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:
- Irene Shin in District 8
- Karrie Delaney in District 9
- David Bulova in District 11
- Vivan Watts in District 14
- Paul Krizek in District 16
- Kathy Tran in District 18
- Eileen Filler-Corn in District 18
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.”
I’m excited to announce my campaign in the new 18th House district!
I’m proud to live in the heart of the district, raise my kids here & already represent so much of the community. I’m running to fight for our rights & build a more just & equitable future for all of our kids. pic.twitter.com/Id0rC3akCH
— Kathy Tran (@KathyKLTran) October 6, 2022
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.”
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.”
The project to extend the I-495 Express Lanes north toward the American Legion Bridge has been under construction for half a year now, but some McLean residents remain as determined as ever to fight the Beltway’s encroachment into their neighborhoods.
Residents along Live Oak Drive in particular have consistently argued that they will face the most disruptions from the I-495 Northern Extension (495 NEXT) without getting the congestion relief benefits touted by the Virginia Department of Transportation.
The latest blow came at the sight of workers cutting down trees that serve as a buffer between Live Oak and two existing I-495 (Capital Beltway) and George Washington Memorial Parkway ramps.
VDOT says the tree clearings were necessary to make room for the Beltway widening, a new retaining wall adjacent to I-495, and a planned noise wall adjacent to Live Oak Drive. But residents fear the redesigned interchange will be a new “Mixing Bowl,” the tangle of ramps and overpasses where I-495, I-395 and I-95 meet in Springfield.
“VDOT/Transurban are trying to shove through a new ‘Springfield Mixing Bowl’ right here in McLean,” Northern Virginia Citizens Association President Debra Butler said in a recent email to members. “Future demolition and construction will impact both sides of 495 at Georgetown Pike, Live Oak Drive, Langley Swim Club, Scotts Run Nature Preserve with a new ‘McLean Mixing Bowl’ with ramps as high as 271 feet [above sea level].”
Discussions of potential legislation underway
Organized in opposition to 495 NEXT, the association held a meeting at the Langley Swim & Tennis Club on Friday (Dec. 16) to discuss the tree removals and their issues with the project’s size.
Attendees at the meeting included Del. Kathleen Murphy (D-34) and state Sen. Barbara Favola (D-31), who have started talking to Virginia Secretary of Transportation W. Sheppard Miller III about options for addressing resident concerns.
The association has suggested allowing commercial trucks in the I-495 Express Lanes, where they’re currently prohibited, and having them get on and off in Tysons instead of McLean, eliminating the need for some flyover ramps.
VDOT says a planned exchange ramp allowing vehicles to exit the toll lanes at the GW Parkway is intended for all vehicles, though one purpose is to give trucks from Maryland access to the general purpose lanes.
Legislators could also introduce a bill with new controls on public-private partnerships like the one between VDOT and express lanes operator Transurban, improving transparency and limiting their ability to substantially change a project’s design after a public hearing, Butler says.
Murphy confirmed she and Favola are having discussions about potential legislation, but no concrete proposals have formed yet, even with a Jan. 1 deadline to submit bills for the 2023 General Assembly session looming.
“Those are certainly things we are going to bring to the attention of the secretary of transportation to see what possibilities are available, and as soon as we finish those conversations, we’ll have a better idea,” she told FFXnow. Read More