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Politics

News
Laquan Austion drops out of House District 2 race

STAFFORD — Republicans in Stafford and Prince William counties are looking for a new candidate for House District 2.

Laquan Austion dropped out.

“Laquan Austion is withdrawing his candidacy for the Second House District effective today. We appreciate his willingness to run for office and serve. We have already started the process of recruiting a strong candidate that will give voters a clear choice in November.”

Austion came under fire this week when the Richmond Times-Dispatch learned the candidate provided false information to voters on his LinkedIn page, and to Potomac Local about his education. Austion claimed to have a Masters Degree from The George Washington University that he didn’t possess.

The report also stated Austion purchased an Audi automobile but never made a payment, A court case in this matter, as well as another debt were dismissed because Austion was not able to be located, according to the Times-Dispatch story. (more…)

News
Woodbridge voter office future uncertain, again

WOODBRIDGE — A voter office in Woodbridge could once again be headed for the chopping block.

The Prince William County Electoral Board is prepared to be hit once more with rent fees from the Virginia DMV.

In March, the state asked for 14 years of back rent in the amount of $31,200 for a voter registration office inside the Woodbridge DMV Customer Service Center on Caton Hill Road. The office is also used as an absentee in-person voting center in the weeks leading up to November General Elections.

“We’ve been there rent-free for years,” said Prince William Electoral Board Secretary Keith Scarborough.

After the March notice, there were fears the only voter registration office on the eastern side of Prince William County would close. The closure was averted when DMV officials backed off, and county officials were told they had at least one more year to operate in the building.

“I think the call for rent was a ‘get out’ message,” said Electoral Board Chairman Robin Williams.

If it was, the election officials have few places has few places to go. The Board on Wednesday wrangled not only with finding what to do about the Woodbridge DMV site but also to find a new site to serve the western end of Prince William County in the growing Haymarket and Gainesville areas. (more…)

News
Republican in Prince William, Stafford House race falsely touts Masters Degree, apologizes

STAFFORD — Laquan Austion replied to a Potomac Local candidate survey and listed a degree he doesn’t have.

The Republican seeking to replace Delegate Mark Dudenhefer in Virginia House District 2 in Prince William and Stafford counties told readers he obtained a Masters Degree from The George Washington University.

On Tuesday, his campaign manager Kurt Lofquist told Potomac Local via email that Austion doesn’t have the degree but is pursuing one. Austion obtained a Bachelors from Drew University in New Jersey.

The admission follows a Richmond Times-Dispatch story that first broke the news, and reported Austion is not currently enrolled in classes at GWU. (more…)

News
Kaine continues healthcare tour in Manassas

MANASSSAS — Tim Kaine came to the Independence Empowerment Center in Manassas on July 28 to discuss healthcare, and the to discuss the health care needs of individuals with disabilities. 

The day after Republicans failed to repeal and replace Obamacare, Kaine issued this statement to Potomac Local in an email:

Through last night we were considering a drastic rewrite of the Affordable Care Act, some versions of which were going to dramatically cut Medicaid, which could greatly harm over 100,000 disabled Virginians. So I wanted to come here – because even though we, thank goodness, averted a catastrophe last night on the vote—we still have to find a way to work together to find improvements. While I’ve traveled the Commonwealth talking to Virginians, I have heard a lot about the importance of the Medicaid program at different phases of life whether it is for children or seniors or working age disabled adults. Now that we are through those repeal efforts and have stopped dramatic cuts to Medicaid, we need to sit down and work together to come up with solutions. I have a bill in that I think would reduce premiums. I have other colleagues that have bills in that are about cost control or access. We need to just get those bills on the table, debate, listen to one another and especially hear from the public. And if we do, we can pick the solutions that would make folks’ lives better, not a repeal that would hurt people.

News
U.S. 1 widening yields many benefits for the community

On August 3, 2017, the Federal Highway Administration is hosting a ribbon cutting to commemorate the widening of U.S. 1 through Fort Belvoir. The project’s completion is an important milestone for our community and has broad ramifications.

When I first ran for office in 2009, I stated that improving U.S. 1 was my number one priority. U.S. 1 is the spine of Mount Vernon, Lorton, Woodbridge, Dumfries/Triangle and Eastern Stafford’s central nervous system and a critical driver of not just transportation, but also access to employment, recreation, retail businesses and restaurants. U.S. 1’s fate can mean revitalizing area schools and housing and can enhance our overall quality of life from Stafford County to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.

When the 2005 Base Re-alignment and Closure (BRAC) transfers to Fort Belvoir were announced, many people justifiably had concerns about the impact of adding 15,000 new jobs and a billion dollar hospital to a densely-populated and congested area. Widening U.S.1 through Fort Belvoir happened because of a decade of work by former Fairfax County Supervisor Gerry Hyland and, my old boss, Congressman Jim Moran, who has said that this was the last earmark Congress ever approved. In some circles, earmarks are disparaged,but we would not have this improvement or an expanded Woodrow Wilson Bridge without earmarks. (more…)

News
Roem gets ‘Trump bump’ after transgender military ban

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY — Virginia House of Delegates candidate Danica Roem can thank the president for an increase in campaign donations.

Roem is Virginia’s first transgender candidate and is running against Delegate Bob Marshall (R-Prince Wiliam, Manassas Park). 

From an email from Danica Roem: 

I’m excited to announce we raised $112,974.21 from 820 donations in July. That’s more money than even House Majority Leader Kirk Cox (R) raised during the last reporting period, June 2-30 ($112,311).

In fact, the number of donations we received exceeded the total number of donations received by the top 18 Republican fundraisers from June combined.

Just on Monday, July 31, we received 135 donations totaling about $6,692, entirely from donations between $1-$250. That’s 108 more donations than Del. Bob Marshall (R-13) received from June 2-30 combined and about $2,000 more than he raised that entire month.

We’ve outpaced Del. Marshall in fundraising from the four communities that make up the 13th District – Manassas, Manassas Park, Gainesville, and Haymarket – from the greater Prince William County area, from the state and across the country.

(more…)

News
Updated: Kaine cancels visit to Haymarket

From Senator Tim Kaine:

Tomorrow, July 28, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Armed Services and Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committees, will travel to Haymarket and Manassas to discuss the health care needs of servicemembers, veterans, and individuals with disabilities in Virginia. In Haymarket, Kaine will visit Serve Our Willing Warriors, a non-profit organization that serves as a retreat for wounded servicemembers to reconnect with their families during the healing process, to meet with the Willing Warriors founders, staff, and volunteers and discuss the needs facing veterans who have suffered from injuries in service.

In the afternoon, Kaine will tour the Independence Empowerment Center, a community-based, non-profit organization operated by and for people with disabilities, in Manassas. Kaine will participate in a roundtable discussion with the executive director and members of the Center to hear their concerns about Senate Republican plans to slash Medicaid. In Virginia, Medicaid provides health care to more than one million Virginians – including 186,000 people with disabilities. On Tuesday, Republicans voted to open debate on their health care bill that would cause tens of millions of Americans to lose their insurance.
(more…)

News
Surovell: Voluntary background check system is a failure

In 2016, the General Assembly enacted a legislation requiring the Virginia State Police to staff gun shows and be available to conduct voluntary background checks upon request by private, non-federally licensed gun sellers as part of a broader compromise on concealed weapon permits. The law has been a total failure.

The legislation required the state to spend $300,000 to hire three new Virginia State Police employees to be present at all gun shows. What have we got for our $300,000?

In January, The Daily Press reported that as of January 1, 2017, one person was denied a purchase at 41 gun shows after thirty-nine checks. (more…)

News
Foy wins HD 2 recount in Prince William, Stafford

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY — Jennifer Carroll Foy is the winner in a recount in the 2nd House of Delegates District. 

The Democrat will move onto the General Election where she’ll face Republican Laquan Austion for the seat. 

The district encompasses eastern Prince William County and a portion of northern Stafford County. 

From a press release: 

Jennifer Carroll Foy captured the Democratic nomination today for House of Delegates District 2 (HD-2) by 14 votes, after election officials recounted every ballot cast in the June 13 Democratic primary. 
 
“I am humbled and grateful to have this opportunity to serve the residents of the Second District, and want to thank Josh King for running a terrific campaign. We won the primary election by running an inclusive, people-centered campaign that engaged thousands of voters in face-to-face conversations,” said Jennifer Carroll Foy, Democratic Nominee for House of Delegates District 2. “I am excited to continue earning the votes of Stafford and Prince William County residents by sharing our vision of a Virginia that works for all of usPeople in the Second District deserve top-quality public education with fairly paid teachers, access to affordable health care, and solutions to our broken transportation system. I have devoted my entire life to public service — fighting for those who need a voice as a public defender and foster mother — and hope to serve you as Delegate.”
 
District 2 is one of the top targeted red-to-blue House of Delegate districts this year. Republican Delegate L. Mark Dudenhefer (HD-2) announced he was not going to run for re-election and Hillary Clinton won the district by 56%. Democrats came within 125 votes of defeating Del. Dudenhefer in 2015, and Democratic turnout is expected to be even higher this year with the gubernatorial race and record turnout in the Democratic primary this June. (more…)

News
Stewart wants Kaine’s seat: ‘The era of the kinder, gentler Republican is over’

WOODBRIDGE — After narrowly losing his bid to be the Republican nominee for Virginia Governor to Ed Gillespie, Corey Stewart has his eyes on the U.S. Senate. 

Specifically, Stewart seeks to unseat Democrat Senator and former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine.

Multiple reporters descended upon Stewart’s home in Woodbridge on Thursday when he made his campaign kick-off announcement. Just before, Stewart sent a press release to reporters that contained these statements:

“As an obedient servant to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, Tim Kaine is the leading obstructionist against Trump’s America First agenda,” Stewart opened. “Virginians and citizens across the country need a fighter representing them in D.C. who will stand up to and defeat the smug Washington elites.”

“This last election proved that Virginians want a fighter who will stand for them. The era of the kinder, gentler Republican is over.”  

“Virginia needs a U.S. Senator who will work to fund the border wall, fix our tax code, repeal Obamacare, and get government out of the way so Americans can get back to work,” Stewart said. “That is why today, I am announcing as a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Virginia.” 

“The Clinton and Obama ideologues have controlled Virginia for too long, and it’s time to turn Virginia red again,” Stewart said, “and no weak-kneed Republican is up to that task,” Stewart asserted. “I will be the fighter the Republicans need to defeat the Democrats in Virginia.” 

Stewart is the Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman At-large, a role he’s served in since 2007. Stewart did better than political pundits in Virginia expect during his June Primary race against Gillespie and Virginia Beach Senator Frank Wagner, losing out to Gillespie by just over one percent.

 

 

News
Surovell: It’s time for local governments to invest in early voting

In Virginia, we have elections every year.  This year, we even have three including a special election for school board on August 29 and then elections for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General and State Delegate on November 7. 

Turnout in our state and local elections plummets. In my experience, a large reason is that voting takes precious time away from jobs and families and given Northern Virginia traffic, time is at a premium.

That’s why I have been encouraging everyone to vote by mail. Most people do not realize how easy it is and most people also do not realize they are even eligible.  If you work outside  your home county, if you cannot stand in line for long periods, are an out of town college student, on vacation or leaving the county for ten minutes on election day, a first responder, or have a commute and workday longer than eleven hours, you can vote early by mail. 

Last year, over 34,000 Prince William and Stafford citizens either voted early in-person or voted by mail.  In Fairfax County, over 120,000 voted early.  There is no reason that should not happen every year and in larger numbers. (more…)

News
Randall running for Garrisonville School Board seat

From a press release: 

Today, Bart Randall formally announced he would seek election to the Garrisonville District seat on the Stafford County School Board. After having filed the proper paperwork and qualified for the ballot, Randall is turning his focus toward the campaign. 

“We must focus on the success, safety, and security of our children and preparing them for a bright future. This includes keeping class sizes low, supporting our teachers, and ensuring our children have the resources to learn.”

Bart Randall and his wife Carolyn live in the Hampton Oaks neighborhood of Stafford and recently celebrated their 30th anniversary.  They have two adult children, including one who graduated from North Stafford High School. Randall retired from a 24-year Navy career in 2009, ending his tenure as a Master Chief with over ten years serving at sea. During his time in the Navy, Randall earned an Associate of Science in Nuclear Engineering Technology, a Bachelor of Science in Sociology and two Master of Arts degrees in Human Resources Development and Human Resources Management. Randall has been involved in the Stafford Community volunteering as a baseball coach, in Boy Scouts, and at his church.

News
Vannoy completes paperwork, is Democratic nominee for commissioner of the revenue

Alonita Vannoy is the Democratic Commissioner of the Revenue candidate in Manassas. 

Following a June firehouse primary where she won her party’s nomination, Vannoy had yet to complete her initial campaign paperwork filing with the city’s General Registrar’s office.

“Ms. Vannoy successfully filed all required candidate forms with the City of Manassas General Registrar on or before June 12.  We submitted our certification of Ms. Vannoy’s Democratic nomination for Commissioner of the Revenue on June 14.  She will be listed on the ballot for the November 7, 2017, general election in the City of Manassas,” stated Allen Muchick, of the Manassas and Manassas Park Democratic Committee. 

Manassas General Registrar Susan Reed confirmed she had the paperwork on file.

Vannoy tells us via email: 

“I am honored that people came out to vote for me.  They had the confidence to elect me to be the Democratic Nominee for the Commissioner of the Revenue.  I am going to let the people of Manassas get to know me.   I also will show them the kind of Commissioner of the Revenue I will be. I am going to do everything I need to do and I’m going to win.   As a native Virginian, this Commonwealth is very special to me.  I am dedicated to serving Manassas City.”

Vannoy will run against incumbent Commissioner of the Revenue and former City Mayor Douglas Waldron, on the Republican ticket.  (more…)

News
King wants recount in 2nd District race in Prince William, Stafford

A total of 12 votes separates Democrats Josh King and Jennifer Carrol Foy.

Voters in Virginia’s 2nd District, in eastern Prince William and northern Stafford counties, went to the polls Tuesday to choose which Democrat they want to represent them in the fall General Election.

“Upon official certification by the State Board of Elections, the Josh King campaign will request a recount to assure every vote is counted accurately. The accurate accounting of ballots is the cornerstone of American democracy and we intend to ensure that principle is upheld in this election,” said Anthony Fragale, Josh King Campaign Manager.

The campaign went on to thank King supporters in the same statement.

Virginia law permits a recount if a candidate is apparently defeated by not more than a one percent margin. 
(more…)

News
Down but not out: Stewart returns to Prince William with 2 more years as county’s top elected leader

Corey Stewart regularly makes a good political showing in Prince William County.

When he won a 2015 bid to keep his seat as County Board Chairman, At-large, the Republican beat his Democratic opponent winning 57% of the vote. He not only did well in the county’s more conservative western precincts, but he also did well in mid-county precincts like Coles, Penn, Marshall, Hylton, and Spriggs.

On the county’s heavily Democratic-leaning eastern side, the voters in the Occoquan District who originally voted him as their district supervisor in 2006 overwhelmingly voted for him again in 2015, as the Republican won every precinct in the Occoquan District except York.

Current Occoquan District Supervisor Ruth Anderson, a Republican, also won her campaign that year running against former Occoquan Mayor Earnie Porta, a Democrat, who carried name recognition not only from his time in office but his involvement in non-profit groups and the chamber of commerce. At the time, local political pundits said Anderson, a political newcomer, was able to ride Stewart’s coattails in the Occoquan District as voters cast ballots down party lines.

Stewart on Tuesday night lost his Primary Election bid to be Virginia’s next Republican gubernatorial candidate to Ed Gillespie by just over one percent. It was the second time Stewart sought higher state office following a losing 2013 bid to be Virginia Lt. Governor. (more…)

News
Gillespie wins Virginia Republican nomination

Republican Ed Gillespie won his party’s nomination to be his party’s candidate for Virginia Governor.

He’ll go on to face Virginia Lt. Governor Ralph Northam in the General Election in November. Gillespie won the state with just over one percent of the vote, beating out Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart, and Virginia State Senator Frank Wagner.

“When you look at the campaign the Democrats are running, they constantly seek to divide us. We are not going to divide our way to greater prosperity, better schools, and more roads. I will be a governor for all Virginians, and our policies will benefit all Virginians. Our fight to put Virginia on the right track is only just beginning. Tomorrow morning, Jill Vogel, John Adams and I begin a statewide tour where we’ll take this campaign to every corner of our Commonwealth and every voter in Virginia,” stated Gillespie in an email.

Locally, Stewart did better than many thought he would. Republican on of his Board of Supervisors endorsed Gillespie but won Prince William County with 60% of the vote.

In Manassas and Manassas Park, Stewart also cleaned up with 55% and 61% of the vote, respectively.

Prince William County Republicans promised a unified ticket in the months ahead.

“After a hard-fought race in Virginia, we have our Republican ticket. Prince William Republicans will unify and make sure Ed Gillespie, Jill Vogel and John Adams win in November. The Democrats have moved way too far to the left – too far left for a state like Virginia. Ed, Jill, and John will enact mainstream policies that will lead us towards a more prosperous and free Commonwealth. As a state, we can do better in job creation, economic growth, and education,” said Prince William Republican Committee Chairman Dottie Miller.

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McAuliffe and Trump share an idea: Raise the federal gas tax

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe today called on Congress to raise the federal gas tax.

“I think they should raise the gas tax. No one else will say that,” said McAuliffe.

The increased tax could be used to pay for transportation improvements, to include repairing and American Legion Bridge, a structure that connects the state with Maryland on I-495 Capital Beltway he said is in need of repair.

“It’s fine right now, but it needs some work. But what if we had to shut that down? That is a major thoroughfare between Maryland and Virginia,” said McAuliffe.

The governor Congress to find a dedicated source of funding for transportation maintenance and improvements. It’s an idea he shares with President Trump, who last month suggested raising the gas tax not touched since 1993. (more…)

News
Updated: Stewart wins Prince William County, but Gillespie has late surge

Prince William County decided selected a winner Tuesday night in Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam.

Northam won in a Democratic Primary Election the county of nearly half a million people by less than one percent. He beat former Congressman Tom Perriello, a candidate that was seen to stand more to the left of Northam.

Northam went on to win the state and will go on to become the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in the fall. Northam had 55% of the total vote statewide by 8:30 p.m. with 70% of the precincts reporting, an hour-and-a-half after polls closed across the state.

Gov. Terry McAulliffe, the man who hopes to be replaced by Northam when his term ends in January, endorsed him last year.

In the Lt. Governor’s race, Democrat Justin Fairfax easily beat out his two Primary Election candidates Gene Rossi and Susan Platt. At 8:45 p.m., Fairfax with 48% of the vote with 71% of the precincts reporting. (more…)

News
Your guide to Tuesday’s Primary Election in Prince William County

Voters will head to the polls on Tuesday for the state’s Primary Election.

Voters statewide will choose who they want to be their respective party’s gubernatorial candidates. In Prince William County, voters will choose Democratic Party candidates in four House of Delegates Races.

In what district do I live? Where do I go to vote? 

Here’s a breakdown:

VIRGINIA GOVERNOR

Democrat Governor
Ralph Northam
Tom Periello

Republican Governor
Ed Gillespie
Corey Stewart
Frank Wagner

VIRGINIA LT. GOVERNOR

Lt. Governor Democrat
Justin E. Fairfax
Gene J. Rossi
Susan S. Platt

Lt. Governor Republican
Bryce E. Reeves
Glenn R. Davis, Jr.
Jill H. Vogel

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY HOUSE OF DELEGATES

Here is the breakdown for House of Delegate races in Prince William County that have Primary Elections on Tuesday. All candidates in these primaries are Democrats seeking to become their party’s nominee for the respective seat.

2nd District — House of Delegates Democrat
Jennifer D. Carroll Foy
Joshua L. King

Republican Laquan Austion is his party’s the nominee for this seat. The current seatholder Mark Dudenhefer announced he would not seek reelection.

13th District — House of Delegates Democrat
Mansimran Singh Kahlon
Danica A. Roem
Steven A. Jansen
Andrew A. Adams (No social media or campaign website found, so we linked to his VPAP page)

Republican Bob Marshall is the incumbent for this seat.

31st District — House of Delegates Democrat
Elizabeth R. Guzman
Sara E. Townsend

Replican Scott Lingamfelter is the incumbent for this seat.

51st District — House of Delegates Democrat
Kenny Allen Boddye
Hala S. Ayala

Republican Richard Anderson is the incumbent in this seat.

There was to be a Republican Primary Election in the 50th District in Manassas. However, Hal Parrish II dropped out of the race to be the next 50th District Delegate after the incumbent Jackson Miller lost his April bid to be the next Clerk of the Prince William County Circuit Court. Miller will move ahead to the fall election as the GOP candidate in this race.

News
Vannoy must complete paperwork to become Democratic Manassas Commissioner of the Revenue candidate

Vannoy

Alonita Vannoy won the Manassas Democratic firehouse primary to be the party candidate for the city’s Commissioner of the Revenue job.

The only problem — her paperwork on file with the city’s Voter Registrar’s office is incomplete.

“She has until June 13 at 5 p.m., Primary Day” to complete her paperwork, said Manassas & Manassas Park Cities Democratic Committee Co-Chair Allen Muchnick.

Vannoy couldn’t be reached for comment.

The vote held Thursday night at City Hall was tallied 47 for Vannoy, and 26 for Stephanie Tipple. Both candidates vying to be the Democratic nominee for Manassas Commissioner of the Revenue are political newcomers, and the latter is a former writer for this news website.

Tipple said the protested before and after the vote because Vannoy had not filed paperwork with the city registrar. Today, the candidate unpublished her campaign Facebook page and does not plan to challenge the decision.

“I plan to move on with my life,” said Tipple.

Tipple

Tipple said she would support Vannoy in the election “if she is the most qualified candidate and gets all of her paperwork filed.”

The Manassas & Manassas Park Cities Democratic Committee has yet to certify the results of the firehouse primary, “which is odd” given the circumstances, said Muchnick.

Vannoy has some of the items on her she statement of organization filled out already, to include basic contact information and a bank in which she will house her campaign finances, according to Manassas Voter Registrar Susan Reed. The candidate must now go back to the registrar’s office to complete her filing.

Former Manassas Mayor Douglas Waldron is the current commissioner of the revenue. He’s held the position for one term and has filed to run for reelection in the fall.

The commissioner of the revenue is responsible for collecting administering tax money collected from city residents.

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