate crisis, and all suggested to me ways that Falls Church City could be a leader in building a green economy.
A quick stroll around the 2.2 square mile city (something those of us who live here do pretty regularly) shows that homes are peppered with a mix of yard signs for Hiscott and Shokoor. I’ve never seen a sign for Tucker. Newspaper ads for Hiscott and Shokoor have been running in the Falls Church News Press for several weeks. Debbie Hiscott has been endorsed by the Falls Church News Press, as well as City Council Member Phil Duncan, Vice Mayor Marybeth Connelly, Treasurer Jody Acosta, Commissioner of the Revenue Tom Clinton, and our own Delegate, Marcus Simon. Joshua Shokoor is supported by Congressman Beyer’s brother Mike Beyer and his wife June, and seems to have strong support from the Falls Church City business community, based on the unusual proliferation of his yard signs on small business properties around the city that typically do not get involved in local politics.
It’s puzzling to me that a handful of people with no connection to the City of Falls Church would step into a local election here, where their name recognition is quite low and a majority of voters have already cast their votes anyway (nearly 60%). It’s even more surprising to me that these people who are themselves running for office would risk alienating any of their own future voters (and/or Falls Church City leaders) by getting involved in such a race.