Profile: Chris Grisafe, Candidate for Providence District Supervisor
The Coast Guard veteran is running against incumbent Linda Smyth
At A Glance
- Born: Arizona, grew up in South California
- Education: B.A. in Political Science from Loyola Marymount University; MBA from Virginia Tech’s Northern Virginia Campus
- Occupation: Project Manager
Republican Chris Grisafe thinks it’s about time Fairfax County officials were held accountable for the work they do on behalf of the residents. That’s why he’s running for Supervisor of the Providence District against incumbent Linda Smyth.
“I’m here to restore the people’s voice. I will listen to them, I will be in there in the community and their priorities will be my priorities,” Grisafe said. “I will be held accountable so they know what I’m working on and they’ll be able to see my objectives, see where I’ve succeeded and fallen short.”
Grisafe, who has lived in Northern Virginia for the last six years and moved to the Providence District last year, believes his mix of experience gives him an understanding of the Providence community and its needs. Grisafe spent four years in the U.S. Coast Guard, which he said was “time well spent” due to the lessons and values he learned. Soon after his tour ended, he obtained his bachelor’s degree in political science from Loyola Marymount University and later moved here to Virginia where he took a job as a special assistant in the Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service. He currently serves as a project manager and also as the vice president of his condo association.
“Chris is one of the most genuine people I have ever known. He has a true passion for helping others and his community. [He] is incredibly hardworking, driven and intelligent. He seeks reason over partisanship and commonsense solutions over party line votes or decisions,” said Kevin Donnelly, a friend of Grisafe’s for the last seven years.
That desire to help others is just another reason why Grisafe decided to run for the supervisor position. Though part of his platform is about accountability, having more transparency in the county budget is another key issue for Grisafe. In order to achieve this transparency, he believes Fairfax County needs to follow a “trust, but verify” philosophy.
“For us to have a discussion about the budget, we need to be able to view the budget. It’s important for the taxpayers to trust that their officials are being judicious with their money and can verify that for themselves,” Grisafe said. “There should not be one dollar out of public view.”
Growing up in Southern California, Grisafe said he remembers how hard his father worked to make ends meet to help raise him, a situation similar to that of many Providence and Fairfax County residents. “Every dollar given to the county is one less dollar that that individual who worked for that can spend on their own family, pursuing their own dreams, putting food on the table or providing for their children,” Grisafe said.
Another key issue to his platform is creating more of a partnership between the Fairfax County School Board and the Board of Supervisors. Grisafe, who is the first in his family to graduate college and worked to pay his way through, believes that partnership will help improve the schools in the Providence community and the county as a whole.
"His moral compass is strong, his energy and passion are immense, and his fresh take on government and how it should operate in Fairfax is refreshing and desperately needed,” Donnelly said.
Grisafe says he’s the kind of guy who says what he does and does what he says. If elected, that’s what he wants residents in the Providence District to always remember and hold him accountable to do.
“I know what it means to put country first. I’ve done it. You need leaders who are putting their community first, before politics and before themselves and I’ve done that. That’s what I bring to the table,” Grisafe said.
Donnelly agrees. “If elected, I strongly believe that Chris would not only aim to hold others accountable in government but ensure that the public holds him accountable for his actions as well," he said.