McLean Democrat Kathleen Murphy will challenge Virginia Del. Barbara Comstock (R-34th) in this November’s House of Delegates Election.
Murphy, a veteran political consultant who kicked off her campaign earlier this week, says she's running because she believes her opponent has failed to represent the best interests of the 34th District, which includes Great Falls and parts of Vienna, Tysons McLean and Loudoun County.
“I don’t believe that our delegate in Richmond votes for us,” Murphy told Patch. “She doesn’t vote for our priorities or our values and I think we can do better.”
Murphy, a Fairfax County resident for more than 20 years, said she plans focus on transportation, education and human rights issues during her campaign.
“There hasn’t been a positive that she’s done on women’s issues,” Murphy said.
Furthermore, Murphy disagreed with her opponent’s 2012 vote on House Bill 189, which gives private adoption agencies the authority to refuse adoptions on grounds of religion. Immediately upon its passage through the state legislature, the bill came under fire from LGBT groups.
“How can you vote against gay people being able to adopt a child?” Murphy asked.
In a statement to Patch, Susan Falconer, Comstock’s campaign manager, maintained that Comstock — a 30-year resident of Mclean — has always kept her constituents’ values and priorities in mind.
“No one has worked harder than Delegate Comstock for the priorities of our District – from promoting our technology community and passing significant legislation on tech jobs and teleworking, to reversing the proposed $120 million school budget cuts in Northern Virginia that faced us when she was first elected,” Falconer said. “She has helped secure more funding for our schools and led the effort on getting all day kindergarten in our schools and continues to fight for more in-state college spots for our college students.”
Falconer also cited Comstock’s action on humanitarian issues.
“She has been a leader on stopping the heinous crime of human trafficking in Virginia and helping those suffering from Lyme Disease," Falconer said. "Barbara has earned the bipartisan support of business, community and philanthropic leaders with her record of fighting for our priorities and delivering common sense results.”
Murphy also took issue with Comstock’s proposed legislation to deal with class sizes in Fairfax County Public Schools – a bill that Murphy said lacks an adequate source of funding.
“Comstock is proposing bills to limit the size of classes, but there’s no money behind what she’s proposing,” Murphy said. “It will only further exacerbate the problem of education funding.”
Murphy did acknowledge that Fairfax County schools were too crowded and were in need of change.
“I’ve got kids that went through Fairfax County Public Schools and I know that they’re good,” she said. “But as the population has increased they are crowded. I do think we need to be concerned about this.”
Finally, Murphy said that transportation improvements were a necessity in the region. She said the needed projects were "too numerous" to name all at once.
In her statement, Falconer also noted Comstock's work on transportation projects.
"She has been a champion for our local transportation concerns, most notably in the successful and completely bipartisan effort to change VDOT's plan for Route 7/Georgetown Pike intersection as well as fighting for sound walls in our local community," Falconer said.
Murphy said she wasn’t nervous or apprehensive about the campaign.
“I look forward to winning in November,” she said.
Murphy is the president of Johnson Murphy and Associates. She served in the administration of former President Bill Clinton as a Senior Advisor for International Trade issues at the Department of Commerce.
Murphy also serves on the Human Services Council and the Health Care Task Force for Fairfax County.