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Democrats Press Fimian on Social Issues

Tim Craig

Virginia Democrats are demanding that Keith Fimian, the Republican nominee for Congress in the 11th District, clarify his recent remarks that social issues are not a relevant to voters in Northern Virginia.

In a conference call organized by the state party, three women from Fairfax and Prince William counties called on Fimian to publicly state his views on abortion-rights, stem-cell research and contraception.

Jane Blechman of Fairfax Station, Zoe Vitter of Woodbridge and Penny Gross (D), the Mason District supervisor in Fairfax County, also sent Fimian a letter. They were responding to statements Fimian made in the Washington Examiner this week.

"As women who live in Northern Virginia and are concerned about these issues that affect our lives, we would appreciate answers," the letter stated.

Zack Condry, Fimian's campaign manager, said the candidate stands by his remarks to The Examiner.

"Social issues are not going to fill a working families gas tank," Condry said. "Social issues are not what is important to the 11th District. It's the economy, sky-rocketing gas prices and home mortgage prices."

But Gross said she wants to know if Fimian "really would, truly, represent the interests of the 11th District in Congress?"

"I have knocked on a lot of doors in my district...and I find the social issues to be relevant to the voters," said Gross, who added her uncle recently died of Lou Gehrig's disease. "It was a horrible death. I watched him die by inches for three-and-half years, and it was a just a painful way to go. Stem cell research could help find a cure for things like Lou Gehrig's and Parkinson's disease."

Condry said Fimian is "pro-life" and opposes both abortion and capital punishment. Condry wasn't sure what Fimian's position was on federally-funded stem cell research.

Fimian and Fairfax County Board Chairman Gerald E. Connolly, the Democratic nominee, are running to replace Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.), who is retiring.

Davis has a decidedly mixed-record on abortion related issues, but he usually won reelection with more than 60 percent of the vote, although his margin dropped to 55 percent in 2006.

By Tim Craig  |  July 24, 2008; 4:24 PM ET
Categories:  Election 2008/Congress , Tim Craig  
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