It was like old times to have Donald S. Beyer Jr. attending the annual gala of the Falls Church Chamber of Commerce last Saturday night. It harkened back to the days when he was active in the Chamber himself, serving as president and winning the coveted “Pillar of the Community” award.
He was, after all, and continues to be a leading businessman in the City with his brother and partner Mike, heading what used to be known as Don Beyer Volvo that now goes by Beyer Automotive, with locations throughout the region.
Falls Church is Don Beyer’s true home. His parents lived here and so did his brother and his family (still do). So, when he decided to run for statewide office in the late 1980s, he was clearly Falls Church’s “Favorite Son” on the big stage of statewide politics. He’s never lost touch with his roots. After winning in his first run for lieutenant governor of Virginia, when the News-Press started up in 1991, Beyer penned a commentary for the very first issue to connect with his Falls Church friends, and when he then ran successfully for re-election, the News-Press was proud to offer him its first political endorsement as Falls Church’s “Favorite Son.”
That was repeated when Beyer ran a spirited but unsuccessful campaign for governor in 1996. On the eve of that election, Beyer held a final big campaign rally on the steps of the Cherry Hill Farmhouse in Falls Church. Beyer’s close connection to Falls Church did not end as he took his political career to the level of presidential politics, not as a candidate, but as a key adviser, organizer and fundraiser. He was among the earliest to back Gov. Howard Dean in Dean’s explosive run for the Democratic nomination in 2003, and in one of the bigger rallies of that campaign, Beyer designated Cherry Hill Park for a rally of 7,000, perhaps the biggest ever in Falls Church, as part of Dean’s “Sleepless Summer” campaign in August 2003. Beyer then selected office space right in Falls Church for Dean’s Virginia headquarters.
Dean’s campaign will always be remembered for igniting a fresh spark in the Democratic Party, one that Sen. Barack Obama built on when he ran in 2008. And there was Beyer again, at the very front end of Obama’s bid. Once Obama was elected, Beyer was posted as the U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland, a vital position given Switzerland’s unique role for international diplomacy. Just a year ago Beyer came back, and offered an exclusive interview to the News-Press.
Citizens of Falls Church should be proud that they have a proven and qualified statesman of the global stature of Don Beyer as one of their own. Once again, we proudly endorse Donald S. Beyer Jr. as Falls Church’s “Favorite Son” as the most qualified in his current bid to win the Democratic nomination to serve as Rep. Jim Moran’s successor in the U.S. Congress.