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Politics

O’Hanlon cites improving student achievement, increasing parent involvement priorities

Back in November 2017, Peter O’Hanlon won his seat on the Manassas School Board, unopposed. Before that, he was appointed to fill the vacant seat held by Pamela J. Sebesky, who resigned to serve on the City Council.

This year, though, there are five candidates jockeying for the position, and only three will be elected to the seven-member board. We asked O’Hanlon to complete our 2018 Project: Election survey, and here’s what we learned.

Find your polling place

PL: What are the top three major issues facing the district you wish to represent?

O’Hanlon: Funding a school replacement, improving student achievement, and increasing parent involvement.

PL: What concrete solutions do you propose to address these issues?

O’Hanlon: We (the board) has taken the first step through hiring a new superintendent. He will take the lead on improving student achievement.

PL: We are currently negotiating with the city for our next three year funding agreement. We need to continue to ensure that funding the schools is a top priority for the City of Manassas. This does not necessitate increased taxes, just making sure our priorities are heard by the city council.

O’Hanlon: As a city, and a school district, we need to continue improving communications with all our citizens, inviting them to participate in the many activities taking place in the city and the schools.

Rex Parr says success for Manassas starts with a shared vision and strategic plan

This is Rex Parr’s second run for a seat on the Manassas City Council.

The Democrat placed 5th in a seven-person race for three open seats on the council in 2016. After a two-year break from campaigning, and after his 2015 retirement from leading Manassas-based Didlake, Inc., he’s running again.

Below, find his responses to our Project: Election questionnaire.

Find your polling place

PL: What are the top three major issues facing the district you wish to represent?

Parr:

  • Education
  • Public Safety
  • Transportation

PL: What concrete solutions do you propose to address these issues?

Parr:

  • EDUCATION: We need to align the goals and objectives of the School Board and the City Council, extend Pre-K education to every child and continue the great progress on Career and Technical Education (CTE).
  • PUBLIC SAFETY: Our Public Safety professionals do an amazing job of keeping us safe. I want to make sure we take good care of them. We should pay close attention to the basics: up-to-date resources, competitive compensation, recognition of achievements and top-notch leadership.
  • TRANSPORTATION: To be an attractive place to live, work and play the city must offer efficient transportation options. We all know that we need to improve Route 28 North to I66. We should also push hard to add mid-day VRE service in both directions and, we should plan now to extend the VRE Manassas line to Gainesville and Haymarket.

PL: From your perspective, what is the job description of the office you’re seeking? 

Parr: Serving the greater good.

PL: What expertise will you bring to the office? 

Parr: Governance, Management, Strategic Planning and Public Policy.

PL: Do you feel that the average citizen is well-informed and understands the workings of local government? If not, how do you intend on improving communication with your constituency? 

Parr: Local government is complex. The average citizen doesn’t have time to keep track of it all. I will advocate for greater transparency and a more robust communications program of organizations that get important things done. In my experience, success starts with a widely shared vision and a strategic plan developed by a broad cross-section of stakeholders.

PL: Our readers want leaders in local government. Why should they vote for you? 

Parr: It’s time for Manassas to begin shaping its future and I can help.

Candidates talk experience, tax cuts, and exemptions at Fredericksburg forum

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Connolly wants investigation into citizenship status question on 2020 Census

WASHINGTON — (Press Release) Today, Rep. Elijah. E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Government Operations, requested that the Department of Commerce Inspector General Peg Gustafson investigate the Department’s decision to add a question regarding citizenship status to the upcoming 2020 Census.

“Since Secretary Ross’ decision to add the citizenship question to the 2020 Census, Democrats on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee have sought documents from the Departments of Commerce and Justice, as well as the Census Bureau, in order to conduct oversight on the matter,” the Members wrote. “Unfortunately, our efforts have been frustrated by Secretary Ross’ refusal to comply with our oversight requests, the Department of Commerce’s failure to provide documentation due to ‘ongoing litigation,’ and the failure of Republican Committee Members to join our requests to obtain information, documents, or testimony.”

Cummings and Connolly explained in today’s request that Secretary Ross and other Department officials have repeatedly claimed that they decided to add the citizenship question “solely” in response to a request from the Department of Justice (DOJ) on December 12, 2017. However, documents made public as part of ongoing litigation in New York v. United States Commerce Department demonstrate that the request, in fact, was initiated by the Commerce Department and coordinated with then-White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon long before the December 2017 request from DOJ. 

“Congress and Inspectors General have an obligation to conduct independent oversight of Executive Branch agencies,” the Members wrote. “Therefore, we request that your office investigate the Department of Commerce’s process in adding the citizenship question to the 2020 Census, whether Secretary Ross and the Department of Commerce meaningfully considered concerns expressed by experts at the Census Bureau, and the extent to which Secretary Ross and other Commerce officials were involved in this decision.”

The full letter follows and is available here

Kaine ‘deeply disappointed’ after Kavanaugh confirmation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – (Press Release) U.S. Senator Tim Kaine released the following statement on the vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court:

“I am deeply disappointed that the Senate has rushed to confirm Judge Kavanaugh without a complete investigation into the serious allegations against him. A five-day investigation that featured interviews with a handful of people, while ignoring dozens of witnesses who were willing to cooperate and a secret report whose contents could not even be discussed with the public convinces many that the entire goal was to ignore the serious charges.

“Over 150 sexual assault survivors have reached out to me to say they are dismayed by the Senate’s actions, they struggle to see empathy in the eyes of their leaders, and they now fear no one would take them seriously if they came forward with their own stories. I want them and all survivors to know this: You don’t need to suffer in silence. You deserve to be taken seriously. You deserve to be listened to.”

Kavanaugh previously served as a U.S. Circuit Court judge until his appointment to the Supreme Court on Saturday. 

Manassas residents afforded few chances to hear from city council, school board candidates this year

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Preston Banks puts focus on Manassas Park debt, water problems

Preston Banks is seeking another term on the Manassas Park Governing Body. 

He’s one of three people seeking as many open seats on the council. Voters will head to the polls Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Banks is a member of the Prince William County Republican Committee and has put his campaign’s focus on reducing the city’s debt and solving its water problems. 

We sent a Project: Election survey to him. His responses are below. 

Find your polling place

PL: What are the top three major issues facing the district you wish to represent? 

Banks: 

1. Lower water and sewer rates

2. Bring businesses to Manassas Park and manage the city’s high debt

3. Manage the city’s high debt 

PL: What concrete solutions do you propose to address these issues?

Banks: To lower the water and sewer rates I propose to continue to explore selling the water system. And to sell it on terms that are in the best interests of the residents which include low water and sewer rates, repairs to the water and sewer system and good customer service.

To bring businesses to the city I propose to market the city and its available space and land. 

The city has a high debt of $128 million which was incurred decades before I served in office. The debt payments are about 30% to 35% of the city’s total budget.

The highest payments are in the next four years. I have the knowledge and experience to guide the city through this challenge. To manage the debt and still balance the budget I suggest and support the following:

1. Improve the city’s financial management practices

2. Improve the collection of delinquent and uncollected revenue

3. Economic development to increase revenue

4. Create a debt reserve fund.

To financially survive we have to do these things. And if executed well, we can improve the city and overcome this challenge. 

PL: From your perspective, what is the job description of the office you’re seeking?

Banks: To represent all of the residents in improving the city.

PL: Do you feel that the average citizen is well-informed and understands the workings of local government?

Banks: It depends on the person, the effort they make and whether they have the available time to go to the city’s website or attend the public meetings. To improve communication I make myself accessible. My Facebook page, email address and cell phone are publicly available.

PL: What expertise will you bring to the office?

Banks: I’m intelligent, care about the residents and the city, a problem solver, work well with others and have a geek-like hard work ethic.

PL: Have you ever made any mistakes in your public life? How have they affected you?

Banks: Sure. One of my favorite quotes is from Nelson Mandela, “the greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” I learn from the mistake and continue working.

PL: Our readers want leaders in local government. Why should they vote for you? 

Banks: Politics today is so divisive with its emphasis on party, ethnic/racial identity, and issues. I keep it simple. We are all part of the community. I’m running to represent all of the residents and improve the city.

Prince William School Board Chairman forum is Oct. 27 at NOVA Manassas

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY — The candidates running to become the next Prince William County School Board Chairman At-large will attend a forum Thursday.

Lateef

Interim School Board Chairman Dr. Babur Lateef, sitting Gainesville District School Board member Alyson Satterwhite are billed to attend.

Retired Woodbridge resident Stanley Bender who is also on the ballot for school board chairman at-large is not scheduled to attend. 

Satterwhite

The forum will be hosted by the Prince William Committee of 100 and the League of Women Voters and moderated by this reporter.

While school board candidates run as independents, Lateef ran in 2012 as Democrat in a race against Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman At-large Corey Stewart.

He was appointed interim board chairman this spring when the former chairman Ryan Sawyers stepped down a year and a half into his term, and at the same time suspended his run for Congress.

Satterwhite is a conservative who represents the Gainesville District, a once-republican stronghold in Prince William County that flipped blue during last year’s state election.

According to the Virginia Public Access Project, the candidates have raised $35,500 and $6,000, respectively.

Bender has not raised any cash, according to VPAP.

The forum is free to attend and open to the public. It will begin at 7 p.m. inside the Howsmon Lecture Hall at the Manassas Campus of Northern Virginia Community College.

Coen vows to put growth ‘where we want it’ while preserving rural areas

In January, Tom Coen was plucked from a laundry list of candidates who all wanted an interim seat on the Stafford County Board of Supervisors.

His fellow board members chose him after Bob Thomas vacated the seat after he won election to the Virginia House of Delegates.

Thomas has spent the past 10 months focused on local issues, and learning his way through the trappings of local government.

He’s running against Gordon Silver, who also wants the seat. Voters will head to the polls on Nov. 6.

We sent Coen our Project: Election candidate survey. His responses are below.

Find your polling place

PL: What are the top three major issues facing the district you wish to represent?

Coen: 

1. Continue the Approved Renovations of Ferry Farm Elementary School

2. Continue my nearly two-decade efforts to preserve the rural character of the county while protecting property rights

3. Continue our efforts to diversify our economy and tax base.

PL: What concrete solutions do you propose to address these issues?

Coen:

Ferry Farm Elementary School

When I became a member of the board I saw that was once again Ferry Farm slated for a rebuild in another decade.  This would mean another decade of no meaningful improvements to the school for our children.  I immediately started working with members of both the school board and the board of supervisors to secure improvements in a timely fashion.  In just a few short months improvements to the school started and the renovation will be complete by 2020.  There are additional steps to take,  and working together we can make them happen. 

Growth and land preservation

As chair of the Agricultural Commission, I worked with members, staff, and supervisors to create the Purchase of Development Rights Program.  This voluntary program preserves property rights while preserving our rural land.   We have preserved nearly 500 acres to date with more sizable acres in the pipeline. 

As a Supervisor, I have worked with others to successfully defended attempts to defund the PDR program as well as the Land Use Tax Credit.  The state gives localities a limited number of tools to protect open space and I am proud of our efforts to use the tools available.

My experience in zoning, planning and land preservation will continue to place growth where we want it to be while preserving our rural areas.

Economic Development

As a member of the Planning Commission and as Supervisor I have worked with others in the efforts to expand our economic base.  By meeting with our Director of Economic Development we have explored new opportunities. 

We are in the 21st Century.  The county must reach out to current and when possible future opportunities to successfully compete with other communities.

Additionally, I have worked with the schools to enhance our vocational classes, with an emphasis on placing our graduating students and our local businesses together.

PL: From your perspective, what is the job description of the office you’re seeking?

Coen: The first is my long experience of serving Stafford County and achieving results.  It has been terrific addressing Ferry Farm Elementary, growth, the budget and school security in just the first eight months in office.  The knowledge of the issues and the individuals are key to accomplishing results.   

Next is an ability to work with others to achieve results. This is a community- where together we succeed.

Then there is an ability to think outside the box. Too often we get into a pattern of decision making, which inhibits creativity.  We are in the 21st Century and need to be flexible in our problem-solving.

PL: Do you feel that the average citizen is well-informed and understands the workings of local government?

Coen: Definitely! With the modern communications and the spread of information so much is available.  Indeed I have found that many great ideas come from our citizens who want officials to listen to them.

PL: What expertise will you bring to the office?

Coen: Raising three compassionate adult children, many years of successful performance as a school board member, my business, engineering, and legal acumen, and most importantly, my genuine concern and compassion for all children and passion to help all children obtain a quality education.

PL: Have you ever made any mistakes in your public life? How have they affected you?

Coen: Everyone makes mistakes, as do I.  It is important to step up and admit it when you do make one. 

The most recent meeting I did just that.  At a previous meeting, our fire chief detailed the implementation of over fifty recommendations from his volunteer and paid fire and rescue personnel.  I failed to give him the praise he deserved for achieving that in such a short time as chief.  This past meeting I publicly admitted my error and corrected it.

It is important for people, especially the young, to see that owning up to mistakes is the right thing to do.

PL: Our readers want leaders in local government. Why should they vote for you? 

Coen: Hopefully my record of achievement and ability to bring people together to get results should be an important factor.  My knowledge of the county, the budget, planning, zoning, our social services, and protection- police, fire and rescue, has allowed me to hit the ground running. 

In every board and commission, in the workplace and in the community people have placed me in leadership positions.  This has been humbling. 

I have dedicated my energies to this county and to preserving its rural character while protecting people’s rights. 

My hope is that they will allow me to continue to serve them and the county we love.

Need for new Jennie Dean School tops list for School Board candidate Sanford Williams

Sanford Williams is seeking another term on the Manassas City School Board. 

He currently serves as Chairman of the Board, and this election cycle he’s put the focus on the division’s push to build a new Jennie Dean Elementary School. 

Voters will head to the polls on November 6 to vote on who will fill three open seats on the School Board. 

We sent Williams our 2018 candidate’s survey. His responses are below. 

Find your polling place

PL: What are the top three major issues facing the district you wish to represent?

Williams: 

Building a new Jennie Dean School; Ensuring that all of our students graduate with the skills to obtain employment or attend and thrive at an institution of higher learning; closing the achievement gap between some groups of students.

PL: What concrete solutions do you propose to address these issues?

Williams: Working with City Council and our community to find a fiscally responsible way to build a new Jennie Dean School; Making sure our teachers and staff have the resources and get the community support necessary to help all students reach their potential and thrive as productive citizens after graduation; Working with the community, staff, and families to make sure that all students obtain the skills to optimize their educational performance.

PL: From your perspective, what is the job description of the office you’re seeking?

Williams: § 22.1-79 of the Virginia Code explicitly delineates the role of a School Board, so the job description is pretty clear. I can encapsulate the Code to state that from my perspective, the job description is to provide oversight of the Manassas City Public Schools.

PL: What expertise will you bring to the office?

Williams: Raising three compassionate adult children, many years of successful performance as a school board member, my business, engineering, and legal acumen, and most importantly, my genuine concern and compassion for all children and passion to help all children obtain a quality education.

PL: Do you think residents are well informed on the workings of local government? 

Williams:  No. By reaching out to everyone that I can to inform them of what the School Board does in as many venues and through as many channels as possible, including social media.

PL: Have you ever made any mistakes in your public life? How have they affected you?

Williams: Yes, I am sure that I have. They let me know that I am not perfect and help remind me to not be judgmental and be mindful that everyone deserves grace and understanding. This does not mean that mistakes don’t have consequences or that every mistake should be excused. Rather, it means that even when tough decisions have to be made, they may be rendered with compassion and respect.

PL: Our readers want leaders in local government. Why should they vote for you? 

Williams: I have been an effective and positive force in our school system, and I will continue to work hard for our students and the citizens of Manassas. I respect and value all of our stakeholders: students, staff, parents, and community, and I am well suited to deal with our extremely diverse, in terms of ethnicity and economics, stakeholder population.

Coates Ellis: Growing business in Manassas will ‘take the tax burden off families’

This is Theresa Coates Ellis’ second run for a seat on the Manassas City Council. 

Ellis ran unsuccessfully for council in 2016. Since then, she’s been a regular at business and community events. 

We sent a questionnaire to Coates Ellis. Her responses are below: 

Find your polling place

PL: What are the top three major issues facing the district you wish to represent?

Coates Ellis: 

1. Economic Development and Job Growth.
2. Quality Public Education
3. Fiscal Responsibility

PL: What concrete solutions do you propose to address these issues?

Coates Ellis:

1. Economic Development: I have a plan, “Grow the Manassas Business Landscape.” As a management, public relations and marketing professional, I will be your representative to attract new entrepreneurial businesses and help existing businesses thrive with easy guidelines with a “We’re Open for Business,” message.  Growing businesses will stop the tax increases on families.
 
2. Quality Public Education: Our students need to be career-ready as well as college-ready.  Expanding the Osbourn High School Career Technical Education (CTE) program with certified curriculums and internships will improve student career skills to contribute to higher education.
 
Promoting entrepreneurship to students and young professionals with education in school or in Centerfuse, our local business accelerator, will launch business growth in the City of Manassas.
 
Growing my “Shadow for a Day” program and “Find Your Passion” series with an ”Open for Business” message and will showcase our city as a business community that cares and invests in their students and young professionals by offering mentorships and shadow programs.
 
City council, the city staff, and the school board need to work together to set up a strategic plan so the community can participate in the education of our young population.
 
3.  Fiscal Responsibility:  Our city attracts families and homeowners because it is affordable.    As real estate assessments increase and as taxes increase, we will have an affordability crisis, especially for fixed income families.  Growing businesses will grow revenue to support our community to take the tax burden off families.
 
Public safety, traffic, and public image are priorities.  Safe neighborhoods for our families and businesses are necessary for a vibrant community.  I support improving traffic and walkability to get our citizens to work and for a better lifestyle in our City of Manassas. Our public image departments in our schools and city need to be expanded to continue sharing the events and news in our community.  Awareness and transparency are important to attract new residents and businesses to grow Manassas. 

PL: From your perspective, what is the job description of the office you’re seeking?

Coates Ellis: The Manassas City Council members serve their citizens as decision-makers for the community. The elected council hires the City Manager, who serves the council. Council supervises the manager’s performance.

Council responsibilities include approving the budget, determining the tax rate, strategizing and setting short-term and long-term community goals, major capital improvement projects, economic development, land use, and financing. The council represents the people and are the eyes, ears, and voice of the community.

PL: What expertise will you bring to the office?

Coates Ellis: As a mom to a family of six daughters and one son — all adults — I am a skilled at multi-tasking. I built my own business 30 years ago and have experience in strategic management and planning, marketing, promoting and as a connector in public relations, hiring professionals, making payroll, and making tough decisions. I have mentored and hired students and professionals in careers in education, healthcare, management, IT, marketing and the arts.

As a community volunteer leader, I have connected and surrounded myself with diversified people who share my dedication to the City of Manassas to get things done. I am a person of action who rises to a challenge.

I will expand my “Shadow for a Day” and “Find Your Passion” series launched this year to connect students and businesses to grow Manassas with mentorships, shadow opportunities and jobs.

I will initiate a Public Image Committee to appoint citizen ambassadors for the community to share events and news.

My “Grow the Manassas Business Landscape” program will attract new businesses and help existing businesses to flourish with easy guidance to grow and prosper.

PL: Do you think residents are well informed on the workings of local government? 

Coates Ellis: I do not feel that the average citizen is well-informed and understands the workings of local government. The city is a business. With my background in business, marketing, and public relations, I can understand a budget, will promote and increase awareness of the existing tools available on our website and in meet-ups.

Our Public Image Department is excellent but needs to be expanded with a Public Image Committee — ambassadors for the community to organically share news and events.

A video podcast or live broadcast series updating the public featuring special guests can bring awareness to local government, events and news. Partnering with private existing media businesses will help grow their business.

PL: Have you ever made any mistakes in your public life? How have they affected you?

Coates Ellis: My biggest regret was going to college for only two years as a young woman and delaying the finish until I was an adult with full career and family responsibilities. I had to pay for my own education so after two years as a young Business student at Millersville University, I paused my education to work to support my family and start and grow my business.

When my children were entering high school and college, I went back to finish school as an adult learner and it was very challenging to juggle a full-time job, raising a large family and go to school full time. I graduated cum laude in two years from George Mason University with a degree in Business Communication updating my Marketing and Public Relations skills. My children witnessed the struggle and focused on making their education a priority while working to contribute to their education.

My experiences in public life have all been positive because any diversion from a plan is a learning experience to grow my future.

PL: Our readers want leaders in local government. Why should they vote for you? 

Coates Ellis: I will work hard for you and your family as your representative in City Council to grow Manassas together.

I have worked in many industries from growing up in a “shop” as my entrepreneurial family grew their auto repair business in a city, as a shirt presser in a hot dry cleaning business, in banking, in finance, to building my own management, public relations, and marketing business.

I was a first generation high school graduate and later a college graduate. I built my own small business 30 years ago and sacrificed and faced the struggles of growing a large family, a small business and finishing college making tough decisions as I led professionals and staff and mentored students.

Volunteering in the community has always been a priority to give back to the City of Manassas. I would appreciate your vote on Nov. 6 to serve you and your family as your representative in Manassas City Council.

Silver supports Ferry Farm Elementary School rebuild, pay for development rights overhaul

Gordon Silver is a Republican running for a seat on the Stafford County Board of Supervisors. 

If elected as the George Washington District Supervisor, Silver would be a newcomer to the county’s political stage. 

He’s seeking a seat that was vacated in January by former Supervisor turned Virginia State Delegate Bob Thomas. 

Tom Coen is the interim George Washington District Supervisor, appointed this past winter, and he’s challenging Silver for the seat. 

Voters will head to the polls Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018.

Silver responded to our Project: Election questionnaire. His responses are below. 

Find your polling place

PL: What are the top three major issues facing the district you wish to represent?

Silver: 

1. Rebuilding Ferry Farm Elementary School
2. Preserving green space
3. Developing a more diversified economic base

PL: What concrete solutions do you propose to address these issues?

Silver:

1. In 2008 the architectural firm of Hayes & Large conducted a study that determined Ferry Farm Elementary School was no longer cost effective to operate. A rebuild of the school on the existing site is the most cost-effective solution with the least impact on students.
 
2. Currently, Stafford uses a program called Pay for Development Rights (PDR) to change the zoning on agricultural parcels and restrict development on those sites. While the program is effective, it is not efficient.
 
The application process is long (three or more years on average) and severely underfunded. I propose we follow the example of other counties and create a Public-Private-Partnership, PPP, to seek multiple approaches
to the problem.
 
There are over 1,200 PPPs currently operating in the U.S. and collectively they have preserved 50 million acres of land. This amazing feat has been accomplished without infringing on property rights whatsoever.
 
3. We need to aggressively seek a diversity of businesses that cut across different areas of the economy. We have done this successfully over the years but have not done so in recent years

PL: From your perspective, what is the job description of the office you’re seeking?

Silver: Members of the Board of Supervisors certainly wear many hats, but their largest responsibility is clearly financial. Ensuring sufficient revenue and equitable distribution for services and schools are by far the biggest parts of their job.

PL: What expertise will you bring to the office?

Silver: I have 18 years of experience as a business analyst and financial manager. I intend to use the same analytical tools for County decisions as I have used for companies such as J.P. Morgan Chase and Cox Automotive.

PL: Have you ever made any mistakes in your public life? How have they affected you?

Silver: I have had differing opinions with members of boards or groups over the years. What I have learned is that a true leader is able to disagree but knows how to do it in a way that is not disagreeable. I didn’t always get that right when I was first accepting these roles. Leadership means being able to create an environment of trust where others feel comfortable to express their opinions.

PL: Our readers want leaders in local government. Why should they vote for you? 

Silver: The short answer is two decades of financial experience and four decades of community involvement. But just as important, I am deeply passionate about this community. As a lifetime resident, I have a thorough understanding of the issues faced by the George Washington District. I grew up here and watched this county change from a small rural county to a suburb in Northern Virginia.

My family has lived on the same farm since 1870 and the work I do developing Stafford schools roads, and infrastructure will directly affect the quality of life for my children and grandchildren who continue to live here.

UMW poll shows Kaine ahead of Stewart, but race ‘likely to tighten up as the contest draws nearer’

The survey, conducted September 4-9 for UMW by the national research firm SSRS, found that Kaine had a 51 percent to 33 percent margin among registered voters and a 52 percent to 36 percent margin among likely voters. Libertarian candidate Matt Waters received 5 percent support in both subsets of Virginians.

Among all respondents, Kaine held a 49 percent to 30 percent advantage. The remaining respondents were uncertain or declined to express a preference.

“The latest Mary Washington survey demonstrates that Tim Kaine remains popular in Virginia,” said Stephen J. Farnsworth, professor of political science at the University of Mary Washington and director of its Center for Leadership and Media Studies. “But any statewide election in ‘purple’ Virginia is likely to tighten up as the contest draws nearer.”

About one-third of those surveyed said that President Trump would be a major factor in their Senate vote, and Kaine had the support of those voters by a 60 percent to 35 percent margin. Stewart has the support of 92 percent who said they voted for Trump two years ago, while 93 percent of the Hillary Clinton supporters back Kaine, who was Clinton’s vice presidential running mate in 2016.

The Clinton-Kaine ticket carried Virginia by more than five percentage points that year.

Among Democrats, 90 percent support Kaine. Stewart has the support of 73 percent of Republicans, and Kaine picks up 15 percent.

“By September, successful candidates usually have their partisans locked down,” Farnsworth said. “That so many Republicans favor Kaine at this point in the election is terrible news for Corey Stewart.”

There is evidence of a substantial gender gap in voter preferences. Women favored Kaine by a 52 percent to 27 percent margin. Among men, Stewart was ahead, 55 percent to 47 percent.

Among Stewart supporters, 39 percent said that immigration was the most important problem facing the country, followed by 18 percent identifying the economy and jobs. Among Kaine’s supporters, 29 percent said health care was the most important issue, as compared to 17 percent saying the economy and jobs.

Kaine has a huge advantage in Northern Virginia, where he enjoys a 63 percent to 20 percent margin, and in Tidewater, where he enjoys a 50 percent to 28 percent margin. Respondents in the western regions of the state backed Stewart by a 44 percent to 33 percent margin, his best regional performance.

Among levels of education, Stewart did best with those who did not graduate from high school, where he had a 42 percent to 29 percent advantage over Kaine. Kaine did best with those who had at least a college degree, where he had a 61 percent to 24 percent advantage.

White respondents were divided, with 42 percent expressing support for Kaine and 41 percent expressing support for Stewart. African Americans favored Kaine by 71 percent to 4 percent for Stewart, as compared to a 51 percent to 11 percent margin favoring Kaine among Latinos.

Survey Information:

The University of Mary Washington’s Virginia Survey Fall 2018 obtained telephone interviews with a representative sample of 801 adults, ages 18 or older, living in Virginia. Telephone interviews were conducted by landline (281) and cell phone (520). The survey was conducted by SSRS. Interviews were done in English from September 4 to 9, 2018. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is ± 4.6 percentage points. For resulted based on registered voters [N=704] the margin of sampling error is ±5.0 percentage points. For resulted based on likely voters [N=512] the margin of sampling error is ±5.8 percentage points.

Stewart gets nod from Trump on federal worker payraise

stewart, prince william, supervisor

Prince William County’s top leader who is also running for U.S. Senate got some Twitter love from the President. 

In a rare break with Donald Trump, Republican Corey Stewart said federal workers deserved a pay raise, something Trump reportedly was considering to withhold.

 

Today in a press release, Stewart said the president retweeted his Tweet. 

He issued this statement: 

On Twitter, Stewart remarked: “I knew we could count on you, @realDonaldTrump. The federal workforce was a political football during the Obama years.”

“Thanks to President Trump, the economy is roaring and unemployment is at record lows. If the wages for federal workers don’t keep up, we will lose many valuable employees.”

Stewart has served as the Prince Willam County Board of Supervisors Chairman since 2007. His current U.S. Senate campaign against incumbent Democrat Tim Kaine comes after two unsuccessful runs for higher office: Virginia Lt. Governor in 2013 and Governor in 2017.

Manassas Park leaders vow to get financial house in order, fill empty storefronts

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Actress Alyssa Milano in Woodbridge urges Virginia legislators to approve women’s rights amendment

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Sticking by Trump, Stewart wins Republican Primary. He’ll face Kaine in November.

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Michelle Davis-Younger top voter winner at Manassas firehouse primary

Michelle Davis-Younger was the top vote winner at a firehouse primary in Manassas.

Elston

Democrats held the vote at Central Library on Saturday to find out who will be their candidates for three open seats on the Manassas City Council. An election will be held November 6.

Davis-Younger, who works as a Human Resources professional, won the most votes followed by sitting councilman Ken Elston, and Rex Parr, who spent more than 30 years as chief of Manassas-based Didlake, Inc.

Parr

More in a press release:

Manassas and Manassas Park Cities Democratic Committee held an unassembled caucus today to determine the three Democratic nominees for the Manassas City Council election on November 6. 138 voters came out to vote for up to three of the four candidates – E. Michelle Davis-Younger, Ken D. Elston, Rex G. Parr Jr and Dr. Oliver T. Reid. The results of the election were as follows:

E. Michelle Davis-Younger – 114
Ken D. Elston – 88
Rex G. Parr Jr- 87
Dr. Oliver T. Reid – 43
 

Congratulations to Michelle, Ken and Rex and many thanks to Oliver for his willingness to serve.

Our Democratic nominees look forward to tackling the issues facing Manassas. They will have a special focus on ensuring that Manassas City’s Schools are properly funded and that we are finding creative ways to stimulate Economic Development while adhering to smart growth practices.

Reid will not be able to run as a Democrat for the city council seat based on his fourth-place showing at the firehouse primary.

The upcoming June 12 Dual Primary Election explained

 

Voters will head to the polls on June 12 for a dual Primary Election where Republicans and Democrats may vote candidates to compete in Fall 2018 elections.

Voters will only be able to choose one candidate, whether it be a Democrat or Republican. Virginia does not require voters to register by party.

Monday, May 21 is the last day to register to vote in the June Primary. June 5 is the last day to request an absentee ballot.

A video in this post made by the Prince William Office of Elections explains the process.

Here’s a local list of races and candidates who will appear on the ballot June 12. You can also use the Virginia Department of Election’s “What’s on my ballot” tool to see view a sample ballot that you will see at your polling place.

U.S. Senate

Democratic Party

  • Tim Kaine (incumbent, unopposed

Republican Party

  • Corey Stewart
  • Nick Freitas
  • E.W. Jackson

U.S. House of Representatives

1st District (Stafford, Prince William)

Democratic Party

  • Vangie A. Williams
  • John B. Suddarth
  • Edwin Santana Jr.

Republican Party

  • Robert J. “Rob” Wittman (incumbent, running unopposed)

10th District

Democratic Party

  • Lindsey Davis Stover
  • Jennifer T. Wexton
  • Paul E. Pelletier
  • Alison K. Friedman
  • Dan I. Helmer
  • Julia E. Biggins

Republican Party

  • Barbara Comstock (incumbent)
  • Shak E. Hill

11th District (Fairfax, Prince William)

Democratic Party

  • Gerald E. “Gerry” Connolly (incumbent, running unopposed)

Republican Party

  • Jeff A. Dove (running unopposed)

Stafford County Board of Supervisors 

George Washington District 

  • Gordon Silver