As he waits to see which Democrat he will face in November, the prospective Republican nominee in the 45th House District is hammering home a message that the incumbent has pushed a radical agenda while his constituents have suffered.
And J.D. Maddox, speaking before the Arlington County Republican Committee on April 28, trained his fire on local and state leaders’ response to reopening classrooms.
“There’s been absolutely no effort,” Maddox said of the actions of Arlington and Alexandria school leaders, calling out the “absolute ineptitude” of school leadership.
“It’s a terrible situation,” the Alexandria resident and U.S. Army veteran said. “We have a broken school system.”
Maddox’s quest in the 45th District is an uphill battle, to say the least. Comprising portions of Alexandria, South Arlington and the Mount Vernon area of Fairfax County, it has been a Democratic stronghold.
Maddox, who also worked for the CIA and is a small-business owner, called out incumbent Del. Mark Levine for focusing on “hyperpartisan legislation” rather than bread-and-butter, nuts-and-bolts, sidewalks-and-asphalt matters.
“I will focus on those pragmatic problems that are facing us,” he said.
There is no guarantee, however, that Levine will be on the Nov. 2 ballot.
He is locked in a tough battle with Alexandria Vice Mayor Elizabeth Bennett-Parker that will be decided in the June 8 Democratic primary.
Which Democrat would be the most formidable obstacle to a Republican resurgence in the 45th District remains to be seen, but GOP leaders apparently would shed no tears if the incumbent got knocked off – whether in June or November.
“Del. Levine is not friendly to us at all, not friendly to conservative voters,” Arlington County Republican Committee chairman Andrew Loposser said. “Let’s get rid of him this year.”
Republicans seem to have something of a stealth candidate in the 48th House District, which incumbent Democrat Rip Sullivan is likely to hold without a sweat. The party continues to look for contenders to take on Democrats in the 47th and 49th.
“We are looking for good candidates who can be present in the community and run a good race,” said Matthew Hurtt, communications director for the Arlington County Republican Committee. “It would be an awesome experience if every Republican in Arlington had someone to vote for downballot.”
Republicans have until June to have candidates in place.