By Scott McCaffrey, Arlington Sun Gazette
June 10, 2011
The two Democrats vying for their party’s nomination for the 49th House of Delegates seat have rolled out new endorsements.
Former Del. Karen Darner, who once represented the district in Richmond, has endorsed Alfonso Lopez, as has state Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple (D-31st), while former U.S. Rep. and state Sen. Leslie Byrne has endorsed Stephanie Clifford.
Lopez and Clifford are vying to succeed incumbent Democrat Adam Ebbin, who is giving up the seat to run for state Senate.
Darner had preceded Ebbin in the 49th District, and said she was supporting Lopez because of his longtime involvement in the political process.
“Alfonso has the passion and experience necessary to be an effective advocate for our progressive values in Richmond,” she said, calling Lopez “the right person at the right time for the 49th.”
Whipple, who is chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus, echoed similar themes in her endorsement.
“Alfonso has a long record fighting for our community, and has the depth of knowledge on the issues that will make him an effective representative for the 49th District,” she said in a statement.
Byrne said she was supporting Clifford because of her progressive bona fides and down-to-earth personality.
Clifford “has the characteristics and skills necessary to be an effective delegate for the people of Northern Virginia,” Byrne said.
Lopez and Clifford will square off in an Aug. 23 primary. So far, no Republicans or other candidates have announced plans to seek the seat.