Candidates for Delegate

As I’ve mentioned before, my representative in the House of Delegates, Marian van Landingham isn’t running for reelection.  This is a solidly Democratic district, so all the action is likely to be in the primary.  So far, there are 6 announced candidates:

The Alexandria Democratic Committee will be having a candidates’ forum this Sunday, March 6, 2:00 pm. at the Durant Center, 1501 Cameron St, Alexandria.  Open to the public, no charge. I’m planning on going, because I honestly don’t know who I’ll support.  Several of the candidates have impressive experience.  Garvey is a current member of the Arlington school board, Hobson is a former delegate, and Mosqueda is the legislative aide for Brian Moran, the delegate for the adjoining district.  Englin has the most detailed issues statement on his website, and his politics look very close to mine.  He’s young, but he’s got an interesting bio — a liberal Democrat from the Air Force, with degrees from both the Air Force Academy and the Kennedy School of Government. 

If anyone wants to make a case for one of the candidates, I’d love to hear it.  And for the majority of my readers, who don’t live nearby, I’d be interested in your general comments about how you pick a candidate to support, especially in a wide-open primary.

6 Responses to “Candidates for Delegate”

  1. Doug Says:

    It may be too early, but if there isn’t much policy data then take a look at their campaign finance filings to see who is making contributions to them. Follow the money.

  2. Elizabeth Says:

    Thanks for the reminder, Doug. The source for contribution data for Virginia elections is the Virginia Public Access Project, at:
    None of the candidates are reporting contributions yet, though.

  3. Elizabeth Says:

    I was asked about my reaction to the candidates at the forum, so I thought I’d post here.
    I think there are four strong candidates, any of whom I could vote for with pleasure in the general. (Neither Lay nor Mandala made me think they were ready for prime time.)
    Hobson and Mosqueda both pushed their experience hard. It’s both their biggest strength, and a bit of a weakness — both of them sounded a bit too much like defenders of the status quo for my taste. (I particularly disliked Mosqueda’s defense of the part-time legislature.) I don’t see either of them particularly energizing voters beyond the Democratic core. Mosqueda has been endorsed by some delegates whom I respect; I’d like to hear more about why they think she’d be a good delegate.
    Garvey did a good job of selling herself as having relevant experience but also as a bit of an outsider, and someone who would reach out to involve new voters and to work across party lines to promote education. I was more impressed by her than I had been coming in.
    I was more impressed by Englin’s website than I was by his performance at the debate. I like his positions a lot, but he didn’t make a compelling case for why he wants to be a delegate or how his life experience has prepared him for it.
    I thought all 6 candidates blew the question on universal pre-k, by not recognizing the difference between child care and pre-k. The problem with pre-k in a school setting is that working parents typically still need wrap-around child care, because pre-k is neither full-day nor year-round. I think improving the educational content of day care — especially affordable day care — is a higher priority than providing pre-k in the schools.
    So, my bottom line is I’m still undecided.

  4. Shayna Englin Says:

    Full disclosure: the “Englin” in “Shayna Englin” is one and the same – David the candidate is my husband.
    Elizabeth – on your point about pre-K and child care, Caleb went to full-day pre-K in the District. DC has universal pre-K fully integrated into schools – the child care issue is no more a factor than with school (and it’s a big factor, but deserves consideration outside of the question of pre-K). Granted, that’s not the way you have to do it — pre-K could certainly be half-day, just like Kindergarten is in many places — but it’s the way our closest neighbor with pre-K does it.

  5. Charlie Fletcher Says:

    In the case of the 45th, like now the 57th district (Charlottesville), I think the delegate needs to be someone who can serve for a good amount of time. It is not only an opportunity to elect someone who can serve for 20 years and build seniority like Van Landingham and Van Yahres did, but someone who has the energy, vision and willingness to use a strong Democratic seat to build the party.
    In addition to being in line with your beliefs, being able to accomplish things for the district, it is important that the next delegate from these districts are willing to raise money for other candidate’s, help recruit other candidates and generally be a strong progressive voice for the party (secure the base).
    From what I’ve seen and read – I think that candidate is probably David Englin in the 45th.
    I don’t know much about him – but could it be another David – Toscano in the 57th?

  6. Maura in VA Says:

    I really appreciate reading your reviews of the candidates’ performances at this recent candidates forum. Like others have written above, I really see the 45th as a critical seat for Democrats this year — we really need a strong, progressive leader in the House from safe districts like the 45th.
    We’ve got plenty of “reliable” Democrats up here who vote the “right way” most of the time, like the Delegate who serves my district in Falls Church, but I think we have an acute shortage of strong, outspoken, principled Democratic LEADERS who are willing to take risks, stand up for what’s right even if they might lose, invest in building the party and mentoring new Democratic leaders, and introduce legislation to advance the progressive Democratic agenda even if it might fail in the current political climate in Richmond. Republicans know not to elect “centrists” to their safe seats. With the retirement of Mitch Van Yahres from the 57th (which still makes me teary-eyed, and I barely knew the guy’s record!) it’s even more clear that we desperately need a courageous progressive role model in the 45th.
    As you say, it’s a deep field with lots of experience. I think people are going to have a difficult time making up their minds. There’s another candidate forum next week hosted by Virginia Partisans (which I’ll post about on DFV shortly) and I hope you and/or others from the 45th will share your impressions of the candidates there…
    As always, I’m so delighted to have learned of your blog!

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