There’s an old saying that “showing up is half the battle.” If that’s indeed the case, then Kenny Boddye winning yesterday’s Democratic primary for the Occoquan District seat on the Prince William County Board of Supervisors shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone because he’s simply a force to be reckoned with.
It often feels like Kenny is at every single community event in Prince William and I’ve also run into him at various events in Fairfax, Loudoun, and other parts of Virginia. And if he’s not out at an event, he’s knocking on doors no matter what the weather. If you follow him online, you’ve probably seen photos and/or videos of him out canvassing in everything from freezing cold temperatures in the middle of January to mid-summer downpours that most people wouldn’t even dream of venturing out in.
These efforts have allowed Kenny to build relationships with a variety of people across the Commonwealth of Virginia. Even at an election night party in Fairfax County I attended last night, for instance, people were excited when the results showed Kenny had won his primary. That’s because most of the activists there had seen him in action and knew he’d be a supervisor who’d truly strive to engage the public.
It’s also noteworthy that Delegate Danica Roem lives in the Occoquan District and she’s garnered a lot of support across party lines because her office is good at constituent outreach. She’s held at least 20 town halls since being sworn in and, like Kenny, is constantly attending events out in the community. Even Republican leaders will openly admit they believe she’s one of the most responsive members of the House of Delegates. This goes to show voters in this specific district reward elected officials who work hard at engaging the community, even if they don’t agree with them on all the issues.
Now that Kenny won the Democratic primary by almost a two to one margin (he defeated his opponent 64% to 36%), he’ll be going up against incumbent Supervisor Ruth Anderson in the general election. Anderson is currently serving in her first term on the Prince William County Board of Supervisors and is a retired nurse and Air Force officer. She defeated Occoquan Mayor Earnie Porta back in 2015 to win her seat on the board.
Taking on an incumbent obviously brings about some challenges as they often have a name recognition advantage and Anderson does currently have a slight edge in terms of cash on hand. This is where Kenny’s constant efforts to be out in the community engaging voters could truly become beneficial if they cut into any advantage Anderson’s incumbency gives her.