Seven Democrats who are vying to succeed state Del. Robert H. Brink (D-Arlington) made their cases to Arlington County Democratic activists Wednesday night in advance of a caucus scheduled for Sunday.
Brink resigned Monday to take a job in the administration of Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D). An election to replace him is scheduled for Aug. 19.
The Democrats seeking to represent the state’s 48th District, which includes portions of Arlington and Fairfax counties, are:
●David Boling, vice president of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation and a former candidate for the U.S. House from Arkansas. He said he wants to fight for expanded Medicaid, marriage equality, the DREAM Act and a Democratic majority in Richmond.
●Paul Holland, an environmental consultant and communications director for the Arlington Democratic Party. He pitched protection for the Chesapeake Bay, reduction of burdens on public school teachers and Medicaid reform.
●Atima Omara-Alwala, who is president of Young Democrats of America and active in a variety of nonprofit groups. The daughter of Ugandan immigrants and sister of a person with disabilities, she promised to work to expand Medicaid, improve education affordability and protect women’s right to choose.
●Andrew Schneider, director of the College of William and Mary’s Washington Area Alumni Business Alliance. “Some seem to have an easier time accepting corporations as people than accepting women as people,” he said. He promised to fight for strong gun law reform. “Never again must finally have some teeth,” he said.
●Richard “Rip” Sullivan, an attorney who has been deeply involved in Democratic campaigns. Sullivan endorsed many of the progressive issues that Northern Virginia Democrats support, such as protecting voting rights, battling school overcrowding and opposing the widening of Route 66. He is the only candidate who lives in McLean in Fairfax County.
●Yasmine Taeb, an attorney who serves on the Arlington County Commission on the Status of Women. An undocumented immigrant from Iran as a child, she later earned scholarships and her citizenship, she said, which helped instill in her “a passion for social justice.”
●Jackie Wilson, a military veteran and spouse who works at the U.S. Institute of Peace. “We must make sure government does what it is supposed to do,” she said. “I want to be a civil servant, a public servant for you.”
The Democrats will participate in a debate Saturday at 3 p.m. at
Washington-Lee High School. No Republican has yet filed for nomination, but the party has until 5 p.m. Monday to name its nominee.
The Democratic caucus to choose a nominee will take place in two locations Sunday. They will use instant runoff voting in which voters rank their preferred candidates, a system the local party has used before.
Caucus voting for Arlington residents will be from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Yorktown High School cafeteria, 5200 N. Yorktown Blvd. Fairfax residents can participate in the caucus from noon to 6 p.m. at the McLean High School cafeteria, 1633 Davidson Rd.