Delegate John Bell kicked off his reelection campaign earlier today with a very energetic crowd of about 60 people — including at least a half dozen of his fellow elected officials.
It was good to see such a good crowd there for him because the 87th district, which he represents, is an extremely close race and he’s likely to be the number one target for the Republicans this year. In 2013, for instance, he lost the district by less than 150 votes before winning by about two percentage points in 2015. I know several outside organizations are also thinking about getting involved with voter education projects inside the district since it also overlaps with several senate districts that will be close in 2019.
In addition to several members of the state senate and members of the House of Delegates, Rep. Gerry Connolly was there and introduced John to the crowd. Gerry spoke about how the races this year are about more than just one individual race. Instead, he suggested, it’s about winning back our communities and making sure the public has a say in our government.
That truly seemed to match what the mood in the room was suggesting. Several people I spoke to hadn’t been involved in the process, but decided to start doing more after they were shocked by the results of the election. One woman told me about how some of her first political activity was making phone calls to her elected officials in opposition to the nomination of Jeff Sessions to be Attorney General and Betsy DeVos to be Secretary of Education. She’s now trying to also get involved in local issues as well.
This isn’t just limited to John’s district as I’ve heard similar stories at events I’ve been going to all across Northern Virginia. But if Virginia’s considered important because it’s a swing state and having the first statewide referendum on the Trump Administration, then John’s district is especially important since it’s such a swing district.
With all that in mind, here’s video of what John had to say: