The Washington Post
July 22, 2011
THE RETIREMENT of a pair of veteran state senators in Northern Virginia, both Democrats who have served since 1996, has produced primary battles for the two soon-to-be-open seats. Both districts are Democratic-leaning, a posture that the party, which narrowly controls the state Senate, made sure to maintain in Virginia’s recently completed redistricting process. Primary voting has already started for absentees and culminates at the polls Aug. 23.
In addition to those State Senate contests, there is also an open-seat primary in what may be the most heavily Democratic district in the state: the 49th House of Delegates district, which comprises parts of southern Arlington and a slice of eastern Fairfax County. There, Alfonso H. Lopez, formerly the state’s top lobbyist in Washington, is a vastly more qualified candidate than Stephanie L. Clifford, who has some experience with national issues but little background at the state level.
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