Del. Adam P. Ebbin (D-Alexandria) was expecting a serious discussion on trade when he was ushered into the hushed receiving rooms of President Elias Antonio Saca of El Salvador. Ebbin was visiting the country with other young politicians while on a recent study trip to Central America sponsored by the American Council of Young Political Leaders.
Instead, Ebbin said, Saca wanted to know all about the food in the Arlandria section of Alexandria, home to a large community of expatriate Salvadorans.
"He said, 'How are the pupusas in Chirilagua?' " Ebbin recalled. The president used the nickname for Arlandria, a name inspired by a real Salvadoran city. "I told him they were great," Ebbin said.
Citing his reputation as a "tough prosecutor," the Arlington Coalition of Police has endorsed attorney Jim Lay in his bid to become a delegate representing the 45th District, his campaign announced.
Lay, a former deputy prosecutor in Alexandria, recently announced he would join a crowded field of Democrats vying to replace Del. Marian Van Landingham, who announced in December she would not run again for her General Assembly seat because she is battling cancer.
And Republican William C. Cleveland -- Alexandria's former vice mayor -- finally made it official: He's running for sheriff. Cleveland, a 30-year veteran of the U.S. Capitol Police, will face Democratic candidate Dana Lawhorne, an Alexandria police officer who has already amassed an impressive campaign war chest of more than $23,000.
Alexandria Sheriff James H. Dunning announced earlier this year that he would not run again, saying it was a decision that he had made with his wife, Nancy, before she was found shot to death in the foyer of their Alexandria home in December 2003.
Joining Americans in the battle of the bulge is Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.), who last month pledged to lose 30 pounds in 30 days and challenged others to join him in the fight.
Moran's stab at lightening up has a dual purpose: to slim down his frame (we're told the congressman doesn't want to divulge his weight) and to benefit the Alexandria Red Cross Chapter Disaster Fund.
To that end, Moran has vowed to donate $50 for each pound he sheds between his Jan. 24 weigh-in at the Old Town Sport & Health Club and March 19, the night of the Red Cross's Rhapsody in Red gala benefit at Reagan National Airport.
Joining Moran in the "Healthy, Fit 2005" drive are five Alexandrians.
All participants received discounted enrollment fees at Old Town Sport & Health, and the biggest loser -- the person recording the greatest weight loss -- will be awarded a six-month membership to the club.
So how is Moran planning to shed the weight? Atkins? Weight Watchers? A diet of leek soup courtesy of the popular new book "French Women Don't Get Fat"?
"He's increasing his exercise and trying to cut down calories," said Moran spokesman Austin Durrer.
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