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John Farrell bows out of race for Ken Plum’s House of Delegates seat

John Farrell has withdrawn from the state delegate race (via Lesnick Photo/Reston Association)

(Updated on April 4) John Farrell, an attorney and longtime Reston resident, has officially withdrawn his candidacy in the crowded race for District 7 in the Virginia House of Delegates.

Farrell, who is currently running for a seat on Reston Association’s Board of Directors — a body he currently serves on — said the move was motivated by the inclusion of another candidate in the race.

In an email to FFXnow, Farrell said he is endorsing Karen Keys-Gamarra for the seat.

When Karen Keys Gamara announced her candidacy, I knew we had our candidate. She has spent her career representing kids in need of services before the courts   More than 18,000 residents in HD 7 have already voted for Karen multiple times. We know her, we know her values and her commitment to our future and our children’s future. We’ve also seen her in action, fighting for our community and standing firm against efforts to force a far right agenda on Fairfax County schools.

Farrell said he entered the race in an effort to fight for Robert Simon’s founding principles for Reston.

Karen Keys-Gamarra, an at-large member of the Fairfax County School Board, announced her bid to succeed Del. Ken Plum in early March.

Plum announced his intention to retire in late February following more than four decades in public office.

Keys-Gamarra has served on the school board since 2017. She is currently chair of the comprehensive planning development committee, a member of the Board Audit Committee, and a liaison to the Title I Parent Advisory Committee, the Fairfax County Planning Commission, and Educate Fairfax.

She also works as an attorney who handles family law matters, and she serves as a court-appointed guardian and litem in Northern Virginia.

She will face fellow candidates Paul Berry, Shyamali Roy Hauth and Mary Barthelson  in the June 20 primary for District 7, which extends from Route 7 north of Reston down to Waples Mill Road near Oakton.

Early voting for the primary begins on May 6 and the Democratic primary is set for June 9. The general election is slated for Nov. 7.