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Votes

Letter: Supporting Comstock

To the Editor:

Recently Kathleen Murphy, who is running against our current delegate, Barbara Comstock, called me to ask for my support. She said her friend, former Delegate Margi Vanderhye, told her I was open minded, liked to support the best candidate regardless of party and that she should talk with me. 

I did, in fact, support the then-incumbent, Ms. Vanderhye, in Delegate Comstock’s first race in 2009. But I explained to Ms. Murphy that Barbara had done a great job on technology issues and jobs legislation and that she works tirelessly on our local community traffic issues, power issues and quality of life issues, and that I supported Barbara enthusiastically in 2011 and was going to continue to do so again in 2013. At this point Ms. Murphy spent 15 minutes attacking Barbara, trying to change my mind.

It didn't work. Instead, this politics-as-usual attack (which I hate) reinforced the wisdom of my decision to support Barbara. From the time she was elected, Barbara has worked together with a large cross section of our community—those who supported her and those who didn’t—to get things done. Weeks after she won her first election, she reached out to me, knowing that I supported her opponent. She asked for my advice and she listened and then she acted. We need more politicians like that—who listen to real people, including those who did not initially support them.

On the state front, she has been a leader promoting Northern Virginia’s technology community and a go-to person to sponsor key legislation such as the important Data Center legislation that has kept this industry growing and thriving in the commonwealth; the first ever telework tax credit bills that had languished in committees for years before Barbara’s leadership; and an extension of the capital gains exemption for new tech investments in the commonwealth to free up entrepreneurs to risk their capital and create jobs across the commonwealth. She wrote the law requiring competitive bidding on state projects which already is estimated to have saved up to $400 million on Phase II of Dulles Rail and will save the commonwealth hundreds of millions more in years to come. 

Since all politics is local, on the hyper-local front, she was a leader in stopping the dangerous two lane turn that VDOT had planned to install at Georgetown Pike and Route 7, worked with a Great Falls coalition, including GFCA, that totally reversed the misguided plan, and is now involved in providing guidance for the long needed widening of Route 7. When the “Go Ape” proposal for Riverbend Park surfaced, Barbara worked with many of us in Great Falls to stop this crass commercialization of our local park and she became part of the solution in raising more money for our parks by supporting the Friends of Riverbend Park Foundation (of which my wife, Caren, is a board member) and through the Fairfax County Parks Foundation on which Barbara's husband, Chip, serves. 

With her husband Chip serving in Fairfax County Schools for 30 years now, she also has a family dedication to education that is reflected in her fighting for more resources for Northern Virginia schools and our colleges and universities. 

I strongly endorse Barbara Comstock to continue as our delegate. She is a true leader, a problem solver, someone who listens to and works with everyone, and who has established a strong record of results for our community. She has earned my support and deserves re-election.

John Backus

Great Falls