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Virginia Politics Blog: October 31, 2010 - November 6, 2010

Arlington must participate in Secure Communities

Arlington County has no choice but to work with U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement's Secure Communities program. After a meeting between county and federal officials, County Manager Barbara M. Donnellan wrote a memo to the county board which said, "ICE stated clearly -- and with finality -- that local activated communities do not have the option of withholding information from the program, although communities can opt not to learn the results of immigration queries." The Secure Communities program shares fingerprint information between county and federal databases to identify illegal immigrants. Two options communities have are to not learn the results of the immigration database results and not sharing fingerprints. Both of these options are not acceptable to Arlington, Donnellan said, because sharing this information is "crucial to effective law enforcement" and helps "identify dangerous criminals." Donnellan reiterated that the program could "foster fear and mistrust of local law enforcement" within...

By Christy Goodman  | November 5, 2010; 5:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Arlington County, Christy Goodman  
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Lobbying law expert says Va. statute applies only at state level

Legal eagles are sifting through Virginia's statute prohibiting lobbyists from serving as chairmen of the state party, trying to decipher whether it bars former Del. Brian Moran from serving as head of the Democratic Party of Virginia. He does lobbying work at the federal level for the Career College Association, which represents for-profit colleges. We checked in with former Chief Deputy Attorney General H. Lane Kneedler to get his opinion. Kneedler's verdict: The statute applies only to those who lobby at the state level. He noted that the terms "lobbyist" and "lobby" are defined in the law and refer to those who try to influence members of the Virginia General Assembly or executive officials in Virginia. "From a legal perspective, I do not believe the statute applies to federal lobbyists," said Kneedler, who is an adjunct professor at the University of Virginia law school and teachers a course that covers...

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | November 5, 2010; 5:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Brian J. Moran, Rosalind Helderman  
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McDonnell names Davis to Metropolitian Washington Airports Authority

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) has named former representative Tom Davis (R) to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, a key Northern Virginia post that oversees the area's two big airports, the Dulles Toll Road and the Dulles rail project. Davis replaces David G. Speck, an appointee of Gov. Mark Warner (D) whose term is ending. Davis's appointment becomes effective Nov. 24. Davis is currently the director of federal government affairs at Deloitte LLP. His wife, Jeannemarie Devolites Davis, is a former state senator and serves as McDonnell's liaison in Washington. The Davis appointment is one of a number of appointments made by McDonnell on Friday. He also named Craig M. Burns, a 22-year state financial analyst, as Virginia's Tax Commissioner. Burns had held the job on an interim basis since July, after the unexpected death of Commissioner Jeanie Bowen. He reappointed Paula I. Otto as executive director of the Virginia Lottery,...

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | November 5, 2010; 4:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Robert F. McDonnell, Rosalind Helderman, Thomas M. Davis III  
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Va. Dems seek legal advice on possible Moran leadership bid

The Democratic Party of Virginia plans to obtain an independent legal opinion to determine whether a state law that bars lobbyists from serving as chairmen of state parties in Virginia applies to former Alexandria Del. Brian Moran. On his blog Friday morning, party activist Ben Tribbett wrote that the law could end Moran's party chairmanship candidacy. Moran is executive vice president for government affairs for the Career College Association, which represents for-profit colleges. At issue will be whether the law applies to federal lobbyists, like Moran, or only to those registered to lobby at the state level in Virginia. "There is some ambiguity as far as the statute goes," said DPV spokesman Brian Coy. "This was brought to our attention early on. We're in the process of securing an independent assessment of the situation in advance. We are in the process of getting it resolved in order to avoid any...

By Rosalind S. Helderman and Anita Kumar  | November 5, 2010; 11:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Brian J. Moran  
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Fairfax GOP head questions vote totals in Connolly-Fimian race

With the race between Rep. Gerald Connolly (D) and Oakton businessman Keith Fimian (R) in Virginia's 11th district still unresolved, the head of the Fairfax County GOP is suggesting that "there are several developments in the ... race that may call into question the accuracy of the current vote totals."

By Ben Pershing  | November 5, 2010; 11:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races, Ben Pershing, Election 2010, Gerald E. Connolly, Keith Fimian  
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State GOP will vote on how to nominate 2012 U.S. Senate pick

The Republican Party of Virginia's governing board will decide this month whether to choose its 2012 nominee for U.S. Senate through a primary or at a convention. While that decision seem like mere internal party machinations, its repercussions are far-reaching. Historically, conventions almost always produce the most conservative candidate. Efforts to appeal to party activists can create complications for the eventual nominee, who has to run in all regions of the state, including left-leaning Northern Virginia. Former U.S. representative Tom Davis, a moderate, spent years preparing to run for the Senate but abandoned those plans in 2008 when he was unable to get the state party to hold a primary instead of a convention. At least three Republicans are interested in running against Democrat Sen. Jim Webb -- if he seeks reelection -- former senator George Allen; Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors; and Del....

By Anita Kumar  | November 5, 2010; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, Corey Stewart, Election 2012, George F. Allen, James Webb, Thomas M. Davis III, U.S. Senate  
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Rainy day fund constitutional amendment only barely passes

What message were voters trying to send on Tuesday? Here's an interesting and possibly illustrative tidbit. Voters approved three amendments to the state Constitution on Tuesday. Two won handily -- an amendment to allow localities to establish programs to give the elderly and disabled property tax relief without state approval (76 percent voted "yes") and an amendment providing full real estate tax relief to military veterans with 100 percent service-related disabilities (82 percent voted "yes"). But the third was something of a squeaker. Voters agreed to raise the amount the General Assembly can set aside in the state's rainy day fund during strong economic times. Only 51 percent of voters backed the amendment. In many, many counties, the amendment lost. What's to account for the difference?...

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | November 4, 2010; 3:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  !General Assembly, 2010 Virginia Congressional Races, Election 2010, Rosalind Helderman  
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Republican lawyer Stanley to run for Hurt's Senate seat

Bill Stanley, a Franklin County lawyer and the Republican committee chairman in the 5th Congressional District, said Thursday that he will run to replace state Sen. Robert Hurt, who was elected to Congress on Tuesday. Stanley said he was urged by party leaders to run for the seat, and he agreed because he wanted to continue to have strong conservative leadership in the Senate. If you recognize Stanley's name, there's good reason: He represented Jeff Frederick in his high-profile fight to hold onto his job as chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, and then ran for the job himself when Frederick was ousted. (A lawyer who lived in Fairfax until 2004, he was part of the legal team that represented Paula Jones during her sexual harassment case against President Bill Clinton.) If elected, Stanley said he plans to finish out his two-year post as chairman, which will end in...

By Anita Kumar  | November 4, 2010; 1:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, Election 2010, Robert Hurt, State Senate  
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UPDATED: Former Arlington Democratic chairman runs for state party chairman

Former Arlington County Democratic Committee chairman Peter Rousselot announced his candidacy for state party chairman Thursday morning. Rousselot did not immediately return a phone call, but said in his letter to State Central Committee members that he ran because he was urged to do so. "Having led one of the most successful local Democratic committees in Virginia and the nation, I know what it takes to excel as a Democratic Party chair,'' he wrote. "Very respectfully, I am asking for your support and your vote to enable me to devote my talents and experience to serve as DPVA's next Chair. If you elect me as your Chair, I will serve full time in that position." Rousselot already has a Web site up and running as well as a Facebook page. Rousselot will take on former gubernatorial candidate and Alexandria delegate Brian Moran, who threw his hat into the ring last...

By Anita Kumar  | November 4, 2010; 12:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, Arlington County, James Webb, Mark Warner  
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Five questions from Virginia's 2010 election results

It's all (almost) over but the shouting in Virginia, which played host to four competitive congressional contests this cycle and a few more that were worth watching. Now that we've had all of 36 hours to digest the numbers, here are five interesting questions that emerged from the results.

By Ben Pershing  | November 4, 2010; 12:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races, Ben Pershing, Election 2010, Gerald E. Connolly, Glenn Nye, James P. Moran Jr., Keith Fimian, Morgan Griffith, Pat Herrity, Rick Boucher, Rob Wittman, Robert Hurt, Scott Rigell, Tom Perriello  
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McDonnell will travel to India, China and Israel

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) said Thursday morning that he will travel on trade missions to India, China and Israel next year. McDonnell also said on his monthly radio show on WRVA that the state's new trade offices in India, China and the United Kingdom will open within six to nine months. McDonnell proposed the offices and the General Assembly approved spending $1.5 million over two years for them. Currently the state spends about $880,000 a year on independent contractors in four markets -- Brussels, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Mexico. McDonnell went on his first trade mission to Europe -- an eight-day trip to Britain, the Netherlands and Germany -- in July. The trip was built around the Farnborough International Air Show taking place outside London....

By Anita Kumar  | November 4, 2010; 11:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, Robert F. McDonnell  
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Virginia watches as Washington state voters reject liquor privatization

Among all the election returns Tuesday that must have been heartening to Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), there was one election clear across the country that might have hurt just a touch. Voters in Washington State appear to have rejected a pair of ballot initiatives that would have privatized the state's sale of liquor. Each of the measures would have ended the state's monopoly on the sale of hard liquor--which McDonnell wants to do in Virginia. One measure, pushed by a major campaign by Costco, would have allowed major retailers to stock liquor on their shelves. The other would have eliminated state taxes on liquor while requiring retailers to buy liquor from distributors--maintaining a traditional three-tier system for alcohol distribution. According to the Washington State Board of Elections, both measures went down to defeat--with 51.94 percent and 63.25 percent of Washington voters saying "no" to each, respectively. Washington residents may have...

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | November 3, 2010; 5:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Liquor privatization, Robert F. McDonnell, Rosalind Helderman  
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Cantor seeks House majority leadership post

U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor of Richmond surprised no one Wednesday when he announced that he will seek the job of House majority leader when Republicans officially take control of the chamber in January. Cantor, currently the House Republican whip, sent a letter to his GOP colleagues that also included a plan for the future called "Delivering on Our Commitment: A Majority to Limit Government and Create Jobs." His plan outlines a series of programs to have committees conduct reviews of government rules, regulations and statutes that "impose additional, unnecessary costs on employers and job creators," write bills that would reduce spending and have a conversation about what kind of changes need to be made to entitlement programs to keep them viable. "We must govern differently,'' he writes. "Not just differently than the Democrats, but differently from our previous majority. And job number one is to focus on more jobs for...

By Anita Kumar  | November 3, 2010; 4:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races, Anita Kumar, Election 2010, Eric Cantor  
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Tom Davis on Tom Perriello: 'Still very viable'

Republicans may be crowing over knocking off U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello in Virginia's fifth congressional district, just days after President Obama campaigned for him in Charlottesville, but Perriello's got one admirer within the GOP: former Rep. Tom Davis. in an interview Wednesday, Davis praised Perriello for sticking to principle and not running from his Congressional record during his losing campaign against state Sen. Robert Hurt. "Everyone went the other way and Perriello stood his ground," he said. "He was the exception, and it's why he gets everyone's begrudging admiration." He continued: "He's got nothing to be ashamed of. He fought a good fight. He was just in the wrong fight." As for Perriello's future, Davis predicted the freshman congressman is hardly done in politics. "In my opinion, he is still very viable," Davis said. "The sky's the limit for him...He's universally respected. If he wants to stay in politics, he's...

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | November 3, 2010; 3:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Rosalind Helderman  
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State House will select new majority leader next month

Tuesday night's resounding election of Del. Morgan Griffith will leave the Virginia House of Delegates without a majority leader when he goes to Washington.

By Anita Kumar  | November 3, 2010; 1:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races, Anita Kumar, Election 2010, General Assembly 2010, House of Delegates, Morgan Griffith, Robert F. McDonnell, Robert Hurt, State Senate  
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Connolly leads Fimian by 820 votes, but recount remains possible

The race between Rep. Gerald Connolly (D) and Keith Fimian (R) in Northern Virginia remains too close to call, with Connolly clinging to a narrow lead, and it may not be decided for several weeks.

By Ben Pershing  | November 3, 2010; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races, Ben Pershing, Election 2010, Gerald E. Connolly, Keith Fimian  
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McDonnell, Steele respond to Virginia election results

We continue to get reactions about news that Republicans have toppled three Democratic congressmen in Virginia, including 28-year incument Rick Boucher in the southwestern part of the state. A fourth seat belonging to Rep. Gerry Connolly in Northern Virginia remains too close to call. "Americans from all walks of life, all backgrounds, and all regions of the country are rightly tired of out-of-control spending and the failure of Washington D.C. to focus on the serious challenges they face in their cities and counties every day,'' Gov. Bob McDonnell said. "Times are tough, but while families budget, Washington just spends. Jobs are scarce, but while Americans seek work, Congress has fiddled with other issues. (Last night's) results should serve to remind officeholders at every level that we are elected to work together to solve the pressing matters with which our citizens are most concerned." Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican National...

By Anita Kumar  | November 3, 2010; 9:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races, Anita Kumar, Election 2010, Gerald E. Connolly, Robert F. McDonnell  
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Newly elected Republican congressmen pledge to respond to voters

State House Majority Leader Morgan Griffith said late Tuesday that he was glad to put the "fight back in the Fightin' Ninth" by defeating 28-year incumbent Rick Boucher (D) in southwest Virginia. "Washington has a lot of problems, and I now feel the burden to correct some of those,'' he said. "Make it clear -- cap and trade is not going to pass. I will fight to rein in the EPA, and look at all regulations that have negatively affected the businesses in southwest Virginia." At his victory speech at the Bristol Holiday Inn, Griffith recognized Bill Wampler Sr., the last Republican to hold the seat in the 9th district. Boucher defeated Wampler in 1982 and has held the seat ever since. Republican Scott Rigell, who defeated freshmen Democrat Rep. Glenn Nye in the 2nd district in Hampton Roads, said he was "deeply humbled and grateful" for the support. "There...

By Anita Kumar  | November 2, 2010; 10:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races, Anita Kumar, Election 2010, Glenn Nye, Morgan Griffith, Rick Boucher, Scott Rigell  
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Virginia Democrats react to losses

As we await the results from the close race between Rep. Gerry Connolly (D) and his Republican challenger Keith Fimian, we have have started to receive reactions to the results so far. Here are some of them: Rep. Tom Perriello (D) congratulated state Sen. Robert Hurt, who defeated him in his bid for re-election. "Real change is not something that is measured in a year or two; I believe that our actions will ripple out for years to come,'' he said in a statement. "The best kind of politics is one that puts a sense of problem-solving ahead of political points, and I'm proud to have tackled the tough problems of our community and nation. We faced the brink of a depression and turned that around into nine straight months of private-sector job growth." Already, there are activists encouraging Perriello to run for chairman of the Democratic Party of Virginia...

By Anita Kumar  | November 2, 2010; 10:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races, Anita Kumar, Election 2010, Gerald E. Connolly, Keith Fimian, Mark Warner, Tom Perriello  
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Griffith, Hurt, Rigell, Moran win congressional seats

Republican State Sen. Robert Hurt (R) defeated U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello (D) in Virginia's 5th district while Democrat Rep. Jim Moran fought off Republican challenger Patrick Murray in the 8th district, according to the AP.

By Anita Kumar  | November 2, 2010; 8:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races, Anita Kumar, Election 2010  
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Turnout likely to exceed 40 percent, Virginia elections secretary says

Virginia State Board of Elections Secretary Nancy Rodrigues predicted that turnout in Tuesday's congressional elections will probably exceed 40 percent.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | November 2, 2010; 8:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races  
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Chat with us as results come in

Members of The Post's coverage team will be online to answer your questions about the D.C. area elections and the local impact of national elections tonight at 8 p.m. D.C. area election returns...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  | November 2, 2010; 8:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Jack McDonnell -- father of Virginia governor, longtime Fairfax resident -- dies at 94

John F. "Jack" McDonnell, father to Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R), died this morning at a Fairfax County nursing home after a lengthy illness, the governor's office announced this evening. He was 94. A Massachusetts native and son of Irish immigrants, Jack McDonnell was a World War II veteran who went on to serve 23 years on active duty with the Air Force. He then worked with the U.S. Naval Investigative Service. McDonnell had five children -- Bob McDonnell is the eldest. After three overseas tours of duty, the family settled in the Mount Vernon area of Fairfax County, where the governor grew up. Jack McDonnell was a member of the Governor's Board of Visitors of Mt. Vernon. He will be buried at Arlington Cemetery. Gov. McDonnell will be altering his public schedule in coming days to spend time with his family. He has canceled several planned television interviews...

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | November 2, 2010; 6:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Robert F. McDonnell  
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Decent turnout, low enthusiasm at Saratoga Elementary School

A line of voters waited to cast their balllots at Saratoga Elementary School in Fairfax County late Tuesday afternoon. The school is home to two precincts. Election officials said that 1,650 of 5,100 registered voters, or 32 percent, had cast their ballots at one precinct and 387 of 1,136 of registered voters or 28 percent at the other. Saratoga voted almost equally for Republican Robert F. McDonnell and Democrat R. Creigh Deeds for governor in 2009, though Barack Obama received nearly 10 percent more of the vote in 2008 over Republican John McCain. Today most voters appear to be reluctantly supporting incumbent U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly. Al Friebe, who has lived in the area since 1992, cast a ballot for Connolly for the second time. He generally votes for Democrats. "I'm not particularly happy with the Democrats but I'm less happy with the Republicans,'' he said. Friebe said he understands...

By Anita Kumar  | November 2, 2010; 5:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races, Anita Kumar, Election 2010, Fairfax County, Gerald E. Connolly, Keith Fimian  
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Fimian outguns Connolly at one Fairfax precinct

A steady stream of voters made their way into Newington Forest Elementary School in Fairfax County on Tuesday afternoon. Election officials said 1,179 of 4,973 registered voters, or 23 percent, had cast their ballots by 2:30 p.m. Outside the school, two blue "Connolly for Congress" signs were dwarfed by more than five times as many red, white and blue "Fimian for U.S. Congress" signs. Two Republican volunteers were handing out blue GOP sample ballots while one Democratic volunteer was handing out his party's sample green ballots. "It's time for a change," said Hector Aguirre, 56, an air conditioning and heating repairman who cast his ballot for Fimian. Aguirre voted for Connolly over Fimian in 2008 and usually votes for Democrats, including President Obama and Democratic gubernatorial candidate R. Creigh Deeds last year, but said that there should be a law requiring Congress to change parties regularly. Kim Palko, 43, a...

By Anita Kumar  | November 2, 2010; 4:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races, Anita Kumar, Election 2010, Fairfax County, Gerald E. Connolly, Keith Fimian  
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In Woodbridge, diverging perspectives on Connolly

It was Gerry Connolly's appearance a few years ago at a slug stop near her house that convinced Lake Ridge resident Lorri Lowther to vote for him Tuesday. "He came to the slug line at 5 a.m. to talk to us," said Lowther, who works for the government "He's more concerned about what the people want. I've been voting for 30 years and that's the first time someone has come talked to me -- that's important. " Lowther said she hoped Virginia Democrats could hold their seats Tuesday night. She generally doesn't vote along party lines but by candidate. "I was really turned off by Fimian's negative ads. I never knew what he really stood for," she said. Grant Shaffer has spent the last 10 years with the Marines and has not been able to vote until today, he said, because his absentee ballot never got to him in time....

By Jennifer Buske  | November 2, 2010; 4:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races, Election 2010, Gerald E. Connolly, Jennifer Buske, Keith Fimian, Prince William  
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In Woodbridge: 'We should be turned around by now."

The voters in the Lake Ridge area want change, they said, many coming out to support Keith Fimian. Election officials said they have seen a steady flow in voters with 795 people -- about 27 percent of those registered -- through the doors by 2 p.m. "This year we need a change in Congress," Woodbridge resident Rudy Mallari, 54, said, noting he supported Gerry Connolly in the last election. "Because of the economy, we have lost a lot of jobs. I think (Fimian) can help rebuild the economy. " Woodbridge resident Mary Hale, 63, also said she wants to see change and would be fine if the shakeup predicted on Election Night becomes a reality. "I want to see more of a balance in Congress," she said. " I also want to see more interaction between the two parties. " Hale said health care is the biggest issue for her....

By Jennifer Buske  | November 2, 2010; 3:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races, Election 2010, Gerald E. Connolly, Jennifer Buske, Keith Fimian, Prince William  
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Fimian stumps at Springfield retirement community

Republican candidate Keith Fimian arrived at the conference center in the Greenspring Village retirement community in Springfield just after 12:45 p.m., where he greeted supporters and thanked the volunteers who had set up a table for his campaign in the lobby of the building. The retirement community has 2,000 residents, almost all of them registered to vote, according to election officials at the site. By 12:30 p.m., 685 had cast their ballots, and a long line of elderly residents -- many with walkers and wheelchairs -- waited patiently in the hallway outside the downstairs voting room for their turn at a voting booth. The precinct typically has a very high voter turnout, officials said -- not uncommon for retirement communities. Upstairs in the lobby, Fimian was enthusiastically greeted by Greenspring resident Curtis Ross, 87. "I voted for you today. I hope you do it," Ross said. "I will do my...

By Caitlin Gibson  | November 2, 2010; 2:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races, Caitlin Gibson, Election 2010, Fairfax County, Gerald E. Connolly, Keith Fimian  
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Patiently hoping for change in Woodbridge

By 11:30 a.m., 655 voters of the 4,514 registered had come through to vote at Occoquan Elementary in Woodbridge. Connolly and Fimian signs lined the sidewalks equally. Woodbridge resident Gloria Nesbitt said that it was not habit for her to vote but taht "the world is in a lot of uproar and I'm hoping somebody knows what they are doing. " Nesbitt, who voted for Connolly in the 2008 election, said she didn't know whom to choose when going in to vote. "I hope a light will go on and I will know," she said. Nesbitt, 48, said she hadn't seen much progress with Connolly, but recognized that progress takes time. She said her son died while serving his country overseas, and her mother and husband also passed away in recent years. She had worked hard to get a home in 2004 but lost it a few years later to...

By Jennifer Buske  | November 2, 2010; 12:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races, Election 2010, Gerald E. Connolly, Jennifer Buske, Keith Fimian, Prince William  
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'It's good to see people engaged' in Burke

The parking lot was bustling with a steady flow of mid-morning voters at Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, where election officials reported the same robust turnout that other nearby precincts had seen throughout the morning -- nearly 600 voters had cast their ballots in the school cafeteria by 10:45 a.m., officials said. Volunteers handing out sample ballots outside commented on the heavy voter traffic. "I hope it continues," said one volunteer as he handed a green Democratic sample ballot to an arriving voter. "It's good to see people engaged." Burke resident Ross Nelson said that he voted for Republican Keith Fimian because he would like to see "a little more balance" in national politics. He's concerned about spending, he added. "I'd like to see more responsibility. If not lower taxes, at least not higher," he said. Joe St. Germaine, of Burke, said that he supported Democratic incumbent Gerry Connolly...

By Caitlin Gibson  | November 2, 2010; 12:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Caitlin Gibson, Election 2010, Fairfax County, Gerald E. Connolly, Keith Fimian  
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Cantor, McDonnell predict big wins for Republicans

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor predicted Republicans would pick up four congressional seats in Virginia on their way to taking control of the U.S. House, which likely would make him House majority leader. "We are cautiously optimistic it will be a great night for Virginia Republicans,'' Cantor said just after voting at the Rivers Edge Elementary School in Henrico County Tuesday morning. "We are going to be an early indicator of how big the win is going to be. That will speak to a very big night for us." He predicts wins for Keith Fimian, challenging Rep. Gerry Connolly (D) in the 11th District; state Sen. Robert Hurt, running against U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello (D) in the 5th District; House of Delegates Majority Leader Morgan Griffith, who is challenging Rep. Rick Boucher (D) in the 9th District; and Scott Rigell, who is running against Rep. Glenn Nye in the 2nd...

By Anita Kumar  | November 2, 2010; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races, Anita Kumar, Election 2010, Eric Cantor, Robert F. McDonnell  
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Burke precinct sees heavy traffic, straight-ticket voters

The stream of voters was just starting to plateau to a steady flow by 9:30 a.m. at Commons Community Center in Burke. The voter traffic had been notably heavy all morning, election officials said, adding that the parking lot was filled to capacity at several points throughout the early morning. As of 9:15 a.m., 560 voters had filed through the center, officials said. Jay Levesque, 29, of Burke, said he voted along party lines in his support of Republican Keith Fimian. He didn't follow the race between Fimian and Democratic incumbent Gerry Connolly very closely, he said. "I was at the Rally to Restore Sanity," he said with a smile. "That was a good amount of fun, but as far as this goes, I went along with what I believe economically." Sue Turchan, 61, of Burke, also voted along party lines, she said. She came to the polls dressed in...

By Caitlin Gibson  | November 2, 2010; 10:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races, Caitlin Gibson, Election 2010, Fairfax County, Gerald E. Connolly, Keith Fimian  
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Viennans unimpressed with congressional options

At Cunningham Park Elementary School in Vienna just before 8 a.m., 25 people waited in line to vote at one of three voting booths. Voters had faced about a 15 minute wait since the site opened, according to election officials at the school, who were pleased that 317 voters had already cycled through by 7:50 a.m. Outside, where dedicated volunteers handed out sample ballots and shivered against the morning cold, voters expressed a lack of enthusiasm for both candidates in the tight congressional race between Democratic incumbent Gerry Connolly and his Republican challenger, Keith Fimian. "Neither one is actually my choice," said Bill Dorn, 44, of Vienna, who tends to vote for Republicans but said he doesn't always vote along party lines. "Fimian is too far right, and Connolly is not a heavy hitter," Dorn said. Dorn, who voted for Connolly in the last election, decided to support Fimian this...

By Caitlin Gibson  | November 2, 2010; 9:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races, Caitlin Gibson, Election 2010, Gerald E. Connolly, Keith Fimian  
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Early Vienna voters a mixed bag for House candidates

A steady flow of voters arrived at the Vienna Community Center in Vienna at 6:45 a.m. Tuesday, just before the first light of dawn appeared in the bustling parking lot outside. Since opening at 6 a.m., a line of voters waiting outside the voting room fluctuated between 10 and 25 people, according to election officials at the site. John Wysham, 54, of Vienna, said that he voted for Democratic incumbent Gerry Connolly in the closely watched congressional race between Connolly and Republican Keith Fimian in Virginia's 11th District. Wysham supported Connolly previously as well and said a key factor in his decision was "experience." "To me, he is experienced," Wysham said. "I'm also very disappointed with the way the Republicans are campaigning, and their record over the last 10 years, especially under Bush." Asked if he felt pleased with the Democratic party's performance overall, Wysham hesitated. "Well ... I think...

By Caitlin Gibson  | November 2, 2010; 7:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Caitlin Gibson, Election 2010, Gerald E. Connolly, Keith Fimian  
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Welcome to Election Day, Virginia

Good morning! The Capital Weather Gang forecast says it'll be a crisp but sunny day at the polls today in Northern Virginia, where residents will be voting for their congressional representatives -- including the close Connolly-Fimian race -- local officials and a flurry of local and state ballot questions on saving and spending tax dollars. Congressional races around the nation also will have an impact on what local priorities get funded. Polls open at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. today -- find your voting location here. The Post's voter's guide can provide a primer on the candidates. We'll have updates throughout the day and evening here at the Virginia Politics blog and on our local homepage, including live results as the ballots are counted. We'd like your input too: Let us know what you're seeing out there at the polls....

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  | November 2, 2010; 4:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races, Election 2010, Gerald E. Connolly, Keith Fimian  
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Today in Tommy Norment's Voice Mail: Nov. 1 edition

Recently, we introduced a new occasional feature on the blog highlighting the best voicemail in Virginia politics. Today we bring you a special Election Eve edition of ... Today in Tommy Norment's voicemail: "This is Tommy Norment at Kaufman & Canoles, and it is Monday, November the first -- the eve of the earthquake of America. ... At least, according to Sarah Palin."...

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | November 1, 2010; 5:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, General Assembly 2010, Rosalind Helderman, Sarah Palin, State Senate, Tommy Norment's voice mail  
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McDonnell, Cantor to vote together

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and Rep. Eric Cantor -- the congressman who many think will be the next House majority leader if Republicans win control of that chamber -- will vote at Rivers Edge Elementary School outside Richmond.

By Anita Kumar  | November 1, 2010; 5:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, Election 2010, Eric Cantor, Robert F. McDonnell  
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At Connolly HQ, Jill Biden fires up volunteers

With 18 hours left before the polls open in Virginia, Rep. Gerald Connolly (D) and a famous longtime "friend" sought Monday to fire up volunteers for one last push to keep the 11th district seat out of the hands of Oakton businessman Keith Fimian (R).

By Ben Pershing  | November 1, 2010; 3:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races, Ben Pershing, Election 2010, Gerald E. Connolly, Keith Fimian  
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Cuccinelli weighs in on some election questions just before vote

On the eve of Tuesday's election, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) is out with two new opinions related to voting, both issued in response to questions from local registrars. In one opinion, Cuccinelli writes that neither state nor federal law requires that election officials be posted outside polling places to assist voters who are elderly or disabled. State law does require that elections officials bring ballots to the cars of elderly and disabled voters when they request the assistance, he writes, allowing them to engage in "curbside" voting. He writes that elections officials must promptly move to assist voters when they ask for help -- either by entering the polling place to ask for help, sending a friend inside to ask on their behalf or calling ahead. But, in a response to an inquiry from the secretary of the Richmond Electoral Board, he said the law does not require...

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | November 1, 2010; 3:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races, Election 2010, Ken Cuccinelli, Rosalind Helderman  
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RNC Chairman Steele to stop in Fairfax on Election Day

Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee, will stop by Fairfax County on Tuesday morning, Election Day, to talk to volunteers.

By Anita Kumar  | November 1, 2010; 2:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races, Election 2010, Fairfax County, Gerald E. Connolly, Keith Fimian  
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McDonnell names new Offshore Wind Development Authority

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) has appointed members to his new Offshore Wind Development Authority, designed to encourage windmill energy projects off Virginia's coast.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | November 1, 2010; 10:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Robert F. McDonnell, Rosalind Helderman  
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D.C. Democrats reach across Potomac to help Connolly

The D.C. Democratic State Committee, which has largely been on the sidelines in the battle for control of Congress, sent out an "urgent" appeal late Sunday night seeking volunteers who can travel to Virginia to help U.S. Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va), our colleague Tim Craig reports over on D.C. Wire. Connolly is locked in a close race with Republican Keith Fimian in a district that includes much of Fairfax County and part of Prince William County. Until recently, few observers thought Connolly, a freshman who represents a District easily carried by President Obama in 2008, was in danger of losing his seat. Read the full post here....

By Washington Post Editors  | November 1, 2010; 10:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  !Elections, 2010 Virginia Congressional Races  
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Jill Biden headlines get-out-the-vote effort for Connolly

Vice President Joe Biden's wife, Jill, will launch a get-out-the-vote campaign for Rep. Gerry Connolly (D) Monday morning at the congressman's headquarters. Biden, a professor of English at Northern Virginia Community College, will kick things off at 11:30 a.m. in Fairfax County. Over the weekend, more than 1,000 volunteers canvassed and phone banked for Connolly, who faces Republican Keith Fimian in the 11th District race, according to Connolly's campaign. U.S. Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) and other state and local officials from Fairfax and Prince William counties appeared at the events. Former governor Tim Kaine, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, was expected to spend today and Sunday in Virginia helping Connolly and Rep. Glenn Nye, who is being challenged by Republican Scott Rigell in a tight race in the 2nd District. But folks at the DNC tells us Kaine was diverted to Cleveland to appear with President Obama and addressed...

By Anita Kumar  | November 1, 2010; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races, Anita Kumar, Election 2010, Gerald E. Connolly, Joe Biden, Keith Fimian, Timothy M. Kaine  
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