With a looming intra-party challenge on his left flank, Del. Alfonso Lopez on April 7 kicked off his bid for a new two-year term by positioning himself as an effective, principled leader in state government.
“I’ve been a champion for our values in Richmond,” Lopez (D-Arlington-Fairfax) said in remarks to the Arlington County Democratic Committee.
The 49th District – which includes much of the Columbia Pike corridor of South Arlington as well as adjacent areas in Fairfax County – is a Democratic stronghold with no likelihood of being picked off by Republicans in November. But Lopez is facing a challenge from within the party from educator Karishma Mehta, who is attempting to position herself as the more progressive contender.
While not mentioning Mehta or her challenge, Lopez was having none of the argument from her supporters that he was not in tune with current Democratic thinking.
“We must focus . . . on the needs of working families,” he said. “We need to create prosperity in a way that everyone wins.”
Lopez said his efforts had led to enactment of 150 pieces of legislation over the past decade, and – in perhaps a not-so-subtle jab at his political-neophyte opponent – said constituents deserve “nuanced” legislators.
“I will continue fighting for the community I love,” said Lopez, an attorney who has served tours of duty with Democratic administrations in Washington and Richmond. He lives in the Penrose neighborhood with his wife and their two children.
Democratic voters will have their say in the June 8 primary.