With Rep. Tom Davis stepping down, Fairfax County will see its first race for an open congressional seat in at least 16 years.
About one third of the 11th District is in Prince William County, but the other two-thirds is located in the City of Fairfax and Fairfax County — spanning parts of Vienna, Burke, Annandale, Springfield, and Lorton.
Democrats are optimistic about their prospects. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has indicated they are willing to devote a lot of resources to the race and several local legislative seats in this area have flipped from Republican to Democrat in recent years.
Their candidate, Fairfax County chairman Gerry Connolly, has also held the top local elected office since 2003 and won by large margins in his last chairman’s race and the congressional primary in June.
Connolly said he has a track record of success in the public sector and that he wants to bring his "can do" attitude to the federal government. The chairman is a favor of ending the War in Iraq and has said, repeatedly, that "torture in not an American value." Connolly, who has pushed green policies on the local government level, said he also wants to become a national leader on environmental issues.
But Keith Fimian has raised an impressive amount of money, more than $1 million as of June 30. In a year of unusual candidates, he is also running as the outsider and emphasizes he is not a "career politician."
The Republican promotes his training as a certified public accountant and said he would focus on getting federal spending under control and reducing the national debt. Fimian tells voters he wants the United States to remain competitive in a global economy and is in favor of lower taxes.