New Contender in 49th House Race Rips GOP Majority in Richmond
By Scott McCaffrey, Sun Gazette
May 5, 2011
Democrat Alfonso Lopez kicked off his bid for 49th House of Delegates May 4 with a stinging attack on Republicans who control the elected body he hopes to join.
“Republican priorities are fundamentally flawed, and they ignore the real needs of Virginians,” Lopez told about 200 members of the Arlington County Democratic Committee as he launched into a primary race against Stephanie Dix Clifford.
They will vie to succeed Del. Adam Ebbin, who eschewed a re-election bid to run for state Senate. The 49th District skews heavily Democratic, making the Aug. 23 primary likely the only election that matters.
The district includes much of South Arlington as well as portions of adjacent areas in Fairfax County. The Alexandria portion of the district, from which Ebbin sprang into office nearly a decade ago, has been shifted into another House district.
A former vice chairman of the Arlington County Democratic Committee and member of the county government’s Fiscal Affairs Advisory Commission, Lopez promised to be a “champion for Arlington’s values.”
“Tolerance, compassion and protecting the civil rights of others are simply the right thing to do,” said Lopez, who quit his job as assistant administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration to run for the seat.
He previously worked in the Kaine administration as director of the governor’s Washington liaison office.
Two years ago, Lopez considered running for the vacant 47th District House seat, but eventually opted against it. Patrick Hope won the Democratic primary and general election in the 47th, and this year is seeking re-election in that district.
Andres Tobar, who introduced Lopez to the crowd, called him a “proven Democratic leader . . . passionate and effective, a strong advocate for our values.”
Lopez in 2004 was named Virginia Young Democrat of the Year, and served as president of the Democratic Latino Organization of Virginia. Locally, he has served on the boards of the Shirlington Employment and Education Center and the Arlington Veterans’ YMCA.