Basically a Stand-Off

There was a lot of storm and fury over the legislative elections which took place yesterday. Millions of dollars was spent on TV ads about gun control and $17 tolls. In the end, none of it mattered.

There were no surprises. Each party generally held on to the seats which they drew for themselves in 2011. The real drama of the evening ended at 9 p.m., when Powhatan County came through with an unbelievable 5,000 vote margin for Glen Sturtevant (R-Richmond) who won the critical open seat. That sealed the Senate result and basically concluded the one statewide media story.

Bringing It All Back Home

Fourteen years and six months ago, I began my legislative career with a press conference at George Mason University. The occasion was the collapse of the 2001 state budget which lost $400 million in funding for "Academic IV," a new academic building for Mason's campus.

In May, I announced my candidacy for the House of Delegates by the George Mason statue at the center of campus. I was a young City Councilman. There were a few people in attendance: Sharon Bulova, Scott Silverthorne, my mother. One reporter from the Fairfax Times. (Yes, we still had them back then).

Halloween Parade in Vienna Tonight

Tonight is the Vienna Halloween Parade. The parade will put thousands of children and parents along the parade route in downtown Vienna from 7-9 pm.

The parade is a great community celebration. It also represents the very last event for the campaign season, as exhausted candidates march like zombies down Maple Avenue.

My favorite Halloween Parade? Definitely 2007. I was locked in a contested Senate contest with some last-second funding coming from one Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of NYC. (Remember that?)

The End Times Are Near ...

Election Day is exactly 150 hours away. I'm out every night knocking doors, this week in Canterbury Woods.

As the end times approach, there is a inevitable increase in desperation and concomitant decrease in veracity. Ads show up in the mail box and on TV making wild statements with little if any context.

"$17 tolls!"
"Guns in schools!"
"$17 tolls in schools!"

Candidates save these statements for the very end for two reasons: first, they're getting anxious and, two, there's no time to respond.

Clemson is #1 (Yes, I'm ready to go there)

One of the positive things about politics is that it provides a pleasant diversion from more stressful topics, like college football.

This year the college football world features the standard powerhouses like Ohio State and Alabama. There's also a couple Big 12 undefeateds, Texas Christian and Baylor, who run up gaudy offensive numbers.

But the best team in the nation is in the ACC. And it's not Florida State. It's the Clemson Tigers.


The crowd was hushed. The lights were on. The candidates sat nervously up on stage. Yes, it was the Oakton High School government class debate. And I was there with other local candidates.

Debates are critical. They give you a chance to speak unfiltered to your target audience. You can step up to the moment, or miss a chance.

Defending the Democratic Caucus (or "Just Win Baby")

Last night, I attended the Arab-American Association's annual gala at Tysons Marriott. I've been attending since 2001 and saw a lot of friends. Pretty much every serious candidate from both parties was there to show respect.

I thought about that today when I saw a Washington Post editorial claiming that the Senate Democratic Caucus had sabotaged the primary campaign of a particular candidate because he was Middle Eastern and Muslim. The claim is that the Caucus was biased towards candidates who were "white, male and Christian."

Whither the Car Tax?

On Monday, October 5th, I will take part in a time-honored Virginia tradition. I will mail a payment to the Fairfax City Treasurer for personal property taxes owed on three vehicles owned by my family.

That payment will total approx. $600, which is a comment more on the sad state of our family vehicles then on the City's low tax rates.

Why I'm Supporting Stacey Kincaid for Sheriff

In my career, I've run into a lot of people who seek public office. Some have a passion for public service. Others have a unique skill set. Sheriff Stacey Kincaid is one of the rare people that has both.

When I met Stacey Kincaid in May 203, she was a long-time deputy Sheriff running in a special election. It was a long-shot bid, if only because "the establishment" had chosen somebody else. So of course, I supported her.