With two weeks to go before the deadline, it appears that no one is planning to throw their hat in the ring to replace retiring State Del. Jim Scott in a Democratic primary.
When Scott announced his plans March 3 to retire after 20 years in elected office, he immediately threw his support to Marcus Simon, a Democratic operative who’s never sought public officer before, as his preferred replacement.
That move apparently scared off others who could have been thinking about seeking the office. Scott’s 53rd District that includes the City of Falls Church is staunching pro-Democratic, so that whomever wins a June 11 primary would likely be the next state delegate from here.
Two other things should normally have drawn a bevy of candidates: 1. it is very easy to qualify for the ballot (only 125 valid petition signatures from the 53rd District and a filing fee of $325, and 2. this marks the first time in over 20 years that a position is wide open for such a high office for Falls Church area residents.
Of course, there is still ample time. Anyone can go onto the Virginia State Board of Elections website and pull off the petition forms, and spend time the next two weeks to gather 125 qualified signatures. “Qualified” means anyone who is a registered voter in the 53rd District.
There is also no indicator whether someone will step up to campaign for the post from the Republican side. The GOP will do all its primary candidate selections at a state convention May 17-18.
Meanwhile, the grounds for the June 11 Democratic primary were laid with the filing of papers by two contenders for lieutenant governor – Aneesh Chopra and Ralph Northam – filed their petition signatures in Richmond Monday.
Chopra, from Arlington, was appointed by President Obama as the first Chief Technology Officer of the U.S. after earlier serving as Virginia’s fourth secretary of technology. Northam is a state senator from the sixth district.
There is also the likelihood that there will be two candidates contending for the Democratic nomination to run for attorney general. Mark Herring and Ward Armstrong are both announced candidates.
For governor, there appears to be no candidate who will challenge former Democratic National Committee chair Terry McAuliffe in the primary.
Meanwhile, veteran Arlington Supervisor Jay Fisette has filed his papers to seek election to another term.
Del. Scott, who will carry out the remainder of his current term through the end of December, is due to leave on a short vacation to South Africa this week, and he told the News-Press that a number of prospects who’d been rumored as possible challengers to replace him have stated definitively they won’t run.