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.”
(Updated on Feb. 1) Irene Shin, the first Korean American woman to serve in Virginia’s House of Delegates, believes it’s time the Commonwealth gave kimchi its due.
Del. Marcus Simon, who represents Pimmit Hills, Merrifield, and the City of Falls Church in the 53rd District, has signed onto the legislation as a cosponsor.
California became the first U.S. state to make such a designation last year, and the Republic of Korea (South Korea) also celebrates the day each year.
“I think it’s really an incredible opportunity to celebrate the cultural heritage and the contributions they’ve made [through] cultural diversity, especially in the northern Virginia region,” Shin said.
Called H.J. 147, the bill recognizes Korean culture’s influence and reach around the world, from K-pop music to Korean dramas.
It notes that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization “recognized Korea’s traditional process of preparation and preservation of kimchi, known as kimjang, as a National Intangible Cultural Heritage Item” in 2013.
The proposal also speaks to the region’s changing demographics. The largest Korean population in metropolitan areas in the U.S. is Los Angeles, followed by New York and D.C., according to 2019 data, the Pew Research Center found.
According to the 2020 Census, Fairfax County is now Virginia’s second most racially diverse county, in part due to an increase in its Asian population, though the data was not broken down into more specific ethnicities or nationalities.
Growing up, Shin felt the dish might be unfamiliar to people when they visited her home, but she’s seen its prevalence and popularity rise over the years. She’s eager to help celebrate that diversity like other parts of the country have, even if it means introducing the cuisine to legislators who may not have tried it.
“In Virginia, Korean is the third most spoken language other than English,” she noted. Spanish is the second most spoken language in the Commonwealth.
To mark the occasion of being sworn into office on Jan. 12, Shin wore her family’s hanbok, a traditional Korean dress.
“I hope it will serve to remind us that diversity makes our Commonwealth great,” she said on Twitter.
I wore my family’s hanbok (traditional Korean dress) to honor their sacrifices & legacy, & I hope it will serve to remind us that diversity makes our Commonwealth great. I’m ready to get to work. ✨ pic.twitter.com/HBxGM5L6SL
— irene shin (@ireneshintweets) January 12, 2022
Del. Mark Keam, who serves the 35th District, was the first Korean-American elected to any statewide office in the Commonwealth.
Photo via Portugese Gravity/Unsplash