With still a week to go, over 20 percent of registered voters in the City of Falls Church had as of yesterday already cast their ballots in this year’s critical midterm election, according to City voter registrar David Bjerke. And, all of the headaches associated with errors in the mailing of redistricted voter information experienced in Fairfax County have not, Bjerke said, impacted City voters.
So the City is going for yet another No. 1 ranking for highest voter turnout in Virginia, even as activists here are looking for ways to make a difference in three nearby races that will have crucial national significance, those in three Virginia congressional districts where first-time incumbent Democratic women are facing stiff challenges. Abigail Spanberger, Jennifer Wexton and Elaine Luria are all facing major challenges from
first-time Republican challengers as control of the U.S. Congress hangs in the balance.
But City of Falls Church residents have already or will find only one race on the ballot, that of incumbent Democratic U.S. Representative Donald S. Beyer, Jr. seeking election to a fifth two-year term.
His opponents are Karina Lipsman, the Republican nominee, and Teddy Fikre, an independent, both running for the first time.
Lipsman did not respond to a News-Press request for comment, and has clashed in comments about a reporter for another regional newspaper for his continued reporting on a statement she made earlier in the campaign that she felt Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s top public health advisor, should be jailed for how he handled the Covid-19 pandemic. Otherwise, on her website she has almost no mention of the kind of divisive stances on election viability or abortion that have dominated other Republican candidacies around the U.S.
In a statement to the News-Press, Fikre said “my aim all along was to present a fundamental alternative to the status quo.” He said, “This year, unlike any other, presents a unique opportunity for Americans to reject ‘politics as usual’ and instead get behind an authentic independent…My dad told me a long time ago that people can either keep pointing at the ills of the world, and by extension perpetuate inequities, or they can be part of the solution by presenting ideas that can better society.”
“The message of my campaign which I believe is much needed in a time when tribal politics and pervasive antagonism amongst fellow citizens are threatening to induce the very same social strife that turned me into a political refugee at the age of 8 years old.”
“I’ve talked to thousands of people over the last seven months and people have a deep desire to to turn away from this toxic ‘us versus them’ politics and instead grab onto our common humanity. That is the calling card of my campaign.”
In his statement to the News-Press, Beyer said, “This election will have major implications for the American economy, the fate of our democracy, and the health of our planet. For two years I have worked with the President and colleagues in Congress to deliver the kind of change that will help improve people’s lives which my constituents have called for.”
Beyer added, “We have accomplished much, helping fuel one of the strongest economic recoveries in American history, fighting the Covid pandemic, bringing poverty to an all-time low, and passing the most meaningful legislation in decades on gun violence, infrastructure, scientific research and manufacturing. We enacted the biggest climate bill ever passed, and legislation to bring down the cost of Americans’ prescription drugs. And I have worked hard to secure federal dollars for our region and the assistance of federal agencies for my constituents.”
Beyer concluded, “We still have so much more to do, especially to strengthen the economy and bring down the prices affecting American families. I am focused on those challenges with my fellow Democrats, and believe our Republican opposition has made it clear that they would take us in the wrong direction on all of these important issues. But regardless of who one supports, I encourage every Virginian and every American to vote in the midterm election, and I send my thanks to everyone for doing their civic duty and participating in our democracy.”