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Fimian stumps at Springfield retirement community

Christopher Dean Hopkins

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 best, I promise you that," Fimian said, grasping Ross's hand.

Fimian, dressed in a long black coat with a name tag sticker on the lapel, thanked the volunteers at the Fimian campaign table. "I look forward to coming back and visiting with you," he said.

One of the volunteers asked Fimian what the polls were indicating about the race. "Very close, very close," Fimian said.

Fimian said he was feeling good about how the day was going, noting that he visited several Prince William precincts early in the morning, three of which did not have any Connolly campaign representatives.

"One didn't even have signs," he said. Then he shrugged: "I've done all I can. I'm a nuts-and-bolts businessman here, who dots the i's and crosses the t's."

He said the voters who had approached him throughout the day repeated the same message he'd heard for a while now: "Please, fix this economy. Please get our spending under control."

Fimian said he is in the best position to help with exactly that. "I'm a seven-year CPA. I know how to balance a budget really well... I understand how businesses operate."

The economy isn't going to improve, Fimian said, until companies feel safe to invest the money they have without fear of raised taxes and expensive health care.

The three issues that are most important to voters are the economy, jobs, and spending, Fimian said, adding that Connolly wasn't the right choice to address those problems.

"Connolly wants things redirected from those topics," Fimian said. "The guy has never created a job. He can't fix what's broken."

Greenspring resident John Anderson, 79, agreed that Connolly wasn't the right person to fix a struggling economy.

"I'm concerned about the budget situation. I'm concerned about the job market because I have two sons," he said. "I'm concerned about the fact that my grandchildren will be paying off debts that Obama has run up."

But Anderson said that in an ideal world, votes are cast for positive reasons rather than negative reasons -- it's better to vote for something rather than against something else, he said. And he hopes the Republicans can back up their claims to bring the change that he feels is needed.

"I'm hoping that if [Fimian] wins this, that the Republicans have some kind of a plan," he said, "that they're not just there because we didn't like what the other guys were doing."

By Caitlin Gibson  | November 2, 2010; 2:42 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races, Caitlin Gibson, Election 2010, Fairfax County, Gerald E. Connolly, Keith Fimian  
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Next: In Woodbridge: 'We should be turned around by now."

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