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Thursday, March 23, 2023
ArlingtonSenator: My district is changing, not my values

Senator: My district is changing, not my values

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As she prepares to trade in a sprawling district for a compact one, state Sen. Barbara Favola says that while geography may be changing, her core values are not.

“I am a solid, solid vote” for progressive values while having also “worked with my colleagues across the aisle,” Favola said in a Jan. 4 campaign kickoff before the Arlington County Democratic Committee.

Speaking to the rank-and-file, Favola said she had been a leader in the “journey to create needed reforms” on issues ranging from health care to guns, proclaiming her proudest accomplishment was enhancing support systems to children in the commonwealth’s foster-care program.

Favola had served more than a dozen years on the Arlington County Board when, in 2011, she succeeded veteran incumbent Mary Margaret Whipple in the 31st Senate District. Owing to redistricting in 2010, that district has run along the Potomac River from Arlington into McLean and Great Falls, even taking in a sliver of northeastern Loudoun County.


The adopted 2021 redistricting map that goes into effect this November puts Favola in the new, tightly drawn 40th District, which is exclusively in Arlington. She will represent about 85 percent of the county’s residents, with the new 39th Senate District representing those in the area immediately surrounding Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

(State Sen. Adam Ebbin, who represents the current 30th District, is seeking a new term in the redrawn 39th. Arlington also currently is represented in the Senate by Janet Howell in the 32nd, but redistricting reduced the county’s representation in the upper house from three to two.)

Her Jan. 4 remarks made Favola the first member of the county’s legislative delegation to formally kick off a re-election bid with remarks before the Arlington committee, and the only legislative incumbent to do so before the General Assembly goes into session Jan. 11 for a session expected to last 46 days.

While there have been rumblings of intra-party challenges against her, none as yet has materialized, and Favola through the years has shown the knack of being able to easily fend off opponents in both party nominating contests and general elections.

The new district has a population (based on 2020 census figures) of about 211,500, or about 2 percent less than the statewide average for the 40 redrawn Senate seats. It leans strongly Democratic.

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