"He has the experience, energy and character to be an effective leader in the House of Delegates. He will fight for Fairfax and Vienna in Richmond, helping us get our fair share of transportation and education funding. I fully endorse his election."This endorsement is important for several reasons. Firstly, it isn't everyday that a sitting Member of Congress gets involved in a House of Delegates primary. Gerry's decision to endorse Mark Keam therefore says a lot about how strongly he believes Mark would make an excellent Delegate. Secondly, Gerry Connolly spent much of his Congressional campaign talking about how he believes local public service is something that is extremely important and this is something that Mark has also emphasized. Gerry has taken his involvement in the local community with him to Washington and Mark wants to take his involvement in the community with him down to Richmond. In both cases, I think their potential constituents are better served due to the emphasis on public service.
What's also interesting is that even though I strongly believe Gerry Connolly is serving the 11th District well and was honored to cast my vote for him, I don't think you could exactly describe him as a favorite of the netroots. Mark Keam, however, has garnered the support of many extremely active netroots activists in Northern Virginia. When you combine this with Mark's endorsement from the Sierra Club, NARAL, and other community leaders, I believe this is a prime example of how a variety of people believe that Mark will make an excellent member of the House of Delegates. I know I certainly do.
UPDATE: I just received the full statement from Gerry Connolly:
Today I am pleased to announce my enthusiastic support for and endorsement of Mark Keam as the next Delegate from the 35th District.
Mark is a highly-qualified candidate who has devoted his career to fighting for progressive change. He served under President Clinton at the Federal Communications Commission and the Small Business Administration, fought Bush Administration policies when he worked on Capitol Hill for the Senate Democratic Leadership and then joined the Government Relations office at Verizon, working with Democrats to extend high-speed internet access to underserved communities. In addition to his extensive legislative experience, he's been President of his homeowners association, serves on Governor Tim Kaine's Asian American Advisory Board, and played a key role both in my Congressional campaign and President Obama's successful effort in Fairfax County.
I believe that this race has attracted four worthy and capable candidates, but Mark Keam is a standout. He has the experience, energy and character to be an effective leader in the House of Delegates. He will fight for Fairfax and Vienna in Richmond, helping us get our fair share of transportation and education funding. I fully endorse his election, and I encourage voters in the 35th House of Delegates district to do the same.