Hundreds of Alexandrians, including U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) went to the polls for in-person early voting on Friday, September 18.
There were 518 cast ballots as of 12:30 p.m. at the city’s Office of Voter Registrations and Elections. There were reportedly around 50 people waiting in line for the office to open at 8 a.m.
Warner, who is running for reelection against Republican Daniel Gade, said that the long lines and turnout are indicative of the importance of this election.
More than a quarter of Alexandria’s 107,000 registered voters have already applied by mail to vote in the upcoming election.
Over a quarter of Alexandria’s registered voters have applied for a ballot by mail for this November’s election (!!!).
Ballots will be mailed out beginning next week when in-person early voting also begins.
You can apply online today for a mail ballot!https://t.co/p2QqzboPKG
— Justin Wilson (@justindotnet) September 9, 2020
Paul Alan Friedman, an alternate delegate to the Democratic National Convention for former Vice President Joe Biden, was in the front of the line to vote and said that the nation is facing a crisis.
“Trump is a barrier to our ability to tackle climate change, COVID-19, creating jobs and fixing our infrastructure in an environmentally sound way, which would address climate change and jobs,” Friedman said. “That’s why I made a special effort to be the first person to vote against Trump and Pence in Alexandria, and vote for the wonderful alternative team of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.”
The ballot for the November 3 election includes races for president and vice president, one U.S. Senate seat, the 8th Congressional District and two Virginia Constitutional amendments.
The deadline to vote in-person absentee is 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 31.
IN-PERSON EARLY VOTING begins today Virginia! You have several options to vote safely and securely this year. However you choose to cast your ballot, it’s critical that you vote and make your voice heard.
Jeff Jordan has his work cut out for him. The Republican supports President Donald Trump, and he’s running an uphill battle against Rep. Don Beyer for Virginia’s 8th Congressional District seat, which has remained solidly in Democratic hands for the last 30 years.
Jordan, a 50-year-old retired U.S. Army Major and counterintelligence officer, spends his days as a contractor for the U.S. Department of Defense. He says that his opponent is a socialist, and that a vote for him is a vote for Antifa and BLM.
“We must stand together and fight this tyranny,” Jordan told ALXnow. “That fight, here in the 8th District, is against my socialist opponent, Don Beyer. For perspective, the American Conservative Union has graded my opponent more liberal than Nancy Pelosi.”
Jordan had about $39,000 in his largely self-funded campaign as of June 6, as opposed to Beyer, who had $1.4 million. His strategy is to get Republican votes, in addition to middle-of-the-road and undecided voters. He has one debate set for October, he said, although the location and time are to be determined. Beyer decimated his last two opponents at the polls, winning 76% of the vote in 2018 and 69% in 2016.
Jordan said that Trump will make cringeworthy comments, but he believes in his intentions for the country. On the coronavirus, Jordan said Trump has made mistakes, but has tried his best to manage the situation.
“At the end of the day, I support the president for four words: ‘Promises made, promises kept,'” Jordan said. “He wants to see America win, and if you have to fight some of the battles he’s had to fight, it’s not going to be nice. If you look at his tactics from the business world in New York City, that’s a tough crowd. Does he say things that I cringe at? Sure, but I think he sometimes he does that on purpose to move someone’s focus from something substantial to something trivial.”
Jordan added, “My opponent has only been there six years, but the people leading the anti-Trump charge on the left have been there decades, but they are going to blame the man who is going in there to fix the problem, the man who came in there and raised Black and Hispanic employment numbers in record numbers.”
Jordan lives in Arlington, and retired from the military in 2014. He served multiple tours in Iraq, Afghanistan, South Korea, and said that he has spent decades monitoring the activities of collectivist regimes around the world.
“I see that happening here, and every night you turn on your TV and you see that people want to do away with our Constitution, with our way of government and with our way of life,” he said. “When I hear somebody say, ‘Let’s defund the police,’ that translates into my brain that they’re pro-Second Amendment. If you take away the police, who else is going to defend you?”
U.S. Senator Kamala Harris was named Joe Biden’s vice presidential candidate on Tuesday, and some in the deeply blue Alexandria are celebrating.
Alexandria Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA) said Harris is a powerful and historic choice.
“I congratulate Vice President Biden, who knows better than anyone the importance of this decision, on his excellent judgment, and I congratulate Senator Harris,” Beyer said in a statement. “This is a ticket that will get things done.”
Mayor Justin Wilson said he appreciated Harris’ background in local politics. The California Senator previously served as a district attorney in San Francisco and as Attorney General of California.
“I’m super excited,” Wilson said. “I was excited to endorse her a year ago for president. I thought she brought an important voice to the ticket. At a time where a clear vision for the future of the country is needed, she’s not only someone who can articulate that vision but she’s also really a fighter. She showed that in the Senate and in California.”
It’s one of the few traits she shares with her opponent, Vice President Mike Pence, who was a Congressman from 2001 to 2013 and then governor of Indiana from 2013 to 2017.
“I’m also particularly excited as someone privileged to lead a city,” Wilson said. “I’m excited to have someone who comes out of a city and has experience in city government. There is a lot of urban innovation and I’m hopeful the federal government will be back as a partner… as it relates to housing and economic and workforce development.”
Federal and local partnerships had been particularly vital over the last few months as the city utilized federal CARES Act funding to programs like rent assistance and small business grants.
Del. Charniele Herring was also an early supporter of Harris and shared her reaction on Twitter.
— Charniele Herring (@C_Herring) August 11, 2020
Other Alexandria Democratic leadership swiftly rallied around Harris.
“A winner of three statewide elections in America’s largest state and a smart, tough, effective leader, Harris lives and breathes our country’s progressive values,” Del. Mark Levine wrote in an email. “I’m confident she will give Biden good advice in the Oval Office and be an effective President, if necessary, in the event of tragedy.”
Biden-Harris 2020! Time to take back the White House!!!
“Amid a strong field of highly qualified women, Senator Harris stands out as a powerful and historic choice,” said Congressman Don Beyer. “Senator Harris’ leadership in America’s largest state, her commitment to progressive ideals, and her battle-tested record in the U.S. Senate all speak to her readiness to serve. If elected, she will break barriers as the first woman, the first Black American, the first Asian American, and the first HBCU graduate to hold the office. Kamala Harris will be a great Vice President.”
Harris has faced some criticism from Democrats further on the left who say she did little to prosecute cases of excessive force by police and has referred to herself as a “top cop,” according to the New York Times — is tone deaf in an era of widespread protest against police brutality and injustice.
We are in the midst of the largest protest movement in American history, the subject of which is excessive policing, and the Democratic Party chose a “top cop” and the author of the Joe Biden crime bill to save us from Trump.
The contempt for the base is, wow.
— Briahna Joy Gray (@briebriejoy) August 11, 2020
Wilson said he recognized those concerns but said that Harris’ experience inside the judicial system will mean she has the experience to make changes.
“As we turn a very critical eye to the criminal justice system, I think having folks who have been on the inside and understand how the system works on a ground level is going to be vey important,” Wilson said. “Folks like me who don’t have a law degree or experiencing on the policing and judicial side, we can say things but having someone like her with her experience is going to be very helpful. Having someone on the federal side is going to be very important.”
During the campaign, neither Harris nor Biden visited Alexandria (which voted overwhelmingly for Biden in the primary). Wilson said he hopes the situation will be improved enough to have campaign rallies in Alexandria, but that currently the public health considerations come first.
“If we can’t welcome her as a vice presidential candidate this year,” Wilson said, “I hope we can welcome her as Vice President next year.”
James Cullum contributed to this story
Photo via Charniele Herring/Twitter
A local addition to the National Defense Authorization Act — a $740 billion bill approved through the House and Senate and headed to the White House — would require the Pentagon to establish a helicopter noise abatement group for the region.
The amendment was sponsored by Rep. Don Beyer (D) would also require the Pentagon to establish a noise inquiry website based on the DCA’s complaint website.
“Since I took office, complaints about aircraft noise have been one of the most consistent sources of calls to my office,” Beyer said in an email. “We get calls about airplanes on approach and departure to and from DCA, and increasingly about military helicopters across the region, many of which fly in and out of Fort Belvoir. I had a town hall on the issue a few years ago in Fairlington, which has been particularly affected, and it was clear that people wanted ways to track and report noise complaints, and to have a forum for ongoing discussion about ways to mitigate that noise which would include input from the local community.”
While the bill has been approved by both chambers, a threatened veto over changing the names of bases named after Confederate leaders could still keep the helicopter noise solution from moving forward.
“With its adoption in the House we are now on track to get this enacted,” Beyer said. “Given the work that MWAA has already done in some of these areas it just makes sense for the Pentagon to look at what they have done, take what worked well, and make changes in areas that they could improve.”
Flickr pool photo by Jeff Sonderman
A hot mic incident kicked off a storm of lampooning followed by an equally swift backlash when it was shown that the original video was taken out of context.
Yesterday, Vice President Mike Pence visited Alexandria to drop off supplies for the Woodbine Rehabilitative and Health Center, a senior care facility where there have been positive COVID-19 cases among residents and staff.
Comedian Jimmy Kimmel shared edited footage of the visit implying that the boxes being dropped off at the facility were empty, when in truth the boxes comments were made about boxes still in the van that were not unloaded. Kimmel lampooned the clip on his late-night show as an embodiment of the Trump administration, but later took the clip down and made a clarification on Twitter.
it would appear that @vp was joking about carrying empty boxes for a staged publicity stunt. The full video reveals that he was carrying full boxes for a staged publicity stunt. My apologies. I know how dearly this administration values truth. https://t.co/hI9cO4lxcX
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) May 8, 2020
Pence was criticized on Twitter for not wearing a mask on his visit, and today news broke that his press secretary tested positive for the virus.
The visit drew criticism from Democrats even before the back and forth over the empty boxes. The Biden Campaign dismissed the visit as an empty photo opportunity and Rep Don Beyer (D) said the scandal isn’t about the boxes, but about the facilities across the country that are still without personal protective equipment.
This IS a scandal.
The scandal isn't empty boxes, it's that nursing homes and healthcare centers across the US badly needed PPE for months as thousands died, and didn't get it.
Yesterday Mike Pence came here to Alexandria to proudly tout the "first delivery" of PPE. Too late. https://t.co/Vooc8icAuJ
— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) May 8, 2020
Image via C-SPAN
Former Vice President Joe Biden had a strong showing on Super Tuesday in Virginia and in Alexandria — where he won every precinct and 54% of the vote — but Alexandria’s second choice was not as clear cut and broke down along geographic lines.
Both senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders were neck-and-neck with 18% of the vote, with Bloomberg trailing in fourth with 10% of the city’s vote, according to the Virginia Department of Elections.
Throughout Old Town, Biden won over 50% of the vote, but for the precincts at City Hall and North Old Town, Bloomberg came in second with around 15% of the vote.
Those were Bloomberg’s only second-place finishes in Alexandria. Across the rest of Alexandria, Warren and Sanders duked it out for second.
Warren won second in a stretch of Alexandria from Del Ray and Parkfairfax in the north. Those second place wins for Warren stopped at Quaker Lane, however. Seminary Hill, the West End, and Landmark areas all voted Biden in first and Sanders in second.
While Biden lost one precinct in Arlington to Sanders, he never dipped below 43% of the vote in Alexandria. The closest race was Precinct 302 at the Patrick Henry Recreation Center, where Biden was still 127 votes above Sanders.
There was also still some support for candidates who’d already dropped out. Counting the non-absentee votes, 64 people still showed up to the polls for Pete Buttigieg and 86 for Sen. Amy Klobuchar. Both got more total votes than still-in-the-race Tulsi Gabbard.
Absentee voting, largely reflecting a more crowded field prior to Biden’s big South Carolina primary win and endorsements from Buttigieg and Klobuchar, narrowly favored Warren. The Massachusetts senator received 21.3% of the absentee vote to 21.0% for Biden, 17.0% for Bloomberg, 16.4% for Buttigieg, 14.8% for Sanders, 8.1% for Klobuchar.
Staff photo by James Cullum
Alexandria voters resoundingly chose former Vice President Joe Biden as their Democratic nominee for president on Super Tuesday.
Biden took Virginia with 54.22% of the 1.3 million votes cast across the state, and also won half of the city’s votes, which nearly doubled in participation since the last presidential primary in 2016. Virginia is one of 14 states that participated in Tuesday’s primary contest.
The unofficial Super Tuesday results in Alexandria:
- Joe Biden: 49.95% (20,782 votes)
- Elizabeth Warren: 18.33% (7,628 votes)
- Bernie Sanders: 18.23% (7,586 votes)
- Michael Bloomberg: 10.20% (4,243 votes)
Biden also received the most absentee votes with 667 votes, or 21.04%.
The mood for Joe Biden tonight at a campaign watch party in Alexandria, Virginia pic.twitter.com/FB3HLDgenO
— Courtney Weaver (@courtney_ft) March 4, 2020
In a packed victory party in Old Town, Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) was flanked by his Democratic House colleagues. Speaking over shouts of “Let’s go, Joe,” he said that Biden’s victory in last Saturday’s South Carolina primary was pivotal to Tuesday’s win.
“Right after South Carolina they invented a new word — ‘Joementum!'” Scott exclaimed. “Joe Biden is the strongest candidate and I think all the polls show him beating Donald Trump usually by about 10 points, and he has broad support across Virginia. Even former Republican Senator John Warner endorsed Biden on Sunday, so he’s got good support from virtually the entire spectrum, from moderate Republicans all the way to liberal Democrats.”
CNN called the Virginia primary almost immediately after polls closed at 7 p.m. — an indication of a blow-out win.
“Well, that was quick,” said Janet Myhre of Mount Vernon, “I think [Biden will] fare fine in November. I think what’s critical is the right VP candidate. If he brings in a very strong ticket, that will coalesce a lot of individuals who would have voted for Trump. My favorite is Kamala Harris, and I would like to see that happen.”
Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.) did not mince words when describing the stakes of the general election in November.
“We are in a battle for the soul of America,” Wexton said. “And I know that Joe has the experience, he has the heart, he has the drive, he has the grit, the courage not only to bring the Democratic party together, but to bring our whole nation together.”
Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) said that Biden’s victorious path in Virginia was paved by both Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who dropped out of the race and endorsed the former vice president before Super Tuesday.
“It was really clear on Saturday that Joe had what it takes not just to win the primary, but to beat Donald Trump,” Beyer said.
Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.) said that her mother-in-law recently passed away unexpectedly, and that she returned home from the funeral to find a handwritten note from Biden in her mailbox.
“He’s out there running to save the future of our country,” Luria said. “And he took the time to sit down and write my husband and me a note of condolence. So, I can tell you that Joe Biden has the heart that we need.”
Dorothy McAuliffe, the former first lady of Virginia, has supported Biden since her husband, former Governor Terry McAuliffe, announced last year that he would not be running for president.
“I am so proud of Virginia. I am so proud of everyone in this room,” McAuliffe said. “Joe has really exceeded expectations in Virginia, which has really shown the country what he can do and what he’s all about.”
Clarence Tong, the chair of the Alexandria Democratic Committee, said that the turnout demonstrates how much voters in the city want to beat Trump in November.
“We’re getting plenty of volunteers,” Tong said. “In one precinct today, the precinct captain got more than two dozen volunteers to help with his polling station, so there is a lot of enthusiasm.”
Alexandrians are on pace to cast ballots in significantly greater numbers today than during the 2016 Democratic presidential primary.
Thousands of Alexandria residents have participated in the presidential primary day in Virginia, which joins 13 other states across the country in the race for the Democratic candidate to face off against President Donald Trump, in November.
Citywide voting tallies show that 23% of 97,828 registered voters cast ballots as of noon, with the Matthew Maury precinct in the lead with 31.5% of voters who headed to the polls. So far, the precinct with the worst turnout is John Adams at 10.6%, or 428 ballots cast out of 4,049 registered voters.
As of noon turnout in Alexandria is at 23.2% w/absentees. 4 years ago, turnout was 15%.
Highest turnout in the City is Maury at 31.5%. Lowest is John Adams at 10.5%. pic.twitter.com/o3XyfgVqeQ
— Justin Wilson (@justindotnet) March 3, 2020
As of noon, 22,738 of 97,828 registered voters in Alexandria (23%) had cast ballots in today's Democratic presidential primary election, compared to 15% at this time in the 2016 primary. Polls are open to any registered voter until 7pm: https://t.co/K3FttUfbme.
— AlexandriaVAGov (@AlexandriaVAGov) March 3, 2020
As of 2 p.m., the Mount Vernon Recreation Center precinct saw 1,285 votes cast, or 28% of the 4,541 registered voters.
“We’re expecting citywide turnout of about 50%, and we’re probably on track for that,” said Mount Vernon Precinct Captain Jim Bender, adding that the most voters usually arrive in the first three hours and last three hours that polls are open.
Madelene Kysilko voted for Joe Biden. The 17 year-old Alexandrian turns 18 in October, and was able to vote for the first-time in today’s Super Tuesday presidential primary.
“It was a lot more straightforward than I thought it would be. It’s very exciting,” Kysilko told ALXnow outside of the polling place at Mount Vernon Recreation Center. “I think what needs to change is the hostility. A lot of things that [President Trump] says are factually incorrect. It’s very it’s also very dangerous language, and he has a very kind of aggressive core support, and that is kind of alarming.”
Student Peregrine Enger, 22, voted for Bernie Sanders.
“Joe Biden supported the Iraq war, and look at Mike Bloomberg, with his stop and frisk clause in New York. They say that they’re on the blue side, but really, they’re just demagogues,” Enger said. “I care more for people who care more about ideology and less about buzzwords and actually care about people.”
Leigh Foley voted with her husband and 6-year-old son, who doesn’t know that Donald Trump is President.
“We have told him that President Obama is the president,” she said. “He knows that Joe Biden is President Obama’s best friend, and that Joe Biden can step in on day one and rollback all of the executive orders and reinstate Obama’s executive orders.”
“Biden can begin to rebuild our reputation internationally. And what does that do? It gets us to a place where we are not right now, which is to restore national security for the U.S.,” Foley added. “There’s no other candidate that has the ability to do that. And I think that’s incredibly important.”
The polls are open until 7 p.m.
The event, which was attended by more than 100 people at Lost Boy Cider, is the first indicator of how Alexandria might turn out in the run up to Tuesday’s primary. Virginia is one of 15 states participating in Super Tuesday primary on March 3.
Biden, whose campaign was re-energized after winning the South Carolina primary on Saturday night, won the straw poll with 48 votes, or 38.7%. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren took second place with 39 votes, or 31.5%; former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg took third place with 14 votes, or 11.29 percent; Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders took fourth place with 13 votes, or 10.4%; and Sen. Amy Klobuchar received 8 votes, or 6.4%.
Former Florida Sen. Bill Nelson spoke as a Biden surrogate, and said that the former vice president can beat Donald Trump this November.
“We are so divided. There is so much political hate out there,” Nelson said. “This presidential race in November is going to be decided on the swing states. You take a state like Pennsylvania, you take a state like mine, Florida, which is the swingingest of the swing states, and it’s always close. Joe Biden can beat Donald Trump in those swing states.”
In addition to the unofficial win, Biden’s campaign picked up the endorsement of Alexandria’s Rep. Don Beyer (D), who previously backed Pete Buttigieg, the former South Bend, Indiana mayor who announced earlier in the day that he had suspended his campaign.
Among attendees, local Democrat Gail Gordon Donegan was split between voting for Biden and Bloomberg.
“I’m strongly leaning Biden,” she said. “I really respect Bloomberg and what he has done for the gun violence prevention community and all that he has done to help elect Democrats with his money. I think at this point, though, that Biden might be our best chance to beat Trump and Bloomberg might be a good fit for a cabinet position down the road.”
At the event, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey spoke as a surrogate for Klobuchar, Councilman Mo Seifeldein spoke for Sanders, Councilman John Taylor Chapman spoke for Warren, and former Alexandria Mayor Allison Silberberg spoke for Bloomberg.
Sen. Tim Kaine, meanwhile, is scheduled to help the Biden campaign phone bank at its Eisenhower Avenue office this afternoon.
ADC Chair Clarence Tong said that the committee needs volunteers between now and November.
“The straw poll is an indicator, but we know that lots of Democrats will be turning out on Super Tuesday,” he said. “We’re trying to reach voters and recruit as many volunteers as possible to help us for the November election.”
Hours before Democratic presidential hopefuls took to the debate stage in Las Vegas on Wednesday night, the campaign offices for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden opened in Alexandria.
Virginia is one of 15 states participating in the Super Tuesday primary on March 3, and the contest has the world wondering who will come out on top.
Delegate Elizabeth Guzman (D-31), a co-chair for Sanders’ campaign in Virginia, spoke at the packed opening of the new field office at 1314 King Street.
“I decided to run for office inspired by Sen. Sanders,” Guzman, the first Hispanic immigrant elected to the General Assembly, told the audience, which included Alexandria City Councilman Mo Seifeldein. “Within the last few days, I’ve been asked by many reporters about the electability of Bernie Sanders, and that’s the question of the hour.”
Guzman said that Sanders’s base has grown since 2016, and that the campaign is focusing on not only primary voters, but engaging with voters who have felt disenfranchised by the Democratic Party. The campaign is also opening a field office in Richmond and will have campus staging locations spread across every congressional district.
The Biden field office opened Wednesday at 2121 Eisenhower Ave, and featured Ambassador Cathy Russell, a vice chair for the campaign. Russell is the former U.S. Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues and was Second Lady Jill Biden’s chief of staff during the Obama Administration.
The candidates have made mixed inroads into Virginia. Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, plans on speaking in Northern Virginia on Sunday — his latest visit since speaking in Alexandria in June — although the location of the event has yet to be determined. Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg spoke in Richmond last weekend, his second trip since speaking in Alexandria in December. Bloomberg has also opened a campaign office in Arlington.
Neither Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who held a town hall event in Arlington last week, nor Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who spoke in Dale City in October, have scheduled events in Virginia leading up to Super Tuesday.
The Alexandria Democratic Committee plans to be out in full force at the polls on Super Tuesday to talk to voters and recruit volunteers, according to ADC Chair Clarence Tong.
“The ADC has been working to increase awareness and visibility of the Super Tuesday presidential primary, including holding our almost annual ADC Straw Poll on Sunday, March 1, at Lost Boy Cider,” Tong told ALXnow. “At that event, participants can hear from surrogates from each of the presidential campaigns.”
Boyd Walker has never done this before. On the night of Jan. 29, the Alexandria resident will travel nearly 1,000 miles with 18 others in a four car caravan from Alexandria to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to volunteer with Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign.
“It’s fun. It’s an adventure. It’s a road trip with a bunch of people who share your values and goals,” Walker told ALXnow. “Whoever the candidate is, there should be tremendous enthusiasm, because Donald Trump is the most corrupt, dangerous president we’ve ever had and will be very damaging to our democracy and our planet if he spends another four years in office.”
The Iowa caucus, which is the first nominating battle between the Democratic candidates vying to run against President Trump this fall, is on Feb. 3. The presidential primary process has yielded a historic number of Democratic candidates, fundraising figures and engagement among grassroots activists and volunteers.
The contest has galvanized many Alexandrians to action, including 19-year-old Barrett Fife (above), who took a year off from the College of William & Mary and moved to Urbandale, Iowa, last August to work on the presidential campaign of Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana. She’s now a field organizer for the campaign, managing up to a dozen volunteers who are knocking on at least 100 doors a day in the run up to the primary.
“I’m taking a break. My school was really amenable and said to take as much time off as I need and to give them a ring,” Fife said. “No matter who wins, our nation is going to be more broken and divided than ever before, and I think Mayor Pete will help heal those divisions.”
Fife interned in years past with Del. Mark Levine (D-45), but it was the kind of work that an assistant would do.
“It’s been crazy to now be leading 40-to-70-year-old Iowans. Sometimes they look at me like, ‘Who is this kid?’ but it’s been fun flexing those leadership muscles,” she said. “It’s been absolutely amazing. It’s been crazy because I’ve lived in Virginia my entire life and go to school in Virginia, so this is the longest I’ve spent away from home.”
Clarence Tong, chair of the Alexandria Democratic Committee, said that Democrats are “laser-focused” on defeating Trump.
“It is exciting to have the Iowa Caucus finally here in just a few weeks and Alexandrians will have the opportunity to vote in the Virginia Primary on Super Tuesday (March 3),” Tong said. “Absentee voting has already started, so please make sure to make arrangements to vote if you cannot make it in person.”
Kurt Peterson of Charlottesville will lead the caravan of local Sanders supporters in four cars to Cedar Rapids. His group will stay in Airbnb rentals and do as directed by field organizers on the ground. In 2016, he knocked on more than 1,300 doors in seven states for Sanders.
“We’ll do whatever is most beneficial to the campaign,” Peterson said. “We’ll see how things go. I’m probably not going to New Hampshire or South Carolina because I think the effort is needed here. But after Super Tuesday we’ll see how we do and what’s next.”
Clarence Tong was re-elected as chair of the Alexandria Democratic Committee after a lengthy meeting on Monday, Jan. 6.
Tong, who said that the upcoming November presidential election is the most important in our lifetime, received 81.5% of 189 votes cast, and defeated Boyd Walker for his fourth consecutive two-year term.
“We have the opportunity to build on the progress we have achieved together,” Tong told a packed house in the auditorium of the T.C. Williams Minnie Howard campus. “Our most important task will be unifying Democrats later this year… to defeat Donald Trump.”
The chair race was the only contested election for the ADC, and Walker did not mince words in his disdain for President Trump. With the Virginia Democratic Primary on March 3, Walker said that selecting a nominee that can defeat the president in the general election is paramount.
“If we don’t defeat Trump we’re not doing what we need to do to save our planet, to save our democracy. We’re putting a corrupt and dangerous person back in office,” Walker said. “So, what are we going to do? We are going to work our butts off to defeat Trump.”
The ADC also appointed:
- VC Finance & Administration: Holly Wallace
- Secretary: Mary Lyman
- Treasurer: Elisabeth Campbell
- VC Precinct Operations West: Sissy Walker
- VC Precinct Operations East: Karen Witt
- VC Communications: Mike Moran
- VC Technology: Ricardo Alfaro
- VC Outreach Team: Abdel-Rahman Elnoubi, Daniel Mosier, Sharon Widmayer
- VC Resolutions: Robert Nelson
- Volunteer Coordinator: Steve Verdier
- Leadership Circle Chair: Janet Vasak