Things have been slow over here at The Dixie Pig over the last couple weeks. I've been busy engaging with my family, getting my law practice back up an running, and I had four-day trial last week.
Surovell: 8,738 Votes (59.43%)
Barsa: 5,742 Votes (39.05%)
Glean: 223 Votes (1.52%)
I was also very pleased to see Senator Puller, Senator-Elect Ebbin, and School Board Member Dan Storck win by commanding margins as well while we held on to our majorities on the Fairfax County School Board. These results would not have been possible without the time and effort of hundreds of volunteers, and the financial support of nearly 1,300 donors.
If you are interested in how your precinct turned out, you can look up more specific results here. We won 15 of 18 precincts and the absentee vote.
We tried to run a positive, issues-focused campaign that focused on my record and vision for the future of our part of Fairfax County and Virginia. The voters of the 44th District rejected the overwhelmingly negative and nasty campaign of my opponent.
I never publicly responded to my opponent's attacks, but here are a few thoughts.
My opponent said my only accomplishment on Route 1 was "a little brown sign." During my first year in 2010, Delegate Sam Nixon proposed legislation designating a portion of Route 1 in Chesterfield County as "Historic Route 1" as part of their Route 1 revitalization efforts. I lead a bipartisan coalition of thirty-two legislators who sent Governor McDonnell a letter asking him to designate the entire road. Governor McDonnell followed suit and the amendment was passed unanimously. I wrote more about it here:
I've also led many other efforts on Route 1 since being elected including:
- Passage & funding of the Route 1 Transit Study
- Obtaining over 500 signatures demanding that Route 1 be added to the state's Six Year Improvement Plan (letter & signatures here);
- Being only 1 of 2 Northern Virginia legislators to speak out at the Commonwealth Transportation Board public hearing on its Six Year Improvement Plan (watch video here);
- Introduced legislation two years in a row to study the creation of a special Route 1 Transportation Funding District (legislation here);
- I've also written countless letters and articles that you can access here.
My opponent cited a statistic published by Virginia FREE which surveys Richmond lobbyists every year regarding legislators' effectiveness. Virginia FREE is an organization that promotes business interests in Richmond. It provides us with a questionnaire every year that is designed by the state's largest corporate interests.
The Washington Post reported that although I had raised more money than any incumbent who won re-election in my Caucus, I raised less money from Richmond interests than any legislator in the entire legislature.
The Washington Post, Groups That Lobby Richmond Assembly Have Donated Millions to Candidates (Aug. 6, 2011)
On the other hand, my opponent has reported raising at least $193,000 so far. Of his total, $176,000 came from the Republican Leadership committees and he reported an additional $25,000 in late reported leadership money as well. These are largely funded by Richmond interest groups. He only raised about $10,000 (five percent) from people inside the 44th District. I have raised about $82,000 from voters in the 44th District over the last two years (approximately one-third of my total fundraising).
VA FREE's rankings consistently rank freshman Democrats very low. Nearly all of the bottom ten members are Democratic freshman. Freshmen in the minority are rarely given lobbyists' bills to carry and their bills are routinely killed by the majority.
Notwithstanding that, I introduced more bills than any freshman in the minority and passed more bills (seven) than any other freshman in the minority.
92% Partisan Voting History
My opponent said that I "voted with my party 92% of the time." His citation for that statistic was the entire legislative database. I have no idea what that statistic is based upon. Having said that, given that my chamber is controlled by the Republican Party, there are very pieces of legislation that come to the floor that I would characterize as being Democratic.
My opponent also attacked me for attempting to undermine the will of Fairfax County's voters on the meals' tax.
Due to the Dillon Rule, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors cannot enact a meals tax. Counties only have the authority to enact a meals tax by referendum. Five counties (Arlington, Rockingham, Rockbridge, Roanoke & Frederick County) have been given the authority to enact a meals tax by unanimous vote of the Board of Supervisors. In 2001, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors proposed a referendum on the meals tax. It was rejected by the voters.
Fairfax County's Public Schools faced a $180 million deficit two years ago. A meals tax is projected to raise $80 million per year. Meals taxes are also currently levied by the City of Alexandria, Arlington County, the City of Falls Church, the City of Fairfax and the Town of Vienna. I introduced legislation that would allow Fairfax County to be added to the list of jurisdictions that could enact a meals tax by a unanimous vote of the Board of Supervisors. Given that Fairfax County has three Republican Supervisors, enactment would require bipartisan agreement.
Negative campaigning did not work. At the end of the day, the voters of the 44th District have spoken and I am honored to have two more years to serve our community. Thank you so much for your support during the campaign and on election day. If I can ever be of any service please don't hesitate to contact my office.