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Beyer Facing Primary Challenger This Month

Primary election day for the Democrats statewide and in Falls Church is Tuesday, June 21. But early voting is already underway, including for the Democratic nomination for the 8th Congressional District, the only one in the City of Falls Church. Popular incumbent Rep. Don Beyer is expected to win handily against his lone primary opponent, Victoria Virasingh.

On the Republican side, the choice was made earlier last month at a district convention, and Karina Lipsman was nominated to appear on the November general election ballot. Lipsman made headlines last month when she called for the resignation of the Biden administration’s chief public health official Anthony Fauci.

This Tuesday, May 31, was the deadline to register to vote for the primary election, and those who applied for permanent by-mail ballots and indicated the Democratic primary should have already received their ballot.

Up until June 18, registered voters in Falls Church City can vote early in person at City Hall on weekdays from 8 a.m. — 5 p.m. with additional hours on Saturday, June 11 and June 18 from 9 a.m. — 5 p.m. June 18 is the last day to vote early in person. Election Day voting will take place June 21.

Beyer, a former Falls Church businessman who served as the head of the local Chamber of Commerce before entering statewide politics in the late 1980s and winning two elections as Virginia’s lieutenant governor, then losing a run for governor, has served as a member of the House of Representatives for the 8th District since 2014, winning the 2020 candidate primary with 45 percent of the votes.

During his time as Congressman, Beyer has served on multiple committees, including serving as chair of the Joint Economic Committee.

He marched, as he has every year, with a delegation of prominent local Democrats in Monday’s Memorial Day Parade.

“The most important message here is that our government, our laws, our decisions are made by those who show up,” Aaron Fritschner, a spokesman for Beyer, told the News-Press last week. “That’s something Congressman Beyer tells everyone when encouraging them to vote. The legislative work he does in the House of Representatives has a great deal of effect on people’s lives and our system of government is dependent on them.”

Fritschner also shared that Beyer was very involved in writing the Build Back Better Act, which is currently stalled in the Senate but has remained in conversation with his colleagues on ways to continue moving forward.

Virasingh was born and raised in the 8th district. The daughter of two immigrants, both of her parents voted Democratic since they became citizens.

When asked why she decided to run for office this year, Virasignh said, “When I saw what had happened in the governor’s race last November, I saw seismic shifts in the electorate in our district. When I looked at the voting patterns, a lot of working class immigrant communities who had voted for Biden then voted for Youngkin.

When I looked at turnout, I saw that it was largely concentrated in more suburban and whiter areas and I know how important it is for us to get out every single Democratic vote. I know how important it is for us to engage the electorate and bring out younger and more diverse voters to the table.”

Virasingh called this a “pivotal time in our politics,” with women’s rights on the line and other issues being covered by the news on a national scale. She acknowledged that having an election every year in the Commonwealth can be overwhelming but, she added, now is the time for action.

“Our district is very diverse, we’re one of the youngest districts in the Commonwealth. We’ve got a huge opportunity here and I am asking voters who are unsure, who are tired to look around. If you’re looking around and worried about your rights or worried about the state of democracy, your vote is your voice,” she said.

Last year, the turnout for the Democratic primary saw an 11 percent drop from the 2017 primary. While non-presidential election years tend to have a lower turnout, this is still a significant drop to take note of.

Citizens who may be unsure of their registration status can look up their information on vote.elections.virginia.gov/VoterInformation. More information on voting in Falls Church City is available at fallschurchva.gov.