Fairfax Dems Say Baise's Gloom, Doom Won't Sell
Both camps in the Fairfax County Chairman's race expressed satisfaction with their candidate's showing at Tuesday afternoon's Chamber of Commerce debate. Democratic incumbent Gerry Connolly and Republican attorney Gary Baise took questions for about an hour from a panel of reporters at the Westin Tysons.
"I thought Baise was all swagger and not much substance," said George Burke, communications director for the Fairfax County Democratic Committee. "I didn't hear a lot of concrete proposals other than as a private citizen he'd do it differently." Burke said that Baise's core message-- that the quality of life in the county had deteriorated under Connolly's watch--was not going to resonate with voters. He did allow, however, that Baise's extensive experience as a trial lawyer was evident in the poise and ease of his presentation.
Fairfax Republican Chairman James Hyland said it was a win. "I thought he did fantastic. He proved he was a very credible alternative to Gerry Connolly, and that's what we needed today."
While Baise was all business, Connolly brought some of his humor and barbed wit to the podium. When Baise mentioned that he knew many farmers who relied on immigrant workers, Connolly noted dryly: "We don't need a Bracero program here in Fairfax County."
In fending off questions about his interest in running for Congress next year should a Northern Virginia seat open up, Connolly said the queries were unfair because other candidates have not had to deal with them. When a panelist pointed out that George W. Bush was asked about his plans for the presidency when he ran for re-election as Texas governor in 1998, Connolly replied: "I wish he'd given a different a different answer."
September 19, 2007; 12:05 PM ET
Categories: Bill Turque , Fairfax County Board of Supervisors
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