Thursday, October 1, 2020
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Tag: 2011 Elections

Chap Petersen Introduces David Bulova


Thanks to Left of the Hill for this video of Sen. Chap Petersen introducing Del. David Bulova, and strongly supporting him for reelection. I agree with my friend Chap on this one -- it's important to reelect Bulova for all the reasons Chap (!) lists. Also, note that this is a contested election, with Bulova's Republican opponent actually one of the very very few people (something like 10 people out of nearly 1,000 registered users, not including "spam" accounts) we've ever felt we had to ban here at Blue Virginia. That should tell you something. With that, all I have to say is, go David! :)

Winning the House of Delegates

If we can win NY26, we can win the House of Delegates. -P13

(Crossposted from Loudoun Progress.)


The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee is the arm of the Democratic Party that works to elect Democrats to state (and commonwealth) legislatures. This critical, but little noticed, piece of machinery is responsible for tracking election results for a huge number of elections, every year. Because of the sheer number and variety of races involved, it is a lot easier to draw assumptions about electoral trends from these state legislature races than from, say, a single US Senate or House special election. And the trending for Democrats at the state level this year is a lot better than it was in 2010.

In the last three months, we've noticed a startling trend: Since March 1st, Democratic candidates have overperformed in almost every similar special election compared to the Democrats who ran in the same districts in 2010.

This is a truly stunning turnaround. The conventional wisdom says that all else being equal (though it never is), a lower-profile election will produce a more Republican electorate. Therefore, a presidential year like 2008 should see better Democratic performance than a midterm like 2010, which in turn should see better Democratic performance than an odd-year special election.

But ever since the radicalism of the GOP's assault on working families had a chance to sink in nationally, we've begun to see the opposite. Democratic special election candidates are now performing about 9.7% better than the Democratic candidates who ran in the exact same districts in 2010. - DLCC

Follow below the fold for some thoughts on this trend, and our elections for the Assembly in November.

Blue Virginia Interviews with 31st State Senate Candidates: Barbara Favola

As part of this site's ongoing effort to learn more about Democratic candidates for office in Virginia, today we publish our interview with one of the Democratic candidates in the 31st State Senate District (note: current Senator Mary Margaret Whipple has announced that she is retiring). The candidates in the 31st (Arlington, parts of Fairfax and Loudoun Counties) are Arlington County Board member Barbara Favola and Army Lt. Col. Jaime Areizaga-Soto. Yesterday, I had the chance to sit down with Favola for about 45 minutes. The ground rules were that I could record the interview on audio (note: I requested video, but Favola's campaign did not agree), which I've included here and on the "flip." I hope to do the same with Jaime Arezeiga-Soto in the near future. Thanks to Barbara Favola for her time, and also for her willingness to respond to Blue Virginia's questions.

P.S.  We will use these interviews as an important part of our consideration into whether we will endorse anyone in this district, and if so, who we will endorse. We will also be watching debates and the overall campaign to determine who we believe will best represent progressive values, and of course the 31st District, in Richmond.

P.P.S. Favola's campaign manager, Adam Scott, was also present for the interview.

In the first part, I asked Favola to tell us why she's running for State Senate and why she'd be a better choice for Democratic primary voters than her opponent. Favola talked about her 14 years of experience on the Arlington County Board and how that's given her "valuable insight on how Richmond should work with local governments." In addition, Favola said she was "concerned about the direction of the General Assembly and this administration in terms of...their vision for Virginia." Favola said she'd prefer a "more welcoming Virginia, a more compassionate Virginia, a Virginia that's willing to make key investments in its people and its manpower." Favola said she would have voted against anti-immigrant bills, would always vote for women's reproductive rights, would be a human rights advocate for things like the DREAM Act.

Why would she be a better choice than her opponent, Jaime Areizaga-Soto? Please see the "flip" for more.

Blue Virginia Interviews with 49th House of Delegates District Candidates: Alfonso...

As part of this site's ongoing effort to learn more about Democratic candidates for office in Virginia, today we publish the second of two interviews with the Democratic candidates in the 49th House of Delegates District (note: current Delegate Adam Ebbin is vacating the seat to run for State Senate). Those candidates are Stephanie Clifford and Alfonso Lopez. We presented the same questions simultaneously to both candidates, and also requested that they return them at the same time (to be fair, so neither of them knew what the other had answered). Yesterday, we presented Stephanie Clifford's interview. Today, we present our interview with Alfonso Lopez.  We hope you find the interviews informative, and would be very interested in your reaction. Thanks.

P.S. We will also use these questionnaires as an important part of our consideration into whether we will endorse anyone in this district, and if so, who we will endorse. We will also be watching debates and the overall campaign to determine who we believe will best represent progressive values, and of course the 49th District, in Richmond. Thank you to both candidates for their thoughtful, thorough answers to our questions!

1. Tell us a bit about yourself, and specifically, what in your background and/or temperament makes you the best qualified of the two Democratic candidates to represent the 49th House of Delegates district in Richmond.  

At the outset I want to thank Lowell and the Blue Virginia team for helping to provide a forum for this campaign.  Blue Virginia plays a special role in the Commonwealth which is greatly appreciated by so many Virginia Democrats!  

To answer your question, I'm a lifelong Democrat and activist with nearly 20 years of Federal and Virginia legislative experience on issues of critical importance to the people of Arlington and Fairfax.  I've been an Obama Administration political appointee, Kaine Administration Cabinet-level official, Hill staffer, and long-time environmental advocate.  

I've devoted my life to public service.  With that in mind, I believe I have the passion and - more importantly - the practical experience to best make the case for our values and needs in Richmond.

Ryan McElveen for Fairfax County School Board

This Tuesday, the Fairfax County Democratic Committee will choose three at-large school board candidates to endorse for the election in November.

Ryan McElveen is the only candidate who is a recent county graduate and son of a county teacher. He has spearheaded campaigns throughout Virginia promoting classroom diversity, curriculum internationalization and against Ken Cuccinelli's attacks on academic freedom. He will bring that forward-thinking spirit to Fairfax's school board and fight to fully implement full-day kindergarten, improve teacher compensation and eliminate athletic fees.

You can visit his website at

Libby Garvey Speaks to AYDs

Libby Garvey, candidate for the 30th District Virginia Senate seat, spoke to the Arlington Young Democrats last night.  We had a great time and thanks to the AYDs for inviting us!

Does the DPVA Still Benefit Its Members—- and the Citizens of...

That is the question former Governor Douglas Wilder recently asked in an article in  Virginia Tomorrow.  Some in the past have referred to the former Governor as "a loose cannon," and it looks as though the cannon has fired a devastating broadside against what he himself clearly had considered in large part his own creation, the modern, post-Byrd-machine Democratic Party of Virginia.  Mr. Wilder is unhappy with the condition, policies, leadership, and prospects of his party today---- in fact, with the whole shebang. In making his case, he writes:
"Before the Voting Rights Act, the voting populace of Virginia was so small one observer of southern politics said this commonwealth made the notoriously voter-hostile Mississippi look like a hotbed for democracy. After the passage of the VRA, voters with darker faces and those without family wealth and prestige dating back to 1619 started to cast ballots in larger numbers."

Thereafter, as in other states subject to the VRA, a realignment of the political landscape began, with the shifts at first benefitting Republicans (after all, the Great Empancipator, Abraham Lincoln, was a Republican), which is how in 1969 Republican Linwood Holton was elected to the governorship.  (FYI side-note: it was in 1619 that the first slaves from Africa arrived in Virginia---- the past is never really past, in the Old Dominion).

The decade of the 1970's was when the Democratic Party re-built itself "from the ground up" on the ruins of the formerly all-powerful Byrd machine.  This was a slow process, "shedding the ultra-conservative Byrd elements," elements which began joining the Republican Party, freeing the Democrats to build an essentially new party coalition of diversity through painstaking grassroots organizing on "just about a precinct-by-precinct level."  Wilder praises Chuck Robb for bringing the "disparate groups and entities together" in 1981, when Robb ended the 1970's Republican electoral dominance with 12 years of Democratic sweeps in the commonwealth.

Time to Dethrone the Demagogue of Prince William County

Every election season, there are some races that are like eating your peas – you do them as a duty, going through the motions. And then there are the races you feel in your bones – the ones you think about day and night, because you know the outcome really matters.

This election season, if you do nothing else, then at least work to defeat Prince William County Board Chair Corey Stewart. Stewart has many strikes against him, but the proverbial last straw for me came in a recent article in the WaPo Local Living section about Washington area governments’ greening efforts. Most local officials bragged for the article about what they were doing to make their buildings, vehicles and infrastructure more sustainable. And then there’s Corey.

But not all local officials share the same commitment to green and sustainable living.

“I’m totally focused on the nuts and bolts of local government — building schools, building parks, improving the quality of life — and not on some scientifically challenged political philosophy that . . . invests tactical resources in global warming concerns,” said Corey A. Stewart (R-At Large), chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors. “It just is not, for me, the priority that should be the focus of local government.”

How gratuitous and spiteful can an elected official be? Asked about a topic that most people consider innocuous at worst, essential at best, Corey takes the opportunity to peddle conspiracy theories that the vast majority of the world’s climate scientists are “scientifically challenged”? To quote another intellectually-challenged Republican, Corey – “You’re fired!”