Commentary, Local Commentary, News

The Reach: April 6-12, 2023

Orange Is The New Orange

Yes, the news of the week, month, and year right now is that former U.S. President Donald J. Trump surrendered to authorities, ‘perp walk’ and all, and was fingerprinted and booked. An indictment showed 34 counts of falsifying business records — all first-degree felonies — in a conspiracy to suppress information that could harm his presidential bid, including an affair with an adult film actress and a doorman claiming to know about another affair resulting in a child.

As one would expect, the President shout-posted about the “VERY UNFAIR VENUE” — a refrain of his whenever a court rules against him, blaming it on being in a city, or a blue state, or attacking the judge and their family — and once again vaguely referred to some sort of existential destruction that he alone is protecting us from.

In a perfect ‘like father, like son’ act of breathtaking inhumanity, Donald J. Trump, Jr. posted a Breitbart article to point right-wing mobs at the daughter of the judge — an all-too-familiar Trump family technique of threatening the families of individuals in the justice system.

This is likely the beginning of a years-long cascade of charges and trials and drama, with prosecutors seemingly having firm enough grasp on a thread that they’re finally willing to pull. They could get a lot of yarn.

Local Delegate Kaye Kory Announces Retirement

Delegate Kaye Kory (D-Fairfax) announced her retirement this week after nearly fifteen years in the seat.
When interviewed, Kory said the decision was independent of redistricting that had poised her and Del. Marcus Simon (D-Falls Church) to compete for the same district in June.

Three Candidates Qualify for New State Senate District Race

All three candidates seeking the Democratic nomination to represent Virginia’s new 37th Senate District, which includes Falls Church and Central Fairfax County, turned in sufficient signatures to qualify for the ballot in the Democratic Primary on June 20, per sources with the Democratic Party.

Saddam Salim and Chap Petersen both turned in their signatures first, meaning one of the two will be chosen at random to appear at the top of the ballot in June. Yalowitz will appear third. The names on the ballot will be locked after April 11.

This race is the one to watch in Northern Virginia this spring, as Petersen’s conservative voting record on gay rights, gun control — and most recently bullying of school boards during the pandemic (to open fully without any mask mandate, far before vaccines were widespread) is judged by a group of voters, 60% of whom have never seen his name on a ballot, and who have never had another option. Voters have never chosen Petersen when given a more progressive option, even when being overwhelmingly outspent.

Republican Announces State Senate Bid, Expects Petersen As Opponent

Republican Ken Reid, who moved to McLean in December 2021 from Norfolk and served as a Loudoun County supervisor until 2017, announced his bid for the Republican nomination for Virginia’s new (and aforementioned) 37th Senate District seat. Noting that Petersen, currently serving a district that includes Centreville instead of Falls Church, hasn’t had a GOP nominee run against him since 2011. Reid also criticized Petersen’s inconsistent voting record, saying “my opponent waffles between Right and Left just to stay in office,” making it clear he expects Petersen to prevail in the June 20 primary.

Though an “incumbent” with a substantial financial advantage (this writer assumes most readers are already well-aware, having witnessed stacks of what one local Democrat called “Chap crap” piling up at homes across the county), Petersen may not have such an easy contest ahead, even with two opponents.
Earliest indicators show nearly 80% of activists most likely to be primary voters oppose Petersen representing them, with many in deep-blue Falls Church frustrated with the possibility of being associated with Petersen’s politics, and many in Fairfax fed up with years of the same.