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Marsden candidacy now official

Rosalind Helderman

Democratic Del. David Marsden has formally announced he will seek the senate seat soon-to-be vacated by the Ken Cuccinelli, who was elected attorney general Nov. 3. Democrats had made clear that they would to avoid any kind of contested nomination process.

Marsden had said the party was funding a poll of several likely candidates and each contender had agreed to back the candidate that the poll indicated was most likely to be successful. He said at the time that he fully expected to be come out on top in the process, and it looks like he has done so.

""Let's face it: government is not working like it should for regular people and our small businesses. We are in the midst of a serious economic downturn and we need to focus on creating jobs, helping regular people and small businesses, and growing our economy," Marsden said in a statement announcing his candidacy.

Marsden currently lives in an adjoining senate district and will have to move into Cuccinelli's 37th district to run for the office. He said recently that, as a Fairfax county resident for more than 50 years, he felt confident that he understood the needs of residents in both senate districts.

Marsden's selection will not be uniformly popular. A former Republican who was a longtime aide to Republican Del. Jim Dillard, Marsden was appointed to top positions in the state Department of Juvenile Justice under Republican Gov. Jim Gilmore (he remained on under Democratic Gov. Mark Warner.) His selection has already been angrily denounced by activist Ben Tribbett, who has a long personal history with Marsden that includes a brief time spent as a rival for the Democratic nomination for Marsden's House of Delegate's seat.

The Republicans meanwhile have yet to announce what process they will use to choose between their three confirmed candidates for the seat, Marianne Horinko, Steve Hunt and Will Nance.

Gov. Tim Kaine will set the date for the special election, but he can only do so after Cuccinelli formally submits a letter indicating the date of his resignation from the senate. No word yet on when Cuccinelli might do so.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  November 19, 2009; 4:16 PM ET
Categories:  Election 2009 , General Assembly 2010 , Ken Cuccinelli , Rosalind Helderman , State Senate  
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Next: Special election for Cuccinelli's seat set for Jan. 12


The Republicans will have a firehouse primary at Centreville HS on December 1st from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Posted by: VABlogger | November 19, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Ben Tribbett does indeed have a long history of attacking Marsden due to his own personal reasons. Democratic activists in Northern Virginia realize that his comments are shaded by his own person agenda rather than a representation of what most Democrats believe and its a shame that you didn't contrast Ben's statements with those expressed by other grassroots activists.

As someone who has lived in Fairfax County his whole life and has dedicated his adult life to grassroots action for progressive issues, for instance, I wrote earlier today on Left of the Hill about how I'm supporting Marsden because he's a leader who will work hard on behalf of the working class and make sure that our schools remain among the best in the nation.

Posted by: BryanScrafford | November 19, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

They could not find a candidate that actually already lived in the Senate District and community...

Posted by: Fairfax2 | November 19, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Uh... the Republicans announced their process days ago... and even held a candidate forum tonight at the FCRC meeting. Maybe if you checked in with them instead being so obsessed with the Democrats you'd know what is going on.

Posted by: Tikkanen08 | November 20, 2009 12:21 AM | Report abuse

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