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FairfaxParties gear up as special election looms

Parties gear up as special election looms

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Both major political parties are fielding candidates and setting up caucuses for the Jan. 10 special election to fill the open 35th District seat in the House of Delegates.

The House District 35 Democratic Nominating Committee has set Oct. 8 for a caucus to pick the Democratic nominee, said Jack Kiraly, executive director of the Fairfax County Democratic Committee.

Democratic voters may cast a ballot in the unassembled caucus – similar to a regular primary election where participants may check in, vote and leave – from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at one of these three voting locations:

  • Kilmer Center’s cafeteria, 8102 Wolftrap Road in the Vienna area.
  • Oakton Elementary School’s cafeteria, 3000 Chain Bridge Road in Oakton.
  • Patrick Henry Library’s meeting room, 101 Maple Ave., E., in Vienna.

Early voting also will be available at the Fairfax County Democratic Committee’s headquarters at 8500 Executive Park Ave., Suite 402, in Merrifield on Oct. 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Oct. 6 from 5 to 8 p.m.

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Candidates for the nomination must by Sept. 30 submit the appropriate documents to appear on the caucus ballot. Find more information about the caucus at FairfaxVotes.org/HD35.

The 35th House District includes Dunn Loring, Oakton, Tysons and the town of Vienna. The 35th District’s previous incumbent, Mark Keam, resigned in early September to serve in the Biden administration. The district has been in Democratic hands since the 2003 election. Keam first was elected in 2009.

The GOP also has several people who are “very interested” running in the special election, said Fairfax County Republican Committee chairman Steve Knott.

County Republicans now are fielding candidates and soon will announce a caucus process to choose their nominee, Knotts said. The district is winnable for the GOP, he said.

“We’re definitely planning on running somebody,” Knotts said. “I think our message will resonate.”

House Speaker Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah) on Sept. 8 issued a writ calling for the special election on Jan. 10. That date will give 35th District voters an adequate chance to examine candidates and ensure the victor will be able to serve in the 2023 regular session of the General Assembly, Gilbert’s statement read.

Republicans currently hold a narrow majority in the House of Delegates. All 100 seats, scrambled into recently redrawn districts, will be up for grabs in the November 2023 general election.

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