Calling himself the only candidate in the race who brings both “extensive local government management and foreign policy experience,” Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerry Connolly (D) late last week officially entered the race for the 11th district seat that is being vacated by Rep. Tom Davis (R).
Connolly, who spent 10 years as a senior staffer for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee before he began working in the Fairfax County government, launched his exploratory committee in early January, weeks before Davis announced he would not seek an eighth term.
Connolly is facing former Rep. Leslie Byrne — who lost her seat after one term to Davis in the 1994 election — in the Democratic primary. Earlier this month, Byrne earned the endorsement of the powerful fundraising group EMILY’s List, which backs female Democratic candidates who support abortion rights.
On the Republican side, businessman Keith Fimian, who has proved to be a strong fundraiser, is the party’s most likely candidate so far. The Virginia filing deadline is April 11.
— John McArdle