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Politics

News
Manassas Democrats to hold firehouse primary for Commissioner of the Revenue seat

Submitted: 

“The Manassas & Manassas Park Cities Democratic Committee (MMPCDC) will hold an unassembled party caucus to select its Democratic nominee for City of Manassas Commissioner of the Revenue in the November 7, 2017 General Election.  

The unassembled caucus, also known as a “firehouse primary”, will be held on Thursday, June 8, 2017, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm, in the Manassas City Hall Council Chambers at 9027 Center St, Manassas VA 20110.

The nominating caucus will choose between the two candidates who have properly filed for the Democratic nomination—Stephanie Tipple (former Potomac Local writer) and Alonita Vannoy—in response to the MMPCDC’s call for candidates issued on May 2, 2017.   The deadline for candidates to file for this Democratic nomination was May 26 at 5:00 pm.   
(more…)

News
Greater Manassas area Democrats announce 2017 nomination process

From a press release:

“Manassas & Manassas Park, VA. The Manassas and Manassas Park Cities Democratic Committee (MMPCDC) has scheduled assembled caucuses to nominate Democratic candidates for state constitutional office races for Manassas and Manassas Park in the November 7, 2017 General Election. Specifically, the MMPCDC seeks to nominate Democratic candidates for treasurer and commissioner of the revenue in each city.

Candidates who seek the Democratic Party nomination for any of those offices must submit a completed Declaration of Candidacy form and a $250 filing fee to the MMPCDC by Friday, May 26 at 5 pm. Complete details–including the Call to Caucus, the Declaration of Candidacy form, and the Caucus Rules-are posted on the MMPCDC website, www.manassascitydemocrats.org. (more…)

News
Pelt running for Aquia Supervisor

Jason Pelt is running for the Aquia seat on the Stafford County Board of Supervisors. 

From a press release: 

Jason M. Pelt is proud to announce his candidacy for Aquia Supervisor. The position is an open seat left vacant by Mr. Paul Milde as he announced his candidacy for District 28th of the Virginia House of Delegates.

However, with Paul Milde headed to Richmond to represent the 28th District, Aquia needs another strong leader to continue to represent the unique needs of our community.

My priorities will be maintaining support of Stafford County Schools and ensuring that Brooke Point High School receives the much-needed funds for capital improvements. I will support our public safety organizations to include a new Stafford County Courthouse and improvements to Brooke Volunteer Fire Station. We also need to make Stafford County a business-friendly community so that residents can live and shop right here instead of going to Fredericksburg or Woodbridge.

Pelt moved to Stafford County in 2000 on assignment with the United States Marine Corps as an attorney in the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate. In 2005 Jason separated from active duty and joined the law firm of Goodall & Pelt, P.C. as a litigator. His wife, Tracee Pelt, worked as an elementary school teacher before having children. They live in the Brooke Area of Stafford County and have four children. They also participate in the Stafford County Foster Care program through the Stafford Department of Social Services.

Pelt ran for Stafford Commonwealth Attorney in 2011 and 2015. 

News
Updated: Sheriff Hill rescinds Stewart support, joins Supervisors in endorsing Gillespie

Corey Stewart last month told us that seeking endorsements from sitting politicians is “old-style politics.”

The only sitting politician in Prince William County who endorsed Stewart rescinded today rescinded his praise for the county Board of Supervisors Chairman At-large turned Virginia Gubernatorial candidate.

“Today, I am pulling my endorsement of Corey Stewart for Governor. He is a friend, but his campaign has become more focused on division, rather than the unifying values and the history of the Republican Party. I now support Ed Gillespie to be our next Governor,” stated Prince William County Sheriff Glenn Hill in a statement released by the Gillespie campaign.

Hill’s move follows Stewart’s appearance at the Old South Ball in Danville earlier this month, where the Washington Post quoted him as saying”

“I’m proud to be next to the Confederate flag…That flag is not about racism, folks. It’s not about hatred. It’s not about slavery. It’s about our heritage…It’s time that we stop running away from our heritage. It’s time that we embrace it.”

Stewart in February also held rallies in Charlottesville after that city’s Council moved to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

At the same time Hill rescinded his endorsement, Marty Nohe, and Jeanine Lawson, Ruth Anderson, and Peter Candland who sit with Stewart on the Board of Supervisors also endorsed Gillespie.

““Throughout his campaign, Ed has clearly demonstrated that he understands what Virginia needs to get moving again,” stated Lawson in a press release. “I appreciate his commitment to running a unifying campaign based on a policy agenda that will grow our economy, bring jobs back to the Commonwealth, and make government more transparent and accountable. I have known Ed for a long time, and I believe that he will be an effective governor that all Virginians can be proud of.”

Gillespie won a straw poll at the Prince William County Lincoln-Reagan Dinner by 62%, with Stewart coming in second with 24% of the vote. Afterward, Stewart tweeted the was rigged.

Republican Maureen Caddigan who also sits on the Board of Supervisors has yet to endorse a gubernatorial candidate. A majority of GOP members in the county have thrown their support behind Gillespie.

“…Senator Dick Black, Delegate Richard Anderson, Delegate Tim Hugo, Delegate Scott Lingamfelter, Delegate Jackson Miller, Prince William County School Board Member Willie Deutsch, and former Prince William County School Board Chairman Milton John, announced their support of Gillespie for Governor,” the Gillespie press release stated.

Voters will head to the polls June 13 for a Primary Election to choose a Republican governor candidate. Virginia State Senator Frank Wagner, in addition to Gillespie and Stewart, is also seeking the GOP nomination for Virginia Governor.

Updated April 23

“They don’t understand that this issue is not about the Confederate flag. It’s about out-of-control political correctness that shames people for celebrating their ancestry and heritage. It’s about the radical left tearing down historical monuments. And it’s about weak-kneed establishment politicians like Ed Gillespie refusing to do anything about it,” stated Corey Stewart in an email to Potomac Local.

News
Meet the men running for governor

Virginia will elect a new governor this year.

The governor’s position is one of great power and influence, as the current officeholder, Terry McAuliffe, has demonstrated by breaking the record for most vetoes in Virginia history.

However, during the last gubernatorial race in 2014, the voter turnout was less than 42 percent, compared with 72 percent during last year’s presidential election.

While not as publicized as the presidential campaign, the governor’s race will have just as much, if not more, influence over the everyday lives of Virginians. That’s why it’s important to stay informed about who is running and what they stand for.

The state Democratic and Republican parties will each hold a primary on June 13 to choose a nominee for governor. The general election will be Nov. 7.

Here is a brief summary of each candidate’s qualifications. We also have developed a quiz to help determine which candidate best reflects your political views.

Democrats

 

Ralph Northam is lieutenant governor of Virginia and a pediatric neurologist at the Children’s Specialty Group in Norfolk. He served in the U.S. Army and as state senator for the 6th Senate District, before joining McAuliffe’s gubernatorial ticket in 2013. Northam hopes to continue the work he started with McAuliffe and is focusing his campaign on economic progress. He said his priorities are affordable health care and education and has introduced a plan to make community colleges and workforce training free for what he calls “new-collar” jobs in high-demand fields like health care, cybersecurity and skilled construction trades.

Tom Perriello, a former congressman, is a lawyer whose early career focused on prosecuting atrocities in Africa. He was special adviser to the prosecution of the Special Court for Sierra Leone and served as special envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo under the Obama administration. Perriello’s campaign has focused on his resistance to what he calls the hateful politics of President Trump. He has proposed a plan to make community college debt-free for two years. Perriello has been endorsed by former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont.

Republicans

Ed Gillespie is a political strategist and former chair of the Republican National Committee. He is deeply connected in both national and Virginia politics and has spent his career working for high-profile Republicans including presidential candidate John Kasich, George W. Bush and former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. He served as counselor to President Bush during Bush’s second term of office, co-founded a bipartisan lobbying firm and in 2014 narrowly lost a bid for Virginia’s U.S. Senate seat to Democratic incumbent Mark Warner. Gillespie vows to pursue “timeless conservative principles,” including a 10 percent cut in state income tax rates.

Emmanuel Peter is a minister at the Chapel of Justification Ministry in Richmond and a visiting teacher at Henrico County Public Schools. He has a doctorate of management in organizational leadership and a master’s in divinity and is pursuing a master’s in patient counseling at Virginia Commonwealth University. Peter is the national president of the Global Interdenominational Ministers Fellowship, which has more than 1,000 members. He emphasizes restoring Virginia’s moral values and status as a safe place to raise a family. Peter said he would “bridge the bipartisan divides to create and bring back high-paying jobs” to Virginia.

Corey Stewart is a self-proclaimed “Trump before Trump was Trump.” He co-chaired Virginia’s Trump for President campaign and currently chairs the Board of Supervisors in Prince William County, where he implemented “the nation’s toughest crackdown on illegal immigration” and helped remove local fees for getting a concealed weapons permit. Stewart said he is running for governor “to take back Virginia from the establishment and political elites in Richmond.” An international trade attorney, he has vowed to protect Confederate monuments such as statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. “I’m proud to be next to the Confederate flag,” he said.

Frank Wagner portrays himself as the only Republican candidate who “has built multiple successful, manufacturing businesses in Virginia” and has significant legislative experience. Wagner has represented the 7th Senate District (Virginia Beach and Norfolk) since 2002 and was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates from 1992-2001. He is a Navy veteran and until recently owned two ship repair firms. Wagner supports reducing regulations on businesses and wants to focus on career technical education for high school students and college affordability. A top priority for him is infrastructure development, including transportation projects to create jobs and reduce traffic congestion in Virginia.

News
For Governor hopeful Tom Perriello, a tough crowd of Democrats in Montclair

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. — Tom Perriello spent an hour and a half defending positions he once took as a Virginia Congressman, trying to convince Democratic voters that he’s changed his ways.

The Democrat who is running against current Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam in a June 13 Primary Election took center stage at the Southlake Community Center in Montclair on Friday night. He laid out a vision for the state that entails free two-year tuition for community college students, expanding Medicare, more school funding, and raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

“What does $28,000 a year look like? Some call it $15 an hour. I call it dignity. When you’re looking at $28,000 a year, you can start to exhale,” said Perriello of people in Northern Virginia working two or more jobs to support their families.

The one-term congressman represented Virginia’s heavily red 5th District from 2008 until 2010. On Friday, Perriello described himself as a left of the Democratic party progressive, and that he thinks Virginia residents are now more accepting of new ideas and as liberal as they’ve ever been. (more…)

News
Smith promises a clerks office that meets the needs of a growing county

Jacqueline Smith is running for the office of Clerk of the Circuit Court, Prince William County. 

She’s running in a Special Election against current House of Delegates member Jackson Miller. 

Voters will head to the polls tomorrow, April 18 to choose the next Prince William County Clerk of the Circuit Court following the death of Michele McQuigg

Smith and Miller received the same Project: Election survey. Smith’s responses are posted below the jump.

(more…)

News
Prince William County to hold a “Conversation with the Chief”

From Prince William County Police:

Board of County Supervisor Ruth Anderson of the Occoquan District and Chief Barry Barnard of the Prince William County Police Department will host a “Conversation with the Chief” on Thursday, April 20, 2017 at Old Bridge Elementary School located at 3051 Old Bridge Rd in Lake Ridge starting at 7:00 p.m.

We would like to extend an invitation to those who live in the community and the surrounding area to come out, meet the chief, and engage in conversation. Chief Barnard will personally answer questions and discuss any topics of concern from community members and residents. This is a great opportunity for the community to get to know their police department better.  (more…)


News
Offending some may be worth the risk for Corey Stewart in run for governor

stewart, prince william, supervisor

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Few politicians in Prince William County have endorsed Corey Stewart for governor.

But that doesn’t bother him.

“I haven’t sought anybody’s endorsement. That’s old style politics where you go out and get endorsements from a bunch of politicians and thinking that people actually care. They don’t,” said Stewart, a Republican who’s running a distant second to Ed Gillespie, a former Republican Party Committee Chairman and counselor to President George W. Bush, in the race for the Republican nomination for Virginia Governor.

Stewart holds the top elected job in Prince William County as Chairman of the Board of Supervisors. He’s been on the Board for the past 10 years, and voters will head to the polls June 13 to decide if he is the Republican they want to face Democratic challengers current Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam or former congressman Tom Perrillo.

Now Willie Deutsch, the Coles District Representative on the Prince William County School Board, is calling for his resignation following Republican’s use of the word “cuckservative” in a recent “Ask me Anything” post on Reddit, a forum that connects celebrities and politicians to web users in what’s billed as an online press conference.

Depending on who you talk to, “cuckservative” is a word used by a younger generation of Republicans to describe someone who has abandoned the party’s principals of conservative government. It can be interchanged with RINO, or “Republican in name only.”

“The word has largely flown under the radar but it has become known in Republican circles recently after being used by alt-right, white supremacists to attack those who won’t support their ideology,” said Deutsch.
(more…)

Why is the Woodbridge voter registration office on the chopping block?

Several days ago, I was shocked to learn that the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has given notice to terminate its arrangement with the Prince William County Registrar at the Caton Hill DMV Office. I could not believe what I was hearing.

Voter participation is one of the most important things in any democracy but not all citizens are given equal access to that franchise- and we are learning that this week here in Woodbridge. Virginia has a long history in this area and none of it has been positive.

A few precincts in Woodbridge actually became nationally known because of four to five hour long lines in order to cast a vote in the 2012 election. Of course those also happened to be the precincts with the largest percentage of minority voters, and the precincts where President Obama was expected to be the strongest.

Now once again, Woodbridge voters are being targeted by Virginia in a way that could hamper attempts to turn our voters out. For the last decade the one refuge from potentially long lines on election day was the option to vote early at the DMV office in Woodbridge. In Virginia, early voters must state a reason in order to vote- but most residents in our area qualify for either expecting to leave Prince William County at any time on election day or having a combined work/commute schedule on election day that exceeds 11 hours.

As residents have learned of this option, turnout has increased at the Woodbridge DMV every year and turnout in our area continues to rise- especially for important off year elections. I support no excuse needed absentee voting to raise turnout even higher. But despite all of that somehow the Commissioner of DMV has decided that the Commonwealth will close our voter registration and early vote center at the Woodbridge DMV.

I’m absolutely appalled that this is even being discussed and without any notice or input from our community. As your next State Delegate, I pledge to introduce legislation that would force all state agencies to accommodate early voting when requested by the locality. This is a no brainer decision, and will save local taxpayer dollars. We can not allow thousands of voters to be silenced.

Here in the Route 1 corridor most of our residents work jobs and have long commutes- we need to make it easy for them to participate in voting, not harder. Just last year Alabama made national news for closing its opportunities for early voting in the areas with the most minority voters.

Please join me in raising our voices together now to ensure Virginia- and specifically those of us in southern Prince William County- does not follow that example. Virginia’s history may be voter suppression, but let’s make our future into being a state that encourages voter participation. If you agree I hope you will join my campaign by visiting my website.

jennifercarrollfoy.org

‘It is a sad day when we use words like bigot and white supremacists…because of differing political views’

If Harry Wiggins didn’t single handedly hand over the election to Jackson Miller, he certainly helped him along to victory.

Wiggins, the Chairman of Prince William’s Democratic Committee on Tuesday likened Miller — a long-serving Republican in the House of Delegates, past Manassas City Counselor, and a former police officer in Arlington and Prince William counties — to President Trump, and called both white supremacists.

Residents both black and white have denounced his statement.

“The official comment from the [Prince William County] Democratic Chair may have just solidified my undecided vote for Mr. Miller. The name-calling in national politics is bad enough. If Mr. Wiggins wishes to bring that style of politics to [Prince William County], I will vote against his candidate every time,” James Johnson, of Bristow posted to Facebook.

Wiggins’s comments plunge our community deeper into the political divide, escalating our county into what many see the new national political status quo of an angry, polarized nation full of discontent and hate. (more…)

News
Prince William Democratic Committee chief calls Delegate Jackson Miller a ‘white supremacist’

MANASSAS, Va. — The Chairman of the Prince William County Democratic Committee had some choice words for  Delegate Jackson Miller on Wednesday.

Harry Wiggins on Facebook posted “Trump and Jackson Miller two unqualified bigots and white supremacists.”

“I can sit here and say nothing and watch Jackson Miller pat himself on the back and pretend like he is a wonderful person or I can state facts,” Wiggins told Potomac Local.

Miller, a Republican, represents the 50th House of Delegates District (Manassas) and is running to be the next Clerk of the Prince William Circuit Court. (more…)

News
Ed Gillespie takes Prince William GOP straw poll; Corey Stewart reacts

Submitted by Gillespie campaign:

“Longtime conservative leader, 2014 U.S. Senate nominee and 2017 Republican candidate for governor Ed Gillespie won the straw poll at the Prince William County GOP Lincoln-Reagan Dinner Saturday night with over 60 percent of the vote.

Gillespie won with 62 percent of the vote, followed by Corey Stewart at 24 percent, Denver Riggleman at eight percent, and Frank Wagner at three percent. The Prince William County straw poll is the largest straw poll conducted in the primary to date.

Full Results

Gillespie – 62%, 165 votes

Stewart – 24%, 65 votes

Riggleman – 8%, 23 votes

Wager – 3%, 8 votes”

Corey Stewart, who is the county’s top politician on the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, reacted to the news on Twitter. 

From Stewart’s Twitter Account: 

News
Smith, Miller are Prince William Clerk of Court candidates for April 18 special election

smith
The stage is set for a special election for Prince Willaim Clerk of the Circuit Court.

Democrat Jacqueline Smith and Republican Delegate Jackson Miller (Manassas) are the two candidates who will face off on for an April 18, 2017, special election. The chosen candidate will replace the late Michele McQuigg who died late last month.

From the Prince William County Republicans:

On February jacksonmiller28, 2017, the 31st Judicial Circuit Court of Virginia filed a Writ of Election for a special election on April 18, 2017 to fill the Clerk of Court vacancy. Virginia Code Section 24.2-510(5) requires political parties to make and complete their nominations within five days of a Court’s Writ of Election, or 60 days before the election. To accommodate this extremely short five-day timeline, the chairmen of the Prince William County Republican Committee, City of Manassas Republican Committee, and Manassas Park Republican Committee chose a March 4 Party Canvass election to nominate the Republican candidate for Clerk of Court. Del. Jackson Miller was the only candidate to file for the nomination, therefore, he became the nominee by acclimation, and the Party Canvass was canceled.

We’ve asked Smith and Miller to fill out a Project: Election survey, and we’ll publish the answers to those surveys once we receive them.

Smith kicked off her campaign last week at City Tavern in Manassas. This is her second run for the job after challenging McQuigg for the seat in 2015.

Smith is a lawyer with an office in Dumfries.

Jackson Miller was elected to the House of Delegates in November 2006 and is a Realtor with an office in Manassas.

News
Here is an infographic showing how many bills each Virginia legislator passed during the 2017 session

This post has been corrected: The previous graphic erred in saying that Bulova had a zero (0.000) rate in passing the bills he sponsored in 2016. In fact, he batted 0.500 — he passed 7 of his 14 bills.

 

2017 General Assembly is in the books

In the 2017 General Assembly session, which ended on February 25, we were able to make some progress in spite of a $1.1 billion budget shortfall.

First, we approved amendments to the state’s biennial budget. After drawing on a $560 million Rainy Day Fund, the budget funds the state share of a long-overdue two percent salary increase for teachers, a three percent raise for state employees, and a $7,000-per-year increase in starting salaries ($36,000) for state troopers. As always, we met our constitutional obligation to balance the budget.

Fifteen of my bills now await Governor McAuliffe’s action. The legislature referred two of my bills for further study. In the session’s last week, I served on seven conference committees to negotiate final language for several bills.

My legislation requiring the city of Alexandria to address raw sewage discharges passed both houses. Although the bill will allow Alexandria to discharge an additional 550 million gallons of raw sewage into the Potomac River, it requires all discharges to stop by 2025.

While this will cost the city about $150-$200 million to fix, I am committed to helping locate state funds to support construction over the next eight years. I especially appreciate Agriculture and Natural Resource Chairman Senator Richard Stuart’s dedication to finding a solution and the support of Senator Adam Ebbin and Delegate Paul Krizek who consistently supported solving this problem.

My legislation requiring owners of coal ash ponds to provide the public better information passed. I hope the Governor will restore some of the key provisions removed in the House of Delegates.

My legislation to make it easier to hold drunk drivers accountable for injuring victims passed both houses unanimously. This bill was necessary in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Birchfield v. North Dakota decision last year which now requires a search warrant for nearly all withdrawals of blood.

I introduced two college transparency bills. One requires 30-days’ notice of a proposed tuition increase, an explanation of the need and the date and time of any vote on a tuition increase at state-supported colleges. My second bill requires colleges and universities and community colleges to publish a list of all courses guaranteed to transfer so that students do not mistakenly take non-transferable classes and delay graduation.

During the last year, I have been involved in cases in which child support payors passed away while in arrears for child support. I was surprised to learn that this was not a priority debt during the administration of an estate and basically gets treated like credit card debt. My legislation to require child support arrearages to be paid before general debts passed both houses without a single dissenting vote.

All bills passed by the legislature now go to the Governor who must either amend, sign or veto them by March 27. Next week, I will cover some other bills that the legislature passed and the following week I will report on some bills that the legislature did not pass.

In the meantime, please complete my constituent survey at www.scottsurovell.org/survey and email me at scott@scottsurovell.org if you have any questions.

It is an honor to serve as your State Senator.

News
Beer. In a can. Soon to be sold at a concession stand near you.

Flickr photo by Ror Quigley

RICHMOND, Va. – Beginning July 1, Virginians will be able to buy a can of beer – not just a cup – at indoor and outdoor concession stands that are licensed to sell alcoholic beverages.

That’s the effect of a bill that Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed into law on Monday. Senate Bill 1469 will add “single original metal cans” to the list of disposable containers that can be used for the sale of beer, wine and mixed alcoholic drinks.

The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Ben Chafin, R-Montgomery, will apply to concession stands at amphitheaters, stadiums, coliseums, convention centers and similar facilities, which currently must dispense alcoholic beverages in plastic or paper cups. (more…)

News
Governor signs bills to fight Virginia’s opioid crisis

RICHMOND, Va. – Capping off a signature issue of the 2017 legislative session, Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed five bills Thursday to help arm the fight against opioid abuse and fatal overdoses in Virginia.

The bills address the crisis in various ways. They include SB 848 and HB 1453, which allow community organizations to dispense and train individuals to use naloxone, a drug that can treat an opioid overdose in emergency situations.

“We recognize that addiction is a disease, not a moral failing,” McAuliffe said. “Our proposals for this General Assembly session focused on preventing addiction and providing treatment for those who suffer from it.”

The governor also signed HB 2165, which will mandate all opioid prescriptions be transmitted to pharmacies electronically by 2020. It will also create a workgroup to study how to best implement the change. (more…)

News
Kirk Cox to succeed Bill Howell as House speaker

 

Republican delegates on Wednesday are expected to designate Majority Leader Kirk Cox as the next speaker of the House, following William Howell’s decision to retire. Republican House members will caucus to select Cox, a retired government teacher from Colonial Heights, as the speaker-in-waiting, according to reports published by the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post and other news outlets.

Cox, 59, will succeed Howell, a Republican from Stafford, who announced that he will not seek re-election this fall to the 28th House District seat that he has held since 1988. Next January, Howell will conclude his term as the 54th speaker of the House of Delegates. Cox has served in the House of Delegates since 1989 and has run unopposed in the past eight House elections. He is a resident of the 66th House District, which includes the city of Colonial Heights and part of Chesterfield County. (more…)

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