Connolly Makes It Official
Gerald E. Connolly, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, formally announced his candidacy for Congress yesterday.
Connolly is seeking the Democratic nomination in the 11th Congressional District. He faces three opponents: former congresswoman and state senator Leslie L. Byrne, community activist Douglas J. Denneny and physical therapist Lori P. Alexander.
Connolly spoke to about 200 people at the Oakton library in central Fairfax County yesterday afternoon. He drew the support of every Democrat on the 10-member Board of Supervisors but one -- John W. Foust, the newly minted Dranesville District supervisor, who has said he will remain neutral in the race. At Connolly's side were the board's vice chairwoman, Sharon S. Bulova (D-Braddock), Penelope A. Gross (D-Mason), Catherine M. Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill), Gerald W. Hyland (D-Mount Vernon), Linda Q. Smyth (D-Providence) and Jeff C. McKay (D-Lee).
Connolly then moved onto Occoquan Town Hall in Prince William County, where he spoke in the evening to about 30 people and was also flanked by a bevy of local Democrats, including Occoquan Mayor Earnie Porta and Prince William County supervisors John D. Jenkins (D-Neabsco) and Frank J. Principi (D-Woodbridge).
Connolly talked about bringing to Congress the same "ethos" that has imbued his leadership in Fairfax County, where he took credit for the jurisdiction's ranking as one of the best-managed communities in the nation. He also talked about the economy, the federal workforce, health care, the environment, education and the Iraq war. He emphasized his experience working for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
"You see we have a lot of work to do in the next Congress," he said. "I am the only candidate who brings both extensive local government management and foreign policy experience to this race. I bring a passion for progressive values, and an ethic of getting things done."
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