It should come as no surprise to regular readers of this newspaper that it is once again officially endorsing Falls Church’s “favorite son,” U.S. Rep. Donald S. Beyer, Jr., in this month’s Democratic primary election. Early voting is already underway, and Election Day proper is June 21. Beyer’s lone challenger in this election is a woman seeking public office for the first time, Victoria Virasingh.
In a flier sent out by the Beyer campaign last week, a January 1, 1939 photo is included that shows Clara Beyer, the congressman’s grandmother, with Frances Perkins, the first female cabinet secretary in U.S. history, and a quote from the congressman stating, “My grandmother, Clara Beyer, worked tirelessly for those who had no voice. She worked when women were not welcome in the halls of power.
But she was there, fighting for fair labor standards, child protection and Social Security. I spoke with my grandmother every day, the last 10 years of her life. She inspired my passion for fairness and equality — the foundations of our democracy. I am proud of her life of contribution, and I hear her voice guiding me every day.”
Beyer’s grandmother died at age 98 the same year that her grandson won his first elected office, as lieutenant governor of Virginia, a post to which he was reelected four years later. He lost a run for governor in 1998 to what was little more than a populist slogan.
He continued to work tirelessly for Democrats, including being one of the first to openly commit to the candidacy of President Barack Obama. When long-time U.S. Rep. Jim Moran chose not to seek another term, Beyer won handily a hotly contested primary and the office in 2015.
Beyer’s flier mailed this last week also includes a quote from Rep. Nancy Pelosi, which states, “There is no member of Congress who works harder than Don Beyer. Don has been essential to our work pushing forward critical progressive legislation. For you and for America, please keep Don Beyer in Congress.”
We could not more hardily agree with Rep. Pelosi. Don Beyer is far, far more than just one more Democratic vote in the narrowly divided U.S. Congress.
If the Democrats are going to hold into the House this November, against the odds, it will be in part because of what Beyer has done and continues to do, inspiring persons of all ages and stations in life to manifest the values that he so readily expresses in his work and in his life, going back to the days when he worked with his parent’s Volvo dealership in the City of Falls Church and was elected president of the Greater Falls Church Chamber of Commerce in the mid-1980s.
When he introduced Vice President Kamala Harris at an event in Falls Church last week, he opened by saying how delighted he was to welcome her to “the actual geographic center of the universe, Falls Church.”