Transportation key to Dudenhefer’s campaign
Mark Dudenhefer seeks to reclaim his seat in the House of Delegates representing Stafford and Woodbridge.
It will be Dudenehfer’s third time running for the seat, one he held for one term after being elected in 2011. He later lost to Delegate Michael Futrell in 2013.
The Republican and former Chairman of the Stafford County said transportation will be a key issue during his campaign to reclaim the seat.
“I left office two years ago, and there were a lot of transportation projects that were fully funded and moving forward,” said Dudenhefer.
Since that time, however, some projects in Northern Virginia were placed under review by the Commonwealth Transportation Board in Richmond. The Board pulled some a portion of funding away from the some projects and moved into a special trust fund until a state-level review of projects was complete, following the election of Gov. Terry McAuliffe.
Dudenehfer said the planned construction of a $184 million interchange at Courthouse Road and Interstate 95 in Stafford County will do wonders to move the region forward. A total of $5 million was pulled from the project and placed into the trust fund, and fewer funds means that work to build commuter parking lot slated to be built as part of the project won’t happen unless officials at the county level can find new sources of funding.
The interchange is one of 30 projects under review. The project lies just outside the 2nd House District that encompasses a portion of northern and western Stafford County, and a portion of Woodbridge in Prince William County. Dudenhefer says transportation is a regional issue that is larger than the concerns of any one politicians’ district.
“I fought very hard to get the new HOT lanes extended from Dumfries to Garrisonville,” said Dudenehfer.
He lobbied Transurban, builder of the new EZ-Pass Express Lanes on I-95, to build two lanes – one more than was originally planned – when extending the current HOV lanes from Dumfries to Garrisonville Road. The new lanes are scheduled to open this month.
During this time in office, Dudenehfer supported a study of extending Metro to Woodbridge. He also sided with then Gov. Bob McDonnell on a landmark transportation bill that was to raise some $880 million for new transportation funding.
While those estimates have fallen short due to, in part, declining fuel prices, Dudenhefer said someone needs to hold Richmond accountable for how much money is spent, and on what projects are funded. If elected, he’ll look into what has stalled construction of a new bridge at Route 123 and Route 1 in Wooodbridge that was supposed to provide better access to the developing Belmont Bay neighborhood.
Stafford, Prince William vote differently
While he’s made no official announcement, Futrell will seek a seat in the Virginia Senate, according to an official with the Virginia House Democrats. Futrell lives in the 29th District, the seat of retiring State Senator Charles Colgan who has served in Richmond since 1976. Two other Democrats, Atif Qarni and Jeremy McPike, have both announced they will compete for the seat.
The chairman of the Prince William County Democratic Committee said it has has new candidate to run against Dudenhefer who will officially announce in January.
In 2013, Futrell won the election with over 1% of the total vote. He relied heavily on Democratic voters in Prince William to carry him into office.
The split between voters in Prince William and Stafford counties couldn’t have been more apparent. In Prince William, Dudenhefer scored just 34% of the vote while in his home County of Stafford he won 64% of the vote.
The Republican admits he’ll need more votes in Prince William County this time around to win.
“I failed to get out in Prince William last time,” he said. “I’m going to get out and be on the door steps and talk about the issues that are important to residents.”
“Stafford’s issues are a bit different that Prince William’s, and I don’t think the two sets of issues conflict with each other, and you can deal with them mutually,” added Dudenehfer.
Prince William Democrats identify new candidate to replace Futrell
After one term in the House of Delegates, Michael Futrell will run to replace the retiring Charles Colgan, who is currently Virginia’s longest-serving Senator in Richmond.
A new Democratic candidate that been selected to replace Futrell will make his official announcement in January, said Prince William County Democratic Committee Chairman Harry Wiggins. The unnamed candidate lives in Woodbridge, has been active in the committee, and will soon retire from his job at the Pentagon in Arlington.
Republican Mark Dudenhefer, whom Futrell unseated to win the 2nd District seat, is has told fellow Republicans he will seek to retake the seat but has made no formal announcement. Dudenhefer said that Futrell called him last night and told him he would not seek reelection in the 2nd District.
“What you learn quickly when you start doing this is people try to dictate what your schedule of things is before you even have a chance to think about them. This is not about me, this is about the people and we’re trying to do the people’s work,” Futrell told Potomac Local on Tuesday night.
He did not say when he planned to make an official announcement that he would seek the Senate seat.
“I’ll send you an email when I decide to do it,” he said.
Futrell will enter an increasing crowded field among fellow Democrats who want Colgan’s old seat. Atif Qurni and Jeremy McPike have both sought office before, and will compete for the nomination of their party for the Senate seat.
Colgan, a Democrat, is the President Pro-Tempore of the Senate and served in the office since 1976.
Court must approve election date
A special election will be held March 17 to decide who will replace Councilwoman Kristin Forrester.
The long-serving Dumfries Town Councilwoman stepped down from the governing body last night. She will take a new Federal Government job overseas.
The council will appoint someone to fill the Council vacancy. The appointee will hold the position until a special election is held to select the permanent council person.
The March 17 date was chosen because it is 56 days prior to Virginia’s June 9 Primary Election. Candidates who wish to replace Forrester must now go into the community and obtain at least 125 signatures, that will later be verified by the Prince William County Voter Registrar, to have their name included on the ballot.
Some council members, including Forrester, wanted to allow whomever is appointed to serve until May 2016.
“It will give my replacement time to work with the council, give time to give input for to the council rather than just sitting up here for a couple weeks,” said Forrester.
But Mayor Jerry Foreman and Councilman Cliff Brewer said an election is needed sooner than later.
“By us appointing someone, we’re taking it out of the citizens’ hands. We need to put this back in the citizens hands and let them decide who they want on this council,” said Brewer.
“If we wait until May 2016, the person will fill this seat will fill it for 18 months. If we ask our citizens and say ‘hey give us you resumes, we want to know who is interested in this position’ and then turn around and select someone for 18 months, that person is serving for half a term and I think the citizens should be the ones selecting that, not the council members,” said Foreman.
The court must approve the March 17 special election day. The Town Council is expected to appoint an interim Council member in January.
‘Ethics reform needed to restore public trust in Richmond’
Jeremy McPike fell short by just 288 votes in his bid to unseat the long-serving Scott Lingamfelter from the Virginia House of Delegates. There were a total of 22,833 votes cast in the 2013 contest.
McPike said he built a “strong coalition” of voters during that campaign who recognized him as the person who could help bring ethics reform to Richmond, as well as help move Prince William County forward in areas such as transportation and education.
Not giving up the fight, McPike will officially announce his candidacy to fill the 29th District Virginia Senate seat vacated by Charles Colgan, the Senate’s longest-serving member since 1976, and its President Pro Tempore. The district includes all of Manassas and Manassas Park and a portion of Prince William County.
“The ethics reform that we seen go before our governor don’t go far enough. Zero gifts to politicians need to be the standard to restore public trust in Richmond,” said McPike.
Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and First Lady Maureen McDonnell were convicted in September on 11 of 13 counts and nine of 13 counts, respectively, of taking $177,000 in loans and gifts from then Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams. On Monday, a federal judge acquitted Maureen McDonnell on one count of obstruction of justice but refused to toss out charges against the former governor. Both now face years in prison.
McPike also wants to reform how political districts are drawn and bring an end to gerrymandering. He says both political parties use big data, just as large corporations use to find their customers, to draw political districts – “cramming” a large number of Republicans into one district and Democrats into another.
“Voters should be creeped out because [political parties] know who voted for what, down to the decimal point, and then use that information to determine how they will vote again,” said McPike.
The Democrat says he wants to continue in Colgan’s footsteps. The retiring Senator is credited with bringing million of dollars in funding for local transportation projects.
“I commute one hour each way every day,” said McPike. “We need to continue to fund road improvements on Route 28, I-95, and Route 1, but do it in a way so that it does not cut into education.”
To increase revenues in state coffers, McPike said he is in favor of repealing a state tax credit used to entice filmmakers to make movies in the state.
“The data show there is no payback for the tax credit,” he said.
McPike will compete against fellow Democrat Atif Qarni for the seat. Qarni unsuccessfully ran to unseat Delegate Bob Marshall, losing by 498 of the 17,429 cast in the 2013 contest.
McPike is from Dale City where he currently lives with his wife of 14 years, Sharon, and their three girls, ages 13, 9, and 6, all who attend public school. By day, McPike works as the Director of General Services for Alexandria and manages city real estate, facilities, vehicle fleet, animal shelter, and farmers market.
He also serves at the Dale City Volunteer Fire Department Station 10 on Dale Boulevard in Dale City, where he’ll make his official campaign kick-off announcement at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Three seats on the Manassas City Council were up for grabs last night.
Marc Aveni, a Republican incumbent, kept his seat with 24% of the vote.
The biggest vote getter of the night was Sheryl Bass with 30% of the vote. Bass returns to the City Council after being the first woman ever to serve on the will now sit on the City Council when she was appointed in 2008 to complete a term that ended in 2010. She also served on the city’s School Board prior to her 2008 appointment to the council.
Ken Elston was the only Democrat to pick up a seat on the City Council on Tuesday. He won 23% of the vote beating out fellow Democrat Patricia Richie-Folks by two points.
Elston is the director of George Mason University’s School of Theater and ran on a platform of greater economic development for the city.
Manassas Vice-Mayor Andrew L. “Andy” Harrover and Steven J. Randolph decided not to seek reelection to the council. Both will complete their terms that come to an end Dec. 31.
Republicans maintain control of two big Virginia House Districts
Rob Wittman will return to Washington for his fourth consecutive term.
The congressman represents Virginia’s 1st District to include Prince William and Stafford counties, as well as counties in the eastern portion of Virginia stretching to Williamsburg.
Wittman handily defeated his opponent Norm Mosher, a Democrat, who was a first-time political candidate this season.
“The top three issues when I return to Washington are military readiness… the second is to get our economy cranking and then there’s many other opportunities to do other things, to get our budget under control and government out of the way, to make sure we’re doing things to reach across the aisle to get things done,” said Wittman.
Wittman beat Mosher handily across the state with 63% of the vote. The vote tally resulted in a 28 point spread between the two candidates.
Riding a Republican wave into office, Wittman said he looked forward to working in a GOP-controlled congress.
“By having a republican senate and a republican house you’ll have bills come through on both sides of the aisle and people willing to work together to get things done. It’s going to be telling when we look at what the president is going to do,” said Wittman. “He is going to come and meet with us and try to make things happen?”
Wittman and his supporters gathered Tuesday night at the Globe and Laurel restaurant just outside Quantico.
Voters in Virginia’s 10th District to include western Prince William, Manassas, and Manassas Park sent also sent a Republican back to Washington. Barbara Comstock, a Virginia State Delegate, will replace retiring Rep. Frank Wolf, who has held that office since 1980. With 57% of the vote, Comstock beat challenger Democrat John Foust, a member of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.
The former Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Fairfax, Prince William, easily won the congressional district. He first won the seat in 2008, and the district includes most of eastern Prince William County. Connolly won the day with 57% of the vote, 17 more points than his opponent.
The much-watched race of the night was for Virginia’s Senate seat, which remains too close to call despite Warner claiming victory in the race with a slim 49% to 48% lead over Republican Ed Gillespie.
Iraq, Ebola, Jobs Top Voter Concerns, says Congressman
In the world of telemarketing sales, there’s an old saying “smile and dial.”
In politics it’s called a phone bank, where campaign supporters fill a room, sit side by side in close quarters, dial voters and ask for their vote.
And on Sunday a house in Montclair, it was Congressman Robert Wittman (R, Va. – 1) making those phone calls. This is his fourth campaign in an effort to keep his job representing Virginians from Prince William County to Williamsburg, an unusually diverse political district.
This election, voters are asking about him questions about the down economy, like they did during his last election season in 2012, but also about the conflict with ISIS in Iraq and the Ebola outbreak that has made its way to the U.S.
“There’s much more international flavor to what the election issues are this time around. During the last election, the issues were ‘what are we going to do about the economy, what are we going to do about jobs?” All of those things are still on people’s minds but they are now equal to issues like national security,” said Wittman.
The Republican is facing first-time candidate Democrat Norm Mosher. The two faced off last month in Manassas for their first debate where Wittman touted said more needs to be done to unclog this area congested highways, and Mosher warned voters of the real threat of global climate change and its effects on the Virginia coastline.
In 2012, Wittman won over his Democratic opponent by 15 points. This go round, he’s sticking to the same conservative points that resonate with his base like Obamacare, reforming the tax code, and that the government spends and owes too much money.
Tim Singstock opened up his home on Sunday for about 10 volunteers who all sat with cell phones in hand, in front of laptops using a special software used to track phone calls, and asked voters to cast their ballot for Wittman.
“These are my friends this is for my family. If I want to promote my family and do what’s important to them, I have to take care of my country,” said Singstock, who recently formed the conservative group Potomac GOP.
Singstock invited the congressman to his home for the 90-minute phone-a-thon. After the election, he hopes to keep the members of his group active by focusing on issues facing local government.
“We need to learn about local issues if we are going to be effective, so that means turning off Fox News, putting down the Wall Street Journal, and engaging in local media like Potomac Local, talking to our local elected officials, visiting them and holding them accountable…,” said Singstock.
MANASSAS, Va. – In Thursday’s night’s 1st Congressional District forum, Republican incumbent Rob Wittman put his knowledge and seven years of congressional experience on display to get across his conservative viewpoints.
The newcomer and challenger, Democrat Norm Mosher, said the event was his first public campaign forum, and it showed as Mosher stuck to a script of Democratic talking points.
The Prince William Committee of 100 held the candidates forum, which was also to include Independent Gail Parker who did not show. The event was moderated by Dr. Steven Farnsworth, Professor and Director of Center for Leadership and Media Studies at Mary Washington University.
Crisis in the Middle East
On the topic of how do deal with ISIS, the group calling itself the Islamic State, the opinions of the two candidates differed.
“ISIS must be destroyed,” said Wittman. “Extremisms, in all nations, it’s a chance to stand against this type of treachery that should be wiped out…the focus of these groups is to wipe out everyone who doesn’t believe in their narrow view of the Quran, and I know there are many in Islam that don’t believe in that.”
Mosher called on strengthening relationships with countries around Iraq and Syria, where the ISIS movement has taken a stronghold.
“We upset balance of Iraq when we invaded,” said Mosher. “I would like to see stronger role by Saudi Arabia and Qatar and a stronger relationship with Turkey and Egypt. What’s going on is just an extension of 1,400 years of religious warfare. We can’t put boots on the ground in that region without being seen as an occupier.”
On the topic of children coming across U.S. borders illegally, and illegal immigrants who have been here for years, Mosher said deportation is not an option.
“There aren’t enough buses in the world to deport 12 to 14 million illegal’s who are here in our country. They’re here and they’re contributing to our culture,” said Mosher. “We should focus on a wall south of Mexico to stop countries from sending children here that we have to deal with.”
Wittman said a mix of physical barriers, and increased use of technology will do more to stop the flow of illegal immigrants across the U.S. southern border. He also called for tightening the visa program in the U.S., calling for increased enforcement and finding those who have overstayed their welcome.
Questions turned to money, taxes, and to whether or not the national minimum wage should be raised, which currently sits at $7.25 per hour in Virginia and varies by state.
“Min wage should be wage. When you have companies making their labor plans with the assumption their employees will go on government assistance is shameful,” said Mosher, who suggested $10.10 per hour would be an acceptable minimum wage.
“When you look at information from the Congressional Budget Office, which found that if the minimum wage was raised, 1 million jobs would be lost. The real issue we need to address is finding the jobs people need to move into after leaving minimum wage jobs,” said Wittman, who also advocated for more career and technical education.
On corporate tax reform, Wittman said companies should pay less corporate taxes and should not be penalized for sending jobs over seas. Mosher fired back and said while the coporate tax rate may be 38%, only about 12% is actually being paid due to tax evasion.
“…you can’t change the tax code until all the loopholes are stopped so we actually know what were getting for national revenue,” he said.
On healthcare, Mosher is a strong supporter of Obamacare while Wittman said it has failed to launch. The two agreed, however, on two specifics of the Obamacare plan – allowing adults age 26 and under to remain on their parents healthcare plan, and for guanrateeing health coverage for those with pre-existing conditions.
Of the most important issues facing Virginia, Mosher said climate change is already affecting coastal towns in eastern Virginia in the 1st District, as well as impacting the coastal City of Norfolk.
Wittman said improving the road system so more businesses can get goods to market faster is key to bettering the region.
“Mass transit is part of the solution, but ask anyone that transacts business or delivers goods — they’ll tell you have to have roads and major corridors to get goods to market,” said Wittman.
Voters will have their say as to which candidate will represent them when they go to the polls Nov. 4.
PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. – When Wally Covington steps down, don’t expect Brentsville to have a voice any time soon.
Covington, who serves on the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, was confirmed today for a new position as a Prince William General District Court Judge, according to the woman who is running to replace him.
Here’s a statement received by Potomac Local from candidate Jeanine Lawson:
Today, Brentsville Supervisor, Wally Covington, was confirmed as a Prince William County General District Court Judge by the Virginia General Assembly. Per Virginia law, Supervisor Covington will have to resign his position on the Prince William Board of County Supervisors. On Wednesday, October 1 at Patriot High School starting at 7:00 p.m. the Republicans will hold a nominating meeting to choose their candidate who will run in a special election to fill the Brentsville District seat.
Covington didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The job as judge was a position the county supervisor said he was seeking, and there were several comments made by his fellow Board of Supervisors members during public meetings about Covington taking the bench – a job he cannot hold while serving as supervisor.
Covington was awaiting action from Virginia’s General Assembly, which met today in a special session to approve a new budget that essentially clears the way for his ascension to the bench.
When he steps down, that will leave a vacancy on the Board. A special election will need to be scheduled no sooner than 45 days, but no longer than 60 days after his resignation.
And that means it could be at December or January before Brenstville has a supervisor again. That’s because of a law unique to Prince William.
“The law only applies to Prince William Supervisors. We call it the Michelle McQuigg law,” said Prince William County Electoral Board Chairman Keith Scarborough. “When Michelle was elected [to the Virginia House of Delegates in 1998], there was a vacancy on the Board of Supervisors, and she wanted a particular person to be appointed, so Michelle went to Richmond and wrote a law that only applies to Prince William Supervisors that states when there’s a vacancy, you can’t appoint an interim person.”
This differs from the county’s elected School Board that in recent years has appointed two interim candidates, in the Occoquan and Woodbridge magisterial districts, only to have them unseated in a later special election.
Scarbarough says he’s working to change the law authored by McQuigg, who now is the county’s elected Clerk of the Court after being elected to the position in 2008, and hopes to have action in the coming General Assembly session in January.
Lawson is a Republican who also faces Realtor Scott Jacobs, who is also seeking the seat. Lawson concluded her press release with this statement:
“I’d like to congratulate Supervisor Covington on his judicial appointment. I look forward to having the opportunity to represent the residents of the Brentsville District and my campaign is in position to run a strong race in the upcoming election. I will continue to share my plans for balanced growth, responsible spending, and quality of life issues with the voters of the Brentsville District.”
MANASSAS, Va. – In a little corner of Downtown Manassas new campaign headquarters opened Monday night.
It’s a joint election office for Senator Mark Warner who is seeking reelection, and for John Foust, a Fairfax County Board of Supervisors member hoping to replace outgoing Congressman Frank Wolf (R, Va.-10). Both Foust and Warner are Democrats and at their Manassas election headquarters supporters wore t-shirts, stickers, and hats as if the two men were unto themselves a professional football team.
“Oh, this is very nice, very nice,” said Marilyn Foust, the candidate’s wife as she took a first look at the office at 941 Main Street, next to Philadelphia Tavern. It’s one of several new Foust campaign offices that have opened across the 10th Congressional District, which spans from McLean – where Foust calls home – to Manassas, Manassas Park, west to Frederick County.
Supporters greet Foust at the door with applause, and he shakes each ones hand as he walks in. When he makes his way to back of the room to stand in front of a giant sign with his name on it, he’s surrounded by Manassas Park City Councilwoman Jeannet Rishell, as well as other Democrats who hope to make a name for themselves as they seek offices on the Manassas City Council.
In this campaign’s cross hairs is Barbara Comstock, who also lives in McLean and is a Republican delegate in Virginia’s House of Representatives.
“Comstock has put on a mask of moderation for this race,” said Rishell. “…we can see from her voting record she sides with the GOP agenda.”
Wasting no time throwing punches, Democrats labeled their opponent as someone who would take away a woman’s right to choose, someone who voted against landmark transportation reform in Virginia, and someone carries an “extremely partisan” record in Richmond.
“We have Republicans on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors but we know how to work together and compromise to get things done,” said Foust.
Comstock was attending a fair in Loudoun County today and was not immediately available for comment, a campaign spokeswoman said. The Republican has been endorsed by several in the GOP including Republican Delegates Richard Anderson, Tim Hugo who represent Prince William County, Jackson Miller, of Manassas, as well as members of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors and School Board.
The Democrat also brought up guns and said he owns them, but supports limiting gun purchases to one a month.
“Sensible gun safety measures are something we should all support, especially with all of the school massacres as of late,” said Foust.
So far, Foust has outraised his Republican opponent Barbara Comstock by about $100,000, with a full campaign war chest of $1.1 million, according to the Virginia Public Access Project. Those at the office opening on Monday said this open seat election is a way for the party to gain control of a district that has been a Republican stronghold.
WOODBRIDGE, Va. – Candidate Mark Gibson came up short just 43 names.
News of Gibson being kicked out of a farmer’s market in Dale City while attempting to collect signatures appear on the November ballot made waves earlier this year. He was eventually back to the market with the proper permits, but in the end we learned he didn’t have enough valid signatures to get his name on the ballot, and now he is calling it quits.
The Independent sought to unseat Democrat Gerry Connolly (D-Fairfax, Prince William) who has been in he House of Representatives in 2009. This was the Fairfax businessman’s second run at the federal seat.
Gibson, like all candidates, must get enough qualified signatures and present them to the office of elections to be able to have their names listed on ballots in polling booths during the General Election.
Gibson told Potomac Local he also collected signatures at various other events, including a festival in Vienna where he was able to pick up quite a few. Gibson today issued a press release that contained this statement:
Of the 302 disqualified signatures, about half were from outside the District – primarily from areas that were formerly in the District prior to the 2012 Congressional redistricting. Other voters were disqualified because the general registrars in the counties of Fairfax and Prince William as well as the City of Fairfax could not identify a signature as a registered voter from the 11th District.
And, with that Gibson has decided to bow out of the race, telling Potomac Local in an email “I would have to be a write-in and I just don’t see that as effective.”
He also included this quote in his press release:
“We had a small dedicated group of community volunteers collecting ballot petition signatures, but it just wasn’t enough,” Gibson said. “And the demands of my day job this year meant that I couldn’t devote the time necessary to make this bid a success.”
Gibson is a U.S. Government contractor and the chief operating officer for a Fairfax-based small business.
Candidates need 1,000 qualified signatures to appear on the ballot and most of them, like Gibson, submitted more than necessary in case some names don’t check out. He was just 43 qualified names short of meeting the requirement.
Gerry Connolly will seek reelection, but Republican challenger Suzanne Scholte, Green Party candidate Joe Galdo, and Libertarian Marc Harrold are all running against him.
WOODBRIDGE, Va. – A bi-partisan town hall meeting quickly turned to debate over Medicaid expansion in Virginia.
State Senator George Barker (D-Fairfax, Prince William) and Delegate Richard Anderson (R-Prince William) on Wednesday night got an earful of opinions from Prince William County residents who support or oppose growing the federal healthcare mandate, known as Obamacare.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe in 2013 campaigned for office on a plan to vigorously expand Medicare in the state only to come up short after the General Assembly session that concluded earlier this year. The move would have put Virginia on a list of states like Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Rhode Island, and Washington, D.C. that are already expanding their Medicare programs.
Under the law, the U.S. Government will cover 90% of the costs in the early years and then phase down the number of dollars they provide in later years. Some have likened Medicare expansion to Social Security funds which some fear may dry up.
“I’m worried that in 10 years from how the burden to pay for all of this will fall on the State of Virginia, and I don’t like the idea of borrowing money from the Federal Government to pay for this,” a man said.
Others challenged Anderson and Barker to expand Obamacare in the state and provide insurance for some 350,000 or more that otherwise do not have access to it.
“Governor McAuliffe campaigned on the issue and it’s not like he changed his mind,” said Barbara Paceiejewski, of Lake Ridge.
The Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission (MIRC) was established last year to find a way to move forward on healthcare expansion in the state, but Barker said the commission is now dormant and has not held a meeting since April.
“The commission is no longer functioning. They’ve had lots of meetings, and a lot of information has been passed around, but there’s been no solid discussion on the matter,” said Barker.
Barker supports the expansion and says Virginia is already paying into the federal healthcare system but, since the state will not expand the program, does not recoup the tax monies given to the feds. Anderson does not support the current plan to expand healthcare in the state and cited worries about the national debt.
“I’m concerned about one number: $17 trillion – our national debt. I know work as been done to improve the deficit but I’m worried about the overall budget and how we’re going to pay for this program,” said Anderson.
With Democrats still pushing for expansion, Republican House of Delegates William J. Howell said late Wednesday the General Assembly will return to Richmond for a special session in late September to once again take up the issue. That session will come after McAuliffe is expected to announce his plan to expand the program in the state.
Both elected officials also talked about their legislative successes during the annual General Assembly session that wrapped up earlier this year.
A bill from Barker allows U.S. servicemen and women just back from deployment more time to have their car inspected in the event their inspection expired while deployed. Another allows employers hit by current hard economic times to reduce the number of hours worked by employees to two to three days a week, allowing them to collect state unemployment benefits for days not worked. By reducing hours worked, it prevents a company from having to fire trained employees only to have to hire and train new employees when business picks back up, said Barker.
Anderson was able to pass a bill that requires background checks for small in-home daycare providers in an effort to make daycare providers safer.
“Had background checks been done on some previous in-home daycare providers, certain daycares wouldn’t be allowed to operate, and parents wouldn’t have entrusted their child to a problematic daycare,” said Anderson.
WOODBRIDGE, Va. – Local legislators will hold a series of town hall meetings beginning tonight.
The meetings will both be held in Woodbridge, tonight at the Prince William County Government Center’s McCoart Building at tomorrow night at the Dr. A.J. Ferlazzo Building.
Here’s more in a press release from Virginia Delegate Richard Anderson:
JOINT HOUSE-SENATE LEGISLATIVE TOWN HALL: This Wednesday, July 9, 7-9pm, Del. Rich Anderson (R-51st) and Sen. George Barker (D-39) will host their annual post-legislative session town hall in the chambers of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors at the James J. McCoart Government Complex, 1 County Complex Court, Woodbridge, VA. This is an official, bipartisan event that Del. Anderson and Sen. Barker traditionally host each year after the annual legislative session. They will discuss the session, look ahead to future sessions, and answer questions from attendees.
1ST CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT TOWN HALL: This Thursday, July 10, 7-9pm, Congressman Robert J. Wittman will host a “Congressional District Town Hall on Lyme and Other Tick-Borne Diseases” at the Dr. A. J. Ferlazzo Government Complex, 15941 Donald Curtis Drive, Woodbridge, VA. The meeting will be in the Locust Shade Room and will address the warm-weather dangers of tick-borne diseases.
PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. – For those who don’t have a valid photo ID: you’re going to need one to cast your ballots at polling places in Prince William County in coming elections.
The Prince William County Office of Elections says several types of photo ID will be accepted:
For future Virginia Elections, voters must present one of the following acceptable forms of photo identification when voting:
- Virginia Driver’s License
- DMV-issued photo identification card
- United States Passport
- Employee photo identification card
- Other government-issued photo identification card
- College or university student photo identification card (issuer must be an institution of higher education located in Virginia)
Registered voters who do not have an acceptable form of photo identification may visit any local voter registration office for a free ID beginning July 1, 2014. Prince William County locations include:
- Office of Elections, 9250 Lee Avenue, Manassas, VA 20110
- Woodbridge DMV, 2731 Caton Hill Road, Woodbridge, VA 22192
PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. – The balance of power and influence in Richmond’s General Assembly could shift away from Prince William County.
President pro-tempore of the Virginia Senate Charles Colgan, D-Va. 29, Manassas, Prince William, will told the Gainesville Times he’ll retire at the end of next year, what will be his 40th year in the senate. The 87-year-old said he won’t run for office again.
“The challenge for the rest of us is to fill some very big shoes for a man who is not very tall,” said Sen. George Barker, D-39th – Fairfax, Prince William.
During his “highly effective” career, Barker says Colgan made strides in Prince William by winning transportation funding for major congestion-relief projects. Colgan continually points to the interchange at Prince William Parkway (Va. 234) and Va. 28 in Manassas as a big transportation funding win for the county.
Serving on the appropriations committee, Colgan has also been credited with bringing funding for Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) which has two campuses in the county (one of the buildings at NOVA’s Manassas Campus is named after him) and funding the Prince William Campus of George Mason University.
Corey Stewart, the Chairman of Prince William County’s Board of Supervisors, lives in the 29th District and has long been rumored to run to replace Colgan. He told PotomacLocal.com he won’t seek the Senate seat when Colgan leaves, opting instead to remain in Northern Virginia to run his law practice.
Stewart does take issue with the way State Senate districts are currently drawn, as Prince William has five different State Senators who represent the county.
“We were carved up like a Thanksgiving turkey with the redistricting of 2o10, and as a result Prince William County, together with the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park, is approaching a half-million people and we should have two-and-half senate seats, said Stewart.
The redistricting process occurs every 10 years with new political districts slated to be drawn in 2020, the political districts changing with the growth of population in the state.
Virginia House Majority Whip Delegate Jackson Miller, R-50th, Manassas, disagrees, and said five State Senators can be a good thing. “It work both ways. Instead of having two senators in Prince William we have more, and all want to represent their districts the best they can,” said Miller.
UPDATE June 12, 2014
Rob Wittman (R, Va.-1) issued this statement to supporters upon his primary win in Virginia’s 1st Congressional District.
“It is a privilege to serve the people of Virginia’s 1st District, and I am honored that voters across the district selected me as their nominee today in the Republican primary. I look forward to continuing to serve the great citizens of the 1st District and advocating for common-sense, conservative solutions to the challenges we face.
“This is a critical year for America’s future and for our party. The upcoming elections provide a significant opportunity for the American people to fill the House of Representatives and the Senate with leaders who can get this nation back on track. I will be working hard to ensure that the voices of Virginians are heard in Washington.
“I would like to thank all the volunteers who have supported me by knocking on doors, talking to friends and family about the campaign, hosting and attending events, and calling fellow residents of the 1st District to remind them to vote. I am grateful for your support and look forward to working with you in the weeks and months ahead.”
STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. – Rob Wittman (R-Va. 1) has handily defeated his opponent in today’s Republican Primary Election.
Republican Anthony T. Reidel lost to the incumbent Congressman by at least 52 points. Wittman has held the 1st District seat for the past eight years, which spans from Williamsburg to Stafford, and also includes portions of Prince William and Fauquier counties.
Reidel issued the following statement on his website:
“I would like to congratulate Congressman Rob Wittman on a well-run, clean campaign focused on the issues facing America’s First District and the country. And I look forward to helping our entire Virginia Republican Party ticket achieve victory in November.
“I would like to thank my family, friends, volunteers, donors, and the voters of the First District for their support and prayers. We have come a long way since January 7.
“While we came up short tonight, the cause of liberty will march on. For if we rely on ourselves, on each other, and on God, liberty will prevail.”
Riedel is a public relations specialist at the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation in Springfield. Anthony graduated from Gloucester High School and holds a BA in Communications from James Madison University. Prior to joining the National Right to Work Foundation in 2008, Anthony worked on Ron Paul’s presidential primary campaign.
Incumbent Wittman did not issue a statement on his website, and he used his social media channels to encourage residents to get out and vote before polls closed at 7 p.m. He will now face Democrat Norm Mosher, of Irvington, Va. in the General Election in November.
The biggest upset of the night came when Republican Eric Cantor (R, Va.-7) was ousted from his seat by Republican challenger David A. Brat, who beat Cantor by just nine points. Cantor has served as the House Majority Leader since 2011 and was the Minority Whip for the thee years prior to that. He represented the 7th District, which is comprised of Richmond suburbs and portions of the Shenandoah Valley, since 2001.
Closer to home in the 8th District in Arlington and Alexandria, 10 Democrats through their name into the ring to replace the long-severing Jim Moran who will retire at the end of the year. Automobile salesman Don Beyer won the majority of the vote with about 46%, with Patrick Hope coming in second with 18% of the vote.
The General Election will be held Nov. 4.
Whoever wins tomorrow’s Republican Primary will face Democrat Norm Mosher in Virginia’s 1st Congressional District.
Incumbent Rob Wittman, R, is facing fellow Republican Anthony Riedel in primary tomorrow. Wittman has held the postion for about 8 years, but Ridel says he can do a better job in Washington representing a sprawling district that spans from Prince William County in its northernmost reaches to Williamsburg to the east.
Over the weekend, the 1st District Democratic Committee announced Norm Masher, of Irvington, Va. near Kilmarnock – a retired Navy captain with 26 years of service. He also previously served on Irvington’s Town Council.
Here’s more in a press release from Democrats:
“I’m running because I’m seeing how Congress is dysfunctional — it’s not working at all. Our families, our communities and our Commonwealth are paying the price. People need to be able to look forward to the future. This means economic security for all — good jobs, good roads and good schools,” said Mosher.
“When folks look up at Congress and see all the partisan wrangling and dirt throwing they lose faith. Why should people have any trust in our government if it’s not accountable? I want to restore people’s faith in America and the American Dream. Our challenges can be our opportunities to do things in new ways, in better ways — but first we have to learn to work together again — and that’s why I am standing here today. Through my life I’ve gained experience, knowledge and know-how on leading teams to meet overwhelming challenges. I’ve answered my country’s call for service before, and I’m answering it now.”
Norm retired from the Navy with the rank of Captain, after a 26 year career. During his career, he commanded ships in both the Atlantic and Pacific, and a squadron of destroyers in the Pacific. Mosher was an early volunteer to serve in Vietnam. Even before the arrival of American combat troops, he was sailing the Vietnam coasts and mouth of the Mekong River in wooden junks as an advisor to a paramilitary group. Later, the first ship he commanded was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation for its performance in the coastal waters of Vietnam. For his service in this period, he was awarded the Legion of Merit with Combat Distinguishing Device, the Bronze Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device, and the Air Medal.
Following retirement from the Navy, he became a Professional Staff Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee chaired by the highly respected Senator Sam Nunn. Norm was responsible for analytical oversight of $25 billion of the Department of Defense budget for Research and Development, and Procurement for the Navy, Marine Corps, and Special Operations forces.
Polls for the Republican Primary in the 1st District open at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Click here to find out where you vote.
Whomever wins will face Mosher in the General Election on Nov. 4.
NORTH STAFFORD, Va. – Virginia Senator Mark Warner will come to North Stafford today to talk about his reelection bid.
The incumbent one-term Senator who previously served four years as Virginia’s Governor starting in 2002 announced he’s seeking relection in the U.S. Sentate on May 28.
After several stops around the state, Warner will stump at the Courtyard by Marriot at the Quanitco Corporate Center, at 375 Corporate Center Drive in North Stafford. It will be the last stop on a tour Warner dubbed the “Working Together Tour.”
“As Governor, Mark Warner helped bring nearly 130,000 jobs and helped Virginia earn the designation as the nation’s best state for business and the best-managed state. Elected to the U.S. Senate during the 2008 recession, Sen. Warner had a key role in successfully enacting bipartisan Wall Street reforms,” a press release stated. “Widely viewed as a consensus-builder in Congress, Sen. Warner has worked for greater fiscal accountability, and he is a bipartisan leader in promoting innovation and greater economic opportunity. Sen. Warner is a champion for Virginia’s small businesses, and a strong advocate for Virginia’s military men and women, our veterans and their families.
While Warner, a Democrat, is campaigning, state Republicans will hold a convention in Roanoke on Saturday to determine who will challenge Warner. Some of the known candidates include, Tony DeTora, congressional policy adviser, Ed Gillespie, former Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Shak Hill, a decorated combat pilot and owner of a financial services practice, and Chuck Moss, a businessman.
Voters will head to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 4.
PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. – Voters in Virginia’s 1st Congressional District will head to the polls Tuesday, June 10, as incumbent Republican Rob Wittman faces challenger Republican Anthony Riedel in a Primary Election.
The June vote will mark the first time voters in Prince William County have been to the polls since some major changes were made to voting precincts.
Some of the voting precincts in Prince William County’s portion of the 1st Congressional District, a large political district that also includes portions of Fredericksburg, King George and Stafford counties, and stretches southeast to Williamsburg, have been split up, rearranged, and renamed.
The Prince William County Office of Elections last week sent out voter cards to those in precincts that have been affected detailing the changes, as well as stating where affected voters should now go to cast their vote.
“We’ve been getting calls. I just everyone opened the envelope to know that their voting place may have changed,” said office of elections spokeswoman Dianna Dutton.
The new precincts took effect back in March, and county officials have provided a list of the changes on their website. We’ll also detail them for you here:
Dumfries area / Montclair
There have been major changes to voting precincts along the Va. 234 corridor.
For starters, voters in the Pattie Precinct will no longer vote at Pattie Elementary School and will instead vote at Forest Park High School at 15721 Forest Park Road, just off Va. 234.
“The parking at Pattie Elementary is lacking and it’s an older building, and we’re trying to get voters into better facilities, so voters who voted there in the past will no longer vote there,” said Dutton.
It’s much of the same story at Washington-Reid Elementary School across the street. Those voters will now cast their ballots at nearby First Mount Zion Baptist Church at 16622 Dumfries Road.
Oddly enough, those who live in the Forest Park Precinct will no longer vote at Forest Park High School. They, too, will vote at First Mount Zion Baptist Church.
In the Montclair neighborhood, the Montclair Precinct was split in two. Those remaining in the Montclair Precinct will continue to vote at Henderson Elementary School at 3799 Waterway Drive. Those in the newly split precinct called Cabin Branch will also vote at Forest Park High School.
Those who live in another newly created precinct that was born out of the Montclair Precinct, the Cardinal Precinct, will cast their votes at Potomac Crest Baptist Church at 15418 Cardinal Drive.
Residents on Saratoga Lane and surrounding streets now have a voting precinct of the same name. Those living within the new Saratoga Precinct will now vote at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church at 5920 Saratoga Lane.
While no new voting precincts were created in Lake Ridge, the existing Mohican, Springwoods, and Westridge voting districts had their lines redrawn to event out the number of votes per district, said Dutton.
The old Stadium Precinct, to denote the Potomac Nationals baseball stadium, was merged with the McCoart Precinct, named at the Prince William County McCoart Government Center. Voters who currently vote at the McCoart center will continue to do so, and now those who live in neighborhoods along Davis Ford Road south of the Occoquan River will, too.
Voters who were in the Park Precinct and were used to voting at the headquarters of the Prince William County Department of Parks and Recreation are now in the Independent Hill Precinct. Those voters will now vote at the headquarters of Prince William County Public Schools, the Edward L. Kelly Leadership Center at 14715 Bristow Road.
Dutton also said the Spriggs Precinct also had some changes made to its boundaries, so some who were used to voting at Heritage Baptist Church on Spriggs Road may have a new polling place.
In the Bennett Precinct just outside Manassas, it too has been split. People on eastern side of Va. 234 will continue to vote at Bennett Elementary School at 8800 Old Dominion Drive. But, those who live on the west side of Va. 234 in the newly created Lucasville Precinct will now vote at Lake Jackson Volunteer Fire Station at 11310 Coles Drive.
A new precinct was created after portions of the old Mullin Precinct merged with portions of the Stonewall Precinct, creating the new Ashton Precinct. Voters who live in this precinct will vote at Bull Run Regional Library.
The old Jackson Precinct is now known as the West Gate Precinct. Now, some people who were voting at Stonewall Jackson High School will vote at West Gate Elementary School at 8031 Urbanna Road.
Those who east of Va. 234 and were in the Sinclair Precinct are now in the Stonewall Precinct and will vote at Stonewall Middle School at 10100 Lomond Drive.
And finally, voters who used to cast their ballots at Nokesville Elementary School will now vote at Patriot High School at 10504 Kettle Run Road.
To find out exactly where you vote, you can visit Virginia’s voter website, type in your address, and it will return your polling place. You can also call the Prince William County Office of Elections at 703-792-6470.
DALE CITY, Va. – It’s not easy being a third party candidate running for Congress in Northern Virginia. Just ask Mark Gibson.
This year, in Virginia’s 11th Congressional District, the only way for an independent third-party candidate like Gibson to be listed on the ballot is to have 1,000 signatures on a ballot petition, which then must be submitted to the state’s office of elections. Gibson has about 500 signatures so far and he’s going for a total of 1,500 to ensure he has more than enough.
On Sunday, he went to the Dale City Farmer’s Market to collect even more signatures. He managed to get five before he was asked to leave.
“I was out collecting signatures, like I had done at other farmers markets like the one at the Burke VRE and in Reston, and there was never a question of where I was supposed to be,” said Gibson.
The Dale City market is held in a commuter lot maintained by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to next Center Plaza, and a Comcast cable office. It’s a popular Sunday morning destination for those looking for locally grown, fresh produce and other goods.
So, it’s a no brainer Gibson would go and shake hands with voters, and ask them to sign his ballot petition. Gibson didn’t have a table or chairs with him, just a clipboard and a warm greeting, he said.
“It is my understanding the manager on duty spoke with Mr. Gibson and advised him of the necessity to obtain a VDOT permit to solicit campaign signatures at the Commuter Lot. The manager made note of how ‘nice’ Mr. Gibson was,” said Diane Cabot, with Prince William parks and recreation.
Gibson turned to Twitter to share his experience:
Good morning Dale City! pic.twitter.com/0QtOeUQbYP
— Mark Gibson (@Gibson4congress) May 18, 2014
— Mark Gibson (@Gibson4congress) May 18, 2014
As it turns out, there is a rule that requires any group or organization that wants to set up shop in a VDOT parking lot, to include the farmers market, to first get permission. But the one-man band Gibson doesn’t really have an organization, and he’s not a business.
“My biggest concern is that he was in public place,” said Bill Golden, a Prince William County resident who produces several websites and the community interview show, Nights at the Roundtable. “It seems here we have a restrictive policy that needs explaining by the government.”
Golden met Gibson at a recent taping of “Roundtable,” and suggests more signs be placed at this and all other commuter lots informing people that the proper permits are needed before they can hock their wares or collect signatures.
Also a photographer, Golden says there is also a policy at the Dale City market that prohibits photography. “How can you stop people from taking photos at an outdoor market?” asked Golden.
There is a media policy in place at the market, too, where anyone who wishes of photograph or produce video of the market is asked to call ahead and seek permission first.
Gibson says he’s been to other farmers markets in Fairfax County where he’s been able to collect signatures with no problems, and without obtaining a permit. However, Gibson ran into similar problems at a farmers market in the City of Fairfax where, there too, he was asked for a permit and was asked to leave.
Prince William County has since spoken to Gibson and provided all of the documents he’ll need to fill out to participate in the market, said Cabot.
The permit process hasn’t soured Gibson. He says he’ll complete the permit application with the state, and will seek permission from the county’s parks and recreation department before returning to the Dale City Farmers Market on June 1.
This is the second time Gibson has ran to unseat Democrat Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Fairfax, Prince William. He also faces Republican Suzanne Scholte who is president of a non-profit organization that focuses on human rights issues.
Voters will head to the polls Nov. 4.
MANASSAS, Va. – The report cards are in and every single state legislator received an grade of “incomplete.”
The Prince William Chamber of Commerce released its annual legislator report card where this year 13 legislators in Virginia’s State Senate and House of Delegates were scored on how they voted on issues either supported or opposed by the Chamber.
As both bodies and Gov. Terry McAuliffe have failed to pass a state budget following the latest General Assembly session this past winter, all representatives got the “incomplete” score, said Chamber Vice President of Government Relations Nancy Hiteshue.
As far as numerical scores go, which are not percentages but rather a score derived by adding points if legislators’ votes aligned with the Chamber’s political agenda. Points were taken away if they voted against the agenda. Votes taken in committees were also tallied.
Scoring highest was Delegate Jackson Miller, R-Manassas whose perfect voting scorecard included supporting the creation of public charter schools for children, as well as supporting the adoption of a statewide A-F academic grading scale.
Senator George Barker, D-Fairfax, Prince William, also with a perfect scorecard netted a 101 score.
The Chamber opposed a bill introduced by Delegate Robert “Bob” Marshall, R-Manassas Park, that would ban the Virginia Department of Transportation from buying ads on TV, radio, and in publications urging support of public road projects – as the agency did to rally support for a proposed Bi-County Parkway between Dumfries and Dulles Airport.
Marshall received an overall score of 82, and Delegate Scott Lingamfelter, R-Fauquier, Prince William scored lowest with a 76 score.
Freshman Delegate Michael Futrell, D-Woodbridge, Stafford, scored 94 and supported all of the Chamber’s initiates.