RESTON, VA — Reston voters will have a chance to meet and hear from the four Democratic Party candidates running to fill the vacant Virginia House of Delegates seat in District 7.
Mary Barthelson, Paul Berry, Shyamali Hauth, and Karen Keys-Gammara will take part in a candidate forum hosted by the Reston Citizens Association from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 2, at the Lake Ann Community Center, 1609-A Washington Plaza North in Reston.
RCA will moderate the free event, which will take place in the Jo Ann Rose Gallery. Residents will also have an opportunity to ask the candidates questions.
“RCA is very excited to offer this opportunity to connect the citizens of Reston with individuals running for state office that will represent our diverse district,” RCA President Lynne Mulston said, in a release. “This allows residents to obtain insight and hear from the candidates, so they may make informed decisions.”
The four Democrats are running to fill the seat vacated by Reston’s long-time delegate Ken Plum, who announced in February that he was not seeking reelection.
Barthelson, Berry, Hauth, and Keys-Gammara will be competing in the June 20 Democratic Party Primary to determine which of them will be on the ballot for the Nov. 7 election.
No Republican has come forward to declare their candidacy in this race. Prospective candidates have until June 20 to file to be on the November ballot.
For the past two months, most of the candidates have been out knocking on doors and picking up endorsements. On Monday, Town of Herndon Councilmember Naila Alam endorsed Barthelson.
“I am proud to endorse Mary for Delegate,” Alam said, in a release from the Barthelson campaign. “She has proven time and time again that she is a hardworking advocate for her community, and I have no doubt that she will continue to do so in the General Assembly. Mary is a person with integrity, and her dedication to improving the lives of those around her is truly inspiring. I believe that she will be an effective and trustworthy leader, and I encourage others to support her.”
John Farrell, who was recently elected the Reston Association president, had been a candidate in the District 7 race. When Farrell announced that he was withdrawing from the race on April 2, he endorsed Keys-Gammara.
“When Karen Keys Gamara announced her candidacy, I knew we had our candidate,” Farrell said. “She has spent her career representing kids in need of services before the courts. More than 18,000 residents in HD 7 have already voted for Karen multiple times. We know her, we know her values and her commitment to our future and our children’s future. We’ve also seen her in action, fighting for our community and standing firm against efforts to force a far right agenda on Fairfax County schools.”
When Berry announced his campaign in February, he listed nine endorsements, including Dels. Alfonso Lopez, Kaye Kory, and Elizabeth Guzman.
On Monday, Lowell Feld of the Blue Virginia blog endorsed Hauth in the District 7 race. She was also endorsed early on by her former employer, Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn.
Hauth has received the most donations in the District 7 race as of the last campaign finance filing, according to the Virginia Public Access Project. Between Jan. 1 and March 31, she raised $40,983, which was about $10,000 more than the $30,359 raised by Berry during the same time period. Hauth also won the Fairfax County Democratic Committee’s non-binding Pick Your Pony Straw Poll on March 26.
Early voting for the June 20 Democratic Party primary begins on May 6. Voters must register by May 29 to be eligible to vote in the June 20 primary. The deadline for requesting an absentee ballot for the Democratic primary is June 9.
Voters will head to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 7, to choose candidates running for the Virginia House of Delegates, the Virginia Senate, the Commonwealth’s Attorney, Clerk of the Fairfax Circuit Court, Fairfax County Sheriff, Chairman of Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, District Members of the Board of Supervisors, At-Large Members of the Fairfax County School Board, District Members of the School board, and Directors (vote for 3) of the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District.
The Fairfax County Democratic Committee is also conducting a caucus to choose which candidates running for the three at-large seats on the Fairfax County School Board and the three Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District Directors it will endorse. Since the school board races in the Hunter Mill and Mount Vernon districts are contested, those races are also included in the caucus.
Any Democratic voters who are not already an FCDC member, must register online by May 5, if they wish to vote in the caucus.
Online voting for the 2023 Democratic Endorsement Caucus will be open May 13-20, with in-person voting taking place May 20, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., at four locations, including the Reston Association conference room at 12001 Sunrise Valley Drive.
Click Here: Sadio Mane Jersey Sale
Get more local news delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for free Patch newsletters and alerts.