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Fairfax County’s 2023 delegate races hint at battles between Democratic incumbents

Virginia State Capitol in Richmond (via Doug Kerr/Flickr)

Seven incumbent delegates have confirmed to FFXnow that they are gearing up to run in 2023, the first election since redistricting.

With all 100 Virginia House of Delegate seats up for a vote next November, a number of incumbents representing parts of Fairfax County — all Democrats — have started making plans to run for reelection in the recently redrawn districts, including:

In addition, Del. Marcus Simon announced his reelection campaign for District 13 last week in a Falls Church News-Press column. While both Shin and Delaney told FFXnow they plan to run, they said formal announcements will come early next year.

The redistricting process, which drew new electoral lines based on population changes over the past 10 years, has shaken up at least a few races.

Most notably, both Filler-Corn and Tran have committed to running in the redrawn District 18, which encompasses a large portion of Springfield to the county border in Occoquan. It’s made up of residents from four previous districts, including ones that the delegates each previously represented.

With both being Democrats, they’ll have to face each other in a June primary to earn the Democratic nomination for the November general election.

In October, Tran announced on social media that she will seek reelection “to fight for our rights and build a more just and equitable future for all of our kids.”

A spokesperson for Filler-Corn, the former House speaker, told FFXnow in an email that she plans on “running in the district where she lives, which is HD18.”

Earlier this year, Filler-Corn was ousted as the minority leader by her colleagues in a private vote. Tran has not said if she voted for or against Filler-Corn.

FFXnow asked them about running against one another in the primary, but neither has responded as of publication.

That isn’t the only district where incumbents may be pitted against one another in a primary in about six months from now.

While Simon has already announced his reelection bid in District 13, which includes Merrifield through Falls Church City and to the border with Arlington, longtime Del. Kaye Kory told FFXnow by email that she has not made a decision yet on running.

“​​Right now, I am focused on preparing legislation for the upcoming 2023 Legislative Session in Richmond,” she wrote. “Since the filing deadline is not until April 2023, I will have plenty of time to act following adjournment.”

In District 6, which covers Great Falls and McLean, Delegates Kathleen Murphy and Richard “Rip” Sullivan would potentially face each other as well. So far, neither has announced their candidacy or respond to FFXnow’s inquiries as of publication.

Del. Ken Plum (D), whose 40-year tenure representing Reston and other portions of the county makes him the longest-serving member of the House, told FFXnow by phone that he’s still considering whether to run again in District 7.

“I’m getting through these legislative sessions and will make a decision, probably, in February,” Plum said. “I haven’t really decided yet.”

He told Reston Now last year that he had “no such plans currently” to retire.

Redistricting also created three open seats, including districts 15 and 19, which both have portions of the county.

In District 15, which covers Burke to the county line, Springfield District school board representative Laura Jane Cohen declared her candidacy for the Democratic nomination back in November.

At least two Democratic candidates — Woodbridge residents Rozia “J.R.” Henson and Mayka Little — will vie to represent District 19, which is mostly in Prince William County. It is 39% Fairfax County constituents, concentrated in Lorton and the southern portion of Richmond Highway.

It’s a bit more complicated in District 12, which covers Vienna, Oakton, Dunn Loring, most of Tysons, and Fair Oaks. Back in September, delegate Mark Keam resigned to work in President Joe Biden’s administration, triggering a special election under the old boundaries prior to last year’s redistricting.

In October, nonprofit leader Holly Seibold won the Democratic nomination over Providence District school board member Karl Frisch by just 67 votes. Later that month, Monique Baroudi secured the Republican nomination.

Early voting has already started, with the special election set for Jan. 10. The winner would only serve for about a year and would have to run again in November in the new district.

In other local elections coming next year, five county supervisors will run again, while two are stepping down. Several Fairfax County School Board members will not seek re-election.

Fairfax County top prosecutor Steve Descano told FFXnow last week that he’s gearing up for 2023 as well, in what could be the most heated local election race of the cycle.

Photo via Doug Kerr/Flickr

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