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FairfaxPoliticsFormer Vienna Council member seeks office in W.Va.

Former Vienna Council member seeks office in W.Va.

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Pasha Majdi, who served on the Vienna Town Council for six years before making an unsuccessful bid for mayor in 2020, is running for office again – in his new state of residence, West Virginia.

Majdi is seeking the Republican nomination to run for the 100th District seat in the West Virginia House of Delegates. He will be competing in the May 10 Republican primary with candidates Steve Harris and William Ridenour. On the Democratic side, Susan Benzinger is only candidate for the same seat running in that party’s May 10 primary.

Majdi’s campaign Website, www.majdi4delegate.com, has a central theme of “The Right Direction” and categories (although no links yet) for “Economic Growth,” “Lower Taxes” and “Stop CRT” (Critical Race Theory).

Majdi, who did not respond to requests for comment for this article, now lives in Jefferson County, W.Va., and is senior director of U.S. policy and government affairs for Conservation International.

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“Jefferson County has seen more growth than other parts of West Virginia over the past few years,” Majdi said in a statement on his campaign’s Website. “It is important that our area has the right representation that allows us to maintain our identity while creating economic growth.”

West Virginia has taken an increasing turn to the right in recent years. In the 2020 legislative elections, Republicans picked up nearly 20 additional seats to now hold 78 of the 100 slots. The legislature meets annually in Charleston, beginning in January.

West Virginia this year will complete its transition to single-member districts; until now the lower house of the legislature (as had been the case in Virginia until several decades ago) has had multi-member districts. Currently, the 100 delegates are spread among 67 districts.

A fourth-generation Vienna resident, Majdi went to Louise Archer Elementary School, Longfellow Middle School and Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology and then earned a bachelor’s degree in public policy and philosophy at Duke University in 2005. He was student-government president both in high school and college.

He later worked as an assistant to former U.S. Rep. Tom Davis (R-11th) and earned a law degree from George Mason University in 2010. While attending law school, Majdi was a legal intern with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and a legal clerk for an energy-law firm.

Majdi later worked for the U.S. Department of Justice, as a staff member on the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and as an employee of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

He served on the Vienna Town/Business Liaison Committee before first elected to the Vienna Town Council in 2014.

Majdi was a frequent critic of the town’s now-abandoned Maple Avenue Commercial (MAC) zoning ordinance and in 2019, along with Council member Howard Springsteen, favored rescinding a recent MAC rezoning decision for a mixed-use project (now to be a Sunrise assisted-living facility) at 374-380 Maple Ave., W. The Council did not vote to do so, following several hours’ worth of testimony from local residents and business owners that doing so posed legal risks for the town.

After then-Mayor Laurie DiRocco announced she would not seek another term in 2020, Majdi, Springsteen and Council member Linda Colbert competed in a three-way race for mayor. Colbert won the election, which was delayed for two weeks because of the pandemic.

Some Council colleagues in December 2019 criticized Majdi for filing his economic-interest disclosure form nine months late.

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