Del. Mark D. Sickles (D-43) officially launched his re-election campaign Sunday, May 6 in front of an overflow crowd at the home of Susie Warner on Edison Drive in the Lee District. "This is the fourth kick-off event Mark has held here," said Warner, director, Constituent Services for U.S. Rep. James P. Moran (D-8).
Topping the list of political leaders in attendance to endorse Sickles' re-election bid was the recently elected Minority Leader of the Virginia House of Delegates, Ward L. Armstrong (D-10) from Martinsville. Introducing him to the Northern Virginia crowd was Sen. Linda T. "Toddy" Puller (D-36).
"The Democrats are going to fight back toward once again becoming the majority party in this coming General Assembly election," said Puller. "We should get to 45 this year. This is going to be a great year in Richmond for the Democrats."
"This is going to be a great year for Democrats in Richmond," said Armstrong, buttressing Puller’s remarks. "But, we must return incumbents to make that so. We can't get to 51 if we start going backward."
"I need to make sure you not only support Mark for re-election but that you go out and knock on doors and open your check books," he said. "We are in a struggle for the heart and soul of Virginia. People are sick of the personal agendas that have been running Richmond."
ADDRESSING THE crowd assembled on the back decks of the house, Sickles started off by remembering his first campaign launched from the same spot. "We've had a good run in Richmond since I've been there with Governors Warner and Kaine. We've been able to tackle issues that have helped all Virginians," Sickles said.
"But, we've got huge issues coming up such as the impact of BRAC bringing 22,000 people to this area of Northern Virginia," he said. "We were able to pass a transportation bill this past session and the governor signed it. If six of the nine local governments in Northern Virginia agree with its provision it will provide real help."
Noting that Armstrong had only taken over as Minority Leader in the last eight weeks "in a bloodless caucus coup," Sickles presented him with a "Sickles for Delegate" T-shirt which Armstrong promptly put on over his French cuffed shirt and silk tie. "It's great to have our new Minority Leader here to help launch my re-election campaign," Sickles said.
"Ward is providing strong leadership as we fight to move Virginia forward. There is so much that remains to be done to make sure that the new economy continues to flourish all across this Commonwealth," he said.
Praising retiring Supervisor Dana Kauffman (D-Lee), Sickles offered his endorsement of Jeff McKay, Kauffman's long-time chief of staff, who officially launched his campaign the day before to replace Kauffman on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. "Jeff knows Lee District and the challenges we face," Sickles said.
"He is prepared to help continue the redevelopment of Lee District in our unique citizen-led fashion. He is also prepared and committed to the critically important effort to maintain our older communities by ensuring compliance with our zoning laws," he said.
"Jeff serves as chairman of my Transportation Advisory Committee. I look forward to working even more closely with him over the next several years to make South Fairfax County an even better place to live," said Sickles, concluding the afternoon event.