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The proposed route and stations for Route 7 bus rapid transit service from Tysons to Alexandria (via NVTC/Twitter)

(Updated at 4:25 p.m. on 1/3/2023) An ongoing study of the possibility of having bus rapid transit (BRT) service from Tysons to Alexandria can now proceed confident that the planning will be seen through to completion.

The $1.7 trillion federal spending bill that Congress approved on Friday (Dec. 23), just in time to avert a potential government shutdown, included $2 million to complete all planning and environmental studies needed for the project, known as Envision Route 7.

The Northern Virginia Transportation Commission — the recipient of the funds — has been studying whether and how to bring dedicated bus service to Route 7 between the Spring Hill Metro station in Tysons and the Mark Center in Alexandria since 2013.

The fourth and latest phase of the study — a mobility analysis evaluating the benefits and impacts of BRT — got underway in October 2021. Expected to finish in April, it will be followed by environmental and preliminary engineering design work.

Reps. Gerry Connolly and Don Beyer requested that funds for the project be included in the omnibus bill so it can “complete the planning and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis to prepare…for design and construction,” according to a press release from Beyer’s office.

The proposed BRT will provide “high-quality, frequent” bus service along a corridor that’s already the second busiest for buses in Virginia, Connolly said in a separate release:

This BRT project will provide a reliable and affordable transportation option for communities along this corridor; provide a green transportation option that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help in the battle against climate change; reduce congestion along a key transportation corridor in Northern Virginia already benefitting from significant economic development and investment; leverage a range of federal, Commonwealth, regional, and local transportation funds; connect major employment centers (U.S. Department of Defense Mark Center, Bailey’s Crossroads, Seven Corners, West Falls Church and Tysons); and further enhance a robust and growing transit system in Northern Virginia.

“The #EnvisionRoute7 BRT will provide as many as 42,000 daily transit trips giving people access to opportunities throughout our region with direct transit connections to Metro at Tysons and East Falls Church, as well as to the new Alexandria West End Transitway,” NVTC said on Twitter, thanking Connolly and Beyer for securing the funds.

The Tysons segment of the BRT will include six stops, traveling up International Drive and looping around the Spring Hill Metro before taking International back down to Route 7 (Leesburg Pike).

The service will use two transit-only lanes that Fairfax County plans to build by widening Route 7 from Route 123 to the Capital Beltway.

From Tysons, the route continues through Falls Church City, into the Seven Corners and Bailey’s Crossroads area, and down to Alexandria. NVTC held a community meeting to discuss the Falls Church portion in October.

Other Fairfax County projects that got funding from the federal spending package include a cycle track on Sunrise Valley Drive to the Innovation Center Metro station, pedestrian and bicycle upgrades near the Vienna Metro station, and a renovation of the Little River Glen Senior Center near Fairfax City.

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Traveling Players Ensemble, a student theater company based in Tysons, performs “Commedia Christmas Carol” (photo by Alex Mountfield)

Rep. Gerry Connolly will put his experience dealing with Scrooges on Capitol Hill to the test tomorrow when he takes the stage for a youth production of “Commedia Christmas Carol.”

The congressman and Providence District Supervisior Dalia Palchik will join student actors with the Traveling Players Ensemble for their take on the Charles Dickens holiday classic at 8 p.m., the Tysons-based theatrical company announced earlier this week.

Held at the Traveling Players Studio (DL01, 1961 Chain Bridge Road) in Tysons Corner Center, it will be the penultimate performance of the production, which launched on Dec. 2 and concludes at 3 p.m. on Sunday (Dec. 11).

Aimed at audiences 8 and older, the show puts a comedic twist on “A Christmas Carol.” It runs 75 minutes with no intermission and features a cast of kids from across the D.C. area.

“I love that it’s a ghost story, swirling out of control, careening through Scrooge’s painful past, and foreseeing his isolated future,” Traveling Players Producing Artistic Director Jeanne Harrison said in a press release. “And then he does the thing that is so brave: he changes. He lets people laugh at his newfound zest for life. And he is so much happier. He is renewed.”

Harrison founded the nonprofit theater company as a summer camp with 18 students in 2002. She is also the director for “Christmas Carol.”

Now in its 20th year with students in grades 2-12, the Traveling Players says Connolly and Palchik will make cameos in tomorrow’s show to acknowledge the key roles they played in the group’s journey.

Congressman Connolly is a lifelong supporter of arts and education.  It was through his support that Traveling Players found their first long-time home in Fairfax County at The Madeira School, back in 2007 when he was still the Chairman of the Fairfax County Supervisors.  A thespian in his own right, this will not be the Congressman’s first time taking the stage in a local production, but it will be his first cameo appearance with Traveling Players.

In 2020, Supervisor Palchick celebrated with Traveling Players by cutting the ribbon when they moved into their new home, their Studio in Tysons Corner Center, inside her district.  Also an ardent supporter of the arts and education, Supervisor Palchick’s priorities overlap with those of Traveling Players: to expand artistic opportunities to every child in her district and the wider Fairfax County community.

There will also be an introduction by Jesse Benites, the general manager of Macerich, which owns and operates Tysons Corner Center. The mall has housed the Traveling Players Studio since February 2020 and hosted outdoor performances on its Plaza this summer.

Tickets to “Commedia Christmas Carol” cost $15 and can be purchased online.

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The cold and rain didn’t dampen enthusiasm for the opening of Metro’s long-awaited, $3 billion Silver Line Phase II.

Yesterday marked the much-anticipated public opening of the 11.4-mile extension of the rail line from Reston into Loudoun County. Along with six new stations, this marks the first time that locals can take a train to Dulles International Airport.

Over multiple ribbon-cutting ceremonies throughout the chilly, wet November day, local officials touted the debut of the line as a “game-changer” and a “new era” for western Fairfax County and the D.C. region as a whole.

“It really is the establishment of a new identity for the Dulles corridor,” Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn said at the new Reston Town Center station. “Now, what we’re going to see is the Dulles corridor tied together with transit in a way that was really never anticipated…We are in a new era.”

Riders, too, recognized what this could mean for the region and their daily travel.

“It’s going to change my life,” Raj Paradaar told FFXnow while riding the extension’s first passenger-filled train heading westbound. He lives in Ashburn and works near the Reston Town Center station, so he plans to ride the Metro most days.

Inside the Innovation Center station, commuters came and went, including a United Airlines flight attendant headed to work at Dulles. He lives in an apartment building across the street from the new station, along with a number of other flight attendants, FFXnow was told.

“That’s where we live,” the United Airlines flight attendant said pointing outside. “And that’s where we work…Honestly, taking a train is just much easier.”

Other riders said the extension won’t significantly affect their day-to-day habits, but they agreed it will make getting to the airport simpler.

Franconia resident Terry Rice, clutching luggage, happened to have a trip to Italy scheduled on the extension’s opening day. While planning, she realized that Dulles Airport was now only a train ride away.

“It may not change my life, but it’s going to make my life much easier,” Rice said.

During yesterday’s ceremonies, officials tried to make clear that the Silver Line extension’s impact is anticipated to go beyond simply being a link to the airport, reiterating a message that many have been saying for years.

“We have within our grasp…the ability to completely reinvent, reimagine [this corridor] as mixed-use development, as transit-oriented development, as environmentally friendly, as improving quality of life, as reducing carbon emissions, and as restoring choices for people who live in Northern Virginia,” said newly reelected Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-11) at a ceremony outside of the Innovation Center station. Read More

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Voting at Cunningham Park Elementary School in Vienna (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

(Updated, 3:35 p.m.) With most incumbents running away to victory, it appears that Fairfax County’s voter turnout for the general election this year will fall short of the 2018 midterms.

About 53% of registered, active county voters took part in this year’s midterm elections, per Fairfax County election officials. That’s about 16 percentage points off from the midterms four years ago. It’s also lower than last year’s gubernatorial election, which had a 60% turnout.

In total, 391,361 ballots have been counted so far in Fairfax County, election officials said.

Turnout numbers remain unofficial. Ballots put into drop boxes will be counted today, while additional mail ballots can continue to arrive until noon Monday (Nov. 14).

Absentee mail and in-person voting rose this election cycle compared to 2018, with 130,350 residents voting early this year — just under 18% of active, registered voters in the county. That’s about 44,000 more people than in 2018, when 12% of voters made their decisions early.

Last year, 174,641 county residents, or about 24% of voters, cast ballots by mail or early in person.

With Fairfax County staying reliably blue, the lack of competitive Congressional races on the ballot may have contributed to the lower turnout compared to other recent elections. Based on the preliminary results, all but one local incumbent — Herndon Town Councilmember Signe Friedrichs — appears to have held their job.

Don Beyer (D) secured victory in Virginia’s 8th Congressional District with 73% of the vote with most precincts reporting. The district includes about 282,000 residents of Fairfax County, where Beyer secured 69% of the vote — about three percentage points lower than what he got in 2020 and 2018.

The re-elected Congressman tweeted out a statement just before 9 p.m. last night, thanking voters for “again putting their confidence in me.”

In the 11th Congressional District, Gerry Connolly (D) won his eighth term in office with 66% of the vote overall, with all but two precincts reporting.

The 11th District is almost entirely in Fairfax County, covering about 585,000 residents. That includes Lorton, Burke, Fairfax, Chantilly, Vienna, Tysons, Reston, and most of Springfield and Herndon.

Like Beyer, Connolly didn’t fare quite as well this year in Fairfax County as he did in 2020 and 2018, with 66% of the vote compared to over 70% in both of those election cycles.

Read More

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A Fairfax County absentee ballot drop box (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Mayor Sheila Olem will get a second term as mayor of the Town of Herndon after securing a narrow win against council members Sean Regan and Jasbinder Singh in today’s primary election.

According to unofficial results, Olem edged out the race by a little over two percentage points over Regan. Singh received the least number of votes: 16%.

The Herndon Town Council race — which included nine candidates running for six open seats — is extremely close, as is typical in the town’s council elections.

Current members Naila Alam, Cesar del Aguila, and Pradip Dhakal retained their seats, while challengers Clark Hedrick, Keven LeBlanc Jr, and Donielle Scherff secured enough votes to beat out Councilmember Signe Friedrichs.

The following is a breakdown of unofficial election returns for the council race:

  • Clark Hedrick: 3,372
  • Pradip Dhakal: 3,334
  • Keven LeBlanc Jr:  3,164
  • Cesar del Aguila: 3,109
  • Naila Alam: 3,084
  • Donielle Scherff: 2,965
  • Stevan Porter: 2,871
  • Roland Taylor: 2,692
  • Signe Friedrichs: 2,685

It’s not unusual for the outcome of town council races to change once official results are tabulated.

In 2020, for example, a data entry error dramatically changed the results of the mayoral election.

In this year’s midterm elections, Democratic incumbents representing portions of Fairfax County once again maintained a stronghold over their seats in the House of Representatives.

Democratic incumbents Don Beyer (D-8) and Gerry Connolly (D-11) clenched a decidedly confident victory over their Republican challengers: Karina Lipsman, Hung Cao and Jim Myles, according to uncertified election results.

But Jennifer Wexton’s (D-10) win over challenger Cao was significantly closer than her Democratic colleagues.

The incumbent had a 6-point-percentage margin, with 90% of precincts reporting, as of 10:20 p.m.

In Fairfax County, she led by a mere 48 votes, according to Fairfax County’s unofficial returns.

Victories for Beyer and Connolly were far less contentious, with Beyer winning over 75% of votes versus Lipsman’s nearly 23% and Connolly winning 68% over Myles’s 31%.

Beyer said that he was grateful for voters’ confidence in his ability to represent them.

“I will continue to do all I can to earn their trust, and to serve my constituents,” he wrote in a statement today.

Fairfax County hit a 45% turnout rate for the midterms, as of 3:50 p.m., but that number does not account for three hours of voting that remained at the time.

Still, the number appears shy of 2018 midterms when 59.5% of registered voters cast a ballot. In 2014, a mere 41.6% of registered voters voted.

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Jim Myles (via Jim Myles for Congress)

Republicans have chosen a former U.S. judge to take on incumbent Rep. Gerry Connolly for Virginia’s 11th Congressional District this fall.

Jim Myles received the party’s nomination on Saturday (May 7) following a four-round canvass that started with five candidates. He won with 959 votes: 59% of the vote.

“I’ve certainly reached out individually to each of the other candidates to thank them,” Myles said. “I was very fortunate to win, and I certainly respected all of them.”

Myles, 62, thanked his family, friends, and supporters, noting that people stood in the rain with signs during the canvass.

Energized by Glenn Youngkin’s gubernatorial win in November, Myles decided to seek office after retiring as a federal judge in December after three decades in the public sector. Friends and neighbors encouraged him to pursue the seat.

“Jim Myles has spent his entire life in public service, from defending the nation in the Air Force to adjudicating cases as an administrative law judge,” Mike Ginsberg, the GOP’s 11th District Committee chairman, said in a statement. “Now he is stepping up to serve again at a critical time in our nation’s and district’s history.

Ginsberg said Myles is uniquely positioned to speak to key issues at a time of rising inflation and economic insecurity.

“As a parent of a Fairfax County Public School student, he understands the need for quality schools focusing on education, not ideological indoctrination,” Ginsberg said.

Myles said his top concerns include inflation, crime and prosecutorial policies that he views as overly lenient, energy independence, drugs and immigration.

“I think there’s just a fear that the radical left has kind of taken over,” he said. “I think a lot of people are really scared about inflation, crime, the border, our schools. Everything is just getting really difficult.”

He said Congress should hold hearings on remote learning during the pandemic to determine how isolation and face mask requirements affected students.

“The effect was just very devastating for children,” he said. “We could conduct hearings on that and examine exactly what happened to make sure that doesn’t happen again — because students suffered.”

Myles’s past public-sector experience includes working at the Social Security Administration for roughly 20 years and as a U.S. judge for over a decade.

He also had a fellowship in 2009, working as a Republican staffer on the House Ways and Means’ Social Security subcommittee. Myles said the experience helped him show just how difficult it is to enact legislation.

His opponent, incumbent Gerry Connolly, has represented the 11th District in Congress for 13 years and chairs the government operations subcommittee for the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. Connolly had $3.7 million in cash as of the last quarterly filing.

Myles’s campaign had nearly $12,000 as of mid-April, mostly consisting of donations he made. He said the GOP is now unified and has already seen an outpouring of support.

Photo via Jim Myles for Congress/Facebook

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Morning Notes

Despite chilly weather, the sun came out Tuesday, casting shadows from trees at the corner of Jefferson Manor Park off Telegraph Road (staff photo by Brandi Bottalico)

County Libraries to Resume Standard Hours — Fairfax County Public Library will once again open its eight regional branches seven days a week, and its 14 community branches on Mondays, effective this Sunday (April 3). The system truncated its hours starting in January due to the surge in COVID-19 cases and high staff vacancies. [FCPL]

Omicron Subvariant Identified in Fairfax County Patients — “BA.2 is now estimated to be responsible for about one in three COVID-19 infections in the country and one in five COVID-19 infections in Virginia. While BA.2 appears to be more contagious and can spread faster, it is not known to make people sicker.” [Fairfax County Health Department]

County Commonwealth’s Attorney Responds to Miyares Criticism — “The two powerful men have been in a feud for months. Attorney General Jason Miyares is pushing for tough-on-crime policies, while [Steve] Descano campaigned on ending mass incarceration and reforming the criminal justice system.” [ABC7]

“Coming to America” Restaurant Planned for Springfield — “Starting in May, shoppers at the Springfield Town Center can stride through the golden arcs of McDowell’s and order a Big Mick — a burger that is totally different from that other sandwich, thank you very much, because the buns don’t have seeds.” [Washingtonian]

Falls Church Approves Founders Row Part II — “The Falls Church City Council approved yet another large scale mixed use project for its downtown corridor Monday night, by a 5-2 vote giving a final OK to what has become known as the ‘Founders Row 2‘ project that will fill the space at the now vacant Rite Aid and the carpet store at the corner of W. Broad and S. West St.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Congress Members Concerned about Silver Line Phase 2 Delays — “U.S. Reps. Jennifer Wexton (D), Don Beyer (D) and Gerry Connolly’s letter to MWAA came a day after Paul Wiedefeld, the CEO and general manager of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, said unresolved issues…are preventing a declaration of operational readiness.” [Patch]

Capital One Partners with MLB — “McLean’s Capital One Financial Corp. is Major League Baseball’s new official banking and credit card partner. Capital One announced the multiyear deal Monday…Terms were not disclosed, but reports have pegged it as a $125 million deal for MLB over five years.” [Washington Business Journal]

Reston Library to Host First Responders on Saturday — “Join us as we celebrate the brave men and women who rush to emergency situations every day to take action when disaster strikes. Meet our local firefighters as they showcase the equiptment used for respond to emergencies. 11am-2pm at Reston Library.” [FCPL]

Local Students Compete in Special Olympics — “Congratulations to the Madison Special Olympics Unified Basketball Team who competed in their first Special Olympics this weekend at Marshall HS.” [James Madison High School/Twitter]

It’s Wednesday — Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High of 56 and low of 36. Sunrise at 6:57 a.m. and sunset at 7:31 p.m. [Weather.gov]

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Morning Notes

With March 20 as the first official day of spring, cherry blossom season has arrived (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Fairfax Station Doctor Sentenced for Fraud — Physician Leonard Rosen was sentenced on Friday (March 18) to two years of probation, with six months of at-home confinement for his involvement in an $8 million fraud scheme where doctors prescribed expensive drugs to patients in exchange for bribes from pharmacists. [The Washington Post]

Connolly Announces Reelection Bid — “On Thursday, March 17, during his 28th annual St. Patrick’s Day Fete, held online, [Rep. Gerry] Connolly announced he would seek reelection to represent Virginia’s 11th Congressional District…The newly-drawn 11th District lies within the boundaries of Fairfax County…and includes Tysons, Fairfax City, Chantilly, and Reston.” [Potomac Local News]

Georgetown Pike Lane Closure Starts Today — “Great Falls: On Mon 3/21-Fri 3/25 for several hours beginning at 9AM daily, Georgetown Pike (Rt 193) will be down to one lane on the Difficult Run bridge for ongoing pedestrian crossing work. Crews will continue to stage in the @fairfaxparks lot.” [VDOT Northern Virginia/Twitter]

McLean Neighborhood Installs License Plate Readers — “Due to the fact that some high-profile people live in the area, FOX 5 is not disclosing the location to respect their privacy. Residents like Phil Horvitz, who is also an HOA board member, have been rattled after seeing an increase in crime, so they installed three high-tech license plate reader cameras.” [FOX5]

Person Assaulted with Pipe in Lincolnia —  A person waiting for a rideshare vehicle in the 6200 block of Little River Turnpike on March 14 was assaulted with a metal pipe by a man who got out of an unknown vehicle. The victim was transported to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, and police say it doesn’t appear to have been a random act. [FCPD]

Fairfax County Firefighter Develops Behavioral Health Program — “A daily routine immersed in life-or-death situations can take a mental toll on first responders, and ‘The Mental Mayday’ program teaches members of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department in Virginia how to ask for help. It was developed by 10-year veteran of the department Lt. Adam Bartman.” [WTOP]

Fairfax Station Park to Get New Playground — “The Fairfax County Park Authority will soon begin the Popes Head Park playground replacement project, which will require closure of the playground during the construction period. Contractors will be mobilizing on site shortly, with active construction activities beginning at the end of March 2022.” [FCPA]

McLean Citizens Association Changes Presidents — “Scott Spitzer, who has served as MCA First Vice President, was elected President to replace Rob Jackson.  He said, ‘Rob Jackson’s deep knowledge of community issues, his wisdom and guidance, and his repeatedly answering the call to serve MCA and our community will be missed by all of us.  We thank him for his exceptional public service.'” [MCA]

It’s Monday — Clear throughout the day. High of 65 and low of 40. Sunrise at 7:12 am and sunset at 7:23 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Morning Notes

Snow hit Fairfax County on Saturday (photo by Marjorie Copson)

(Updated at 8:45 a.m.) Car Crash Closes Old Dominion Drive — “Old Dominion Dr is closed between Balls Hill Rd & Mottram Dr in McLean, likely for several hours. A car crashed into a utility pole. No injuries. Please avoid the area while crews work to repair the pole.” [FCPD/Twitter]

Judge Denies FCPS Request to Keep TJ Admissions Process — “A federal judge has denied the request of Fairfax County Public Schools for a stay of his order invalidating the admissions system at prestigious magnet school Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, marking another serious blow for Virginia’s largest school system.” [The Washington Post]

Reston Shooting Still Unsolved — “It’s been one year since 40-year-old Santos Antonio Trejo Lemus died from gunshot wounds he received while walking near his home in Reston’s Winterthur Apartments. To date, no one has been charged in Lemus’ homicide.” [Patch]

Rep. Connolly Tests Positive for COVID-19 — “This morning, I tested positive for covid. I am mildly symptomatic and will be self-isolating. Fortunately, I’m vaxxed and boosted. This pandemic isn’t over yet so if you haven’t gotten your booster yet please do.” [Gerry Connolly/Twitter]

Person Injured in Shooting at Springfield Residence Inn — A driver shot at occupants of another car in the hotel parking lot at 6412 Backlick Road around 7:06 a.m. on March 8, according to the most recent police weekly recap. One person was hit and taken to the hospital for injuries not considered life-threatening. [FCPD]

GW Parkway Construction Closes Turkey Run Parking Lot — “The National Park Service is imposing a temporary closure of parking lot C-2 and partial closure of parking lot B at Turkey Run Park as a part of the project to rehabilitate the north section of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. The dates of the closure are March 14, 2022, until further notice.” [NPS]

Former Vienna Mayoral Candidate Runs for West Virginia House — “Pasha Majdi, who served on the Vienna Town Council for six years before making an unsuccessful bid for mayor in 2020, is running for office again — in his new state of residence, West Virginia. Majdi is seeking the Republican nomination to run for the 100th District seat in the West Virginia House of Delegates.” [Sun Gazette]

Reston Real Estate Company to Expand — “Fast-growing Reston real estate firm Verity Commercial has received a ‘significant investment’ to drive its expansion into new markets. The firm…received an undisclosed amount from Germany-based RSBG Global Cos. through its San Jose-based subsidiary, Vela Tech Holding Inc.” [Washington Business Journal]

Baby Pigs Born at Frying Pan Farm — “Nike, a year and a half old Hampshire Cross sow, delivered her first litter of piglets on February 24. For her first time, she acted like a pro and delivered in less than two hours.” [Fairfax County Park Authority/Facebook]

It’s Monday — Partly cloudy throughout the day. High of 57 and low of 31. Sunrise at 7:23 a.m. and sunset at 7:16 p.m. [Weather.gov]

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Matthew Chappell, a Republican candidate for Virginia’s 11th Congressional District seat, and his family (courtesy Matthew Chappell for Congress)

The field of contenders for the 11th District Congressional race is widening.

Republican Matthew Chappell has thrown his hat into the ring, giving the GOP its first primary with multiple candidates since Democratic incumbent Rep. Gerry Connolly took office in 2009.

Father of three children with wife Jacqueline, Chappell is a U.S. Army veteran who worked in counterintelligence and served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has also worked as a police officer and a national security advisor with the Department of Defense.

Chappell says he decided to run for Congress after the U.S. pulled troops out of Afghanistan in August. While he conceded that the withdrawal likely couldn’t have been handled better under a different president, Chappell feels that Afghans and American soldiers were left behind and promises made had been broken.

“I have Afghan people messaging me daily on WhatsApp and my email. They’re interpreters and people who helped run infrastructure on our bases and they’re terrified for their lives,” Chappell said. “They expected something from us and we didn’t deliver. It hurt me and I’ve lost friends there.”

After his eight-year tenure in the Army, Chappell spent three years as a police officer in Georgia. His interest in the profession came in part from his stepfather, who was a police officer and instilled in him a dedication to helping others and commitment to public service.

Rather than let the job’s challenges wear him down, Chappell focused on the benefits of being a policeman, such as interacting with the community. It also enabled him to address issues like domestic violence, which he and his mother experienced when he was young.

That experience also inspired Chappell’s support for the right to bear firearms.

Chappell says he has no hesitation about calling out bad cops that target minorities and make racist comments.

“I saw a lot of police officers who care and did what they could to help people and I met officers who should have never been allowed to wear the badge,” he said. “I’ve worked with people who weren’t doing it for the right reasons, and I’ve stood at the forefront of calling these people out.”

Chappell is also concerned about the mental health of veterans and improving health care at the Veterans Association. He says he has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and has had friends die by suicide due to PTSD.

Chappell joins Democrat Ally Dalsimer in seeking to unseat Connolly. Dalsimer similarly criticized the incumbent’s record on war and claimed he has neglected constituents, especially the LGBTQ community.

“He doesn’t listen to people,” Chappell argues. “We have a very large LGBT community here in [Northern Virginia] and he doesn’t do anything for them. I’m one of the few, especially on the Republican side, that want to help that group.”

Chappell added that he opposes letting transgender people participate in single-sex sports teams but supports their right to transition.

Chappell’s views on other issues, such as abortion and education, can be found on his website.

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