One of the things that makes me mad about the Fairfax County Democratic "machine" is how they always act like there is no one else available to run for offices except the incumbents. So everyone else should stop critiquing them because they are always the best available. HELL NO. At least not always.
So I made this list of Democrats who would make excellent Delegates in the majority Fairfax districts. I don't know enough young Republicans to do a list for them. This does not constitute an endorsement, and I am not saying in every case these people would be better than the incumbent. However, a lot of them would. Just some options I'm putting on the table.
34th District (Vince Callahan)
Margi Vanderhye- An obvious choice. Smart, good community ties, and articulate.
Rip Sullivan- Again, obvious. Hard worker, and long time resident since high school.
John Foust- Ran in 1999. Now running for Supervisor, but an excellent future choice.
Pam Danner- An amazing lady.
35th District (Steve Shannon)
Sandy Thomas- He could have run instead of Steve in 2003, but decided not to. Hopefully he will run in the future, an excellent potential candidate.
Charlie Hall- He would have to move a few blocks, but he won the areas of Providence in this district, even with Steve endorsing against him. Memo to Steve: Don't endorse against candidates who will primary incumbents and win your district.
36th District (Ken Plum)
Pete Contostavlos- Navy veteran, Democratic Chair, Hill Staffer and supermodel wife.
Jackie Madry-Taylor- Also a former Democratic Chair, her style is very unifying, she is brilliant and Jackie would bring some needed diversity to the delegation.
37th District (David Bulova)
Gail Lyon- Fairfax City Councilwoman, she would bring progressive values to this seat, without the monarchy.
Sharell Houston- Aide to Chap!, she has deep community ties, and an amazing style.
John Jennison- Yes, he's close to Gerry, but putting that aside John is a really decent guy and a good progressive.
Trent Richardson- Former YD President, and has a lot of knowledge about statewide issues.
38th District (Bob Hull)
Kaye Kory- Mason District School Board member. Could she end Falls Church's long nightmare and bring someone to this seat who wants to help elect other Democrats?
Pat Morrison- 2003 candidate for Supervisor, professional firefighter. What Pat did for the families of the NYFD after 9/11 with his counseling has made him a national legend.
39th District (Vivian Watts)
Terry Mansberger- A great professional background, and he is very progressive. Terry is openly gay, so after Vivian voted for Lohr's bill to ban gay clubs in high schools, then told people her district wouldn't understand a different vote- electing Terry would be a great lesson to her that her constituents are smarter than she thinks they are.
Sandy Proteau- Aide to Don Beyer, she has lived here a long time, and could be an excellent candidate with good backing.
Andy Hurst- He lives in the Albo district, but there is a long line there (even though no one did it this year). He could probably get the nomination here if he moved the small distance into the 39th.
40th District (Tim Hugo)
Laura Granruth- I don't think there is anyone more policy oriented in this Commonwealth. She would need some help campaigning, but would need no help governing. In fact, if elected, she might be able to explain some of these bills to the other Delegates.
Laura Floyd- Fresh off crushing Eve in a letter to the editor war, she has momentum. Plus everyone thinks she's 30 (try plus 15).
Rex Simmons- We'll know more after this campaign on what kind of candidate Rex is. I do like that he has never missed a Democratic primary, and never voted in a Republican primary. That tells us he is who he says he is.
Jane Barker- Clifton Democratic Women delivered a lot of primary voters to George... and they have a solar powered shower.
41st District (Dave Marsden)
Eileen Filler-Corn- Her campaign in 1999 was visionary in retrospect. She said Dillard would vote with the GOP to redistrict in a way that would destroy any progressiveness in the House of Delegates. Dillard denied this. Of course, he lied, won and voted for the redistricting. Since then he has complained about all the new people elected in that election. Meanwhile, Eileen has not been appropriately rewarded with this seat, and instead saw Dillard's 99 campaign manager take the seat as a "Democrat".
David Jones- No, not the bishop (that's his dad). David is a successful attorney, and was Steve Shannon's treasurer. An excellent future choice.
Jeff Lieberman- There is a very small area north of Braddock Road gerrymandered into this district so Dillard would live here. Wouldn't it be ironic if that small area that shouldn't even be in the district produced a real Democratic Delegate? Because Jeff lives there.
John Jaskot- D.C. based attorney, and probably more interested in a Congressional race, but this would be a good place to start. Plus it would prove there are real Democrats in Signal Hill precinct.
42nd District (Dave Albo)
Greg Werkheiser- Excellent candidate in 2005, but made all the mistakes a first time candidate makes without good staff (Chris excluded from that). Now that is out of the way, and he will be a force to be reckoned with in the future.
Kate Wilder- The only female green beret in U.S. Army history. Who wouldn't want a female candidate that could beat up their opponent?
Sharon Stark- "Wah, Wah. I don't ever want to be a candidate". Yeah, right.
43rd District (Mark Sickles)
Greg Galligan- Mark didn't endorse anyone this year in the Senate race- and Greg won his district by a good margin. That's got to make Mark a little nervous, and it should.
Brian Murray- Just outside the 43rd, but in Lee District, Brian could be an excellent future candidate.
Jill Allen Murray- Capitol Hill staffer, and would crush Brian in a primary.
44th District (Kris Amundson)
Scott Surovell- Besides being a great Democratic Chair, a longtime resident with deep roots in the community, and very smart, Scott is also a reliable progressive who connects well with ordinary people.
Doug Reimel- A recent addition to this area, Doug made an excellent campaign for the Board of Supervisors in Loudoun in 2003. Doug is openly gay, but the only voters in Fairfax that care about that wouldn't vote for a Democrat anyway. He is totally electable here, and would do a good job. Now, if he would just stop attacking his friends on the blogs. :-)
Laura Sonnemark- Million Mom organizer, and great lady. The kind of person who would probably never run for office, but really should.
53rd District (Jim Scott)
Charlie Hall- Again, he lives a couple blocks out of the district. However, Scott has played kingmaker here for a long time, getting involved in every primary to beat down people he can't control. It would be amusing to see him get his own primary where voters can express their "appreciation" to him for trying to control every seat in Providence for 30 years.
Pat Morrison- Like Charlie, only a football field outside of this district. Would be a remarkable candidate. (See 38th District for more).
67th District (Chuck Caputo)
Kathy Smith- Fairfax County School Board member from Sully District. Everyone (including Chuck's) first choice in 2005 to run. She declined because her kids were too young, but they will soon all be in college. Hopefully by the time Chuck retires she will be ready.
Laura Granruth- Very close to the 67th and an excellent potential candidate. (See 40th District for more).
86th District (Tom Rust)
Joel Mills- Onetime Council candidate, Joel is one of the most honorable people I know. That's not always helpful in a campaign, but we need more people like that to run.
Pete Contostavlos- He would have to move to get into this district, but only a very short distance. (See 36th for more).
Jay Donahue- I haven't met him yet, but I have heard good things from people.