David Farajollahi

David Farajollahi

Democratic Manassas City Councilmember David Farajollahi has withdrawn from the special election for his seat in November, leaving Republican Lynn Forkell Greene as the only candidate on the ballot still seeking the office.

Early voting in November’s election began last month, but Farajollahi announced in social media messages this week that he had to focus on his full-time job in the federal government, as a congressional liaison for the U.S. Geological Survey. 

While there have been challenges to how the Hatch Act should be interpreted regarding local office, the 1939 law does prohibit federal employees from running for partisan political office. Although Farajollahi was running as an independent, he has been aligned with and backed by local Democrats.

“Unfortunately, the focus the last few weeks has been on me as a federal employee instead of what is important to the citizens of the city of Manassas,” Farajollahi wrote. “I want that focus to always remain on the people’s business and moving the city of Manassas forward. That is why I believe it is best for me to withdraw as a candidate in this special election.”

Farajollahi was chosen by City Council from a crowded field of candidates to fill Michelle Davis-Younger’s council seat after she won the mayor’s race last year. At the time, he suggested he would probably seek re-election and then filed paperwork to do so. He couldn’t immediately be reached by InsideNoVa for comment.

Forkell Greene will almost certainly join Theresa Coates Ellis as the only Republicans on the six-member council.  She’s been a frequent critic of what she says is a lack of transparency from the council and city government. 

In September, the Manassas native spoke regularly at council meetings about the need to guarantee the Greater Manassas Baseball League a permanent home with the council’s move to pre-approve a sale of the current baseball and softball complex to Micron. She has also criticized the Grant Avenue “road diet” project in Georgetown South, saying neighborhood residents weren’t kept in the loop on the project and don’t like it.

“I just look for as many ways to give back to my community as possible,” Forkell Greene told InsideNoVa in July. “So I am always looking for the next food drive or backpack drive or community conversation, I’m very involved. … It really is a passion of mine to give back to my community.”

 

 

 

Jared Foretek covers the Manassas area and regional news across Northern Virginia. Reach him at jforetek@insidenova.com

Reporter

Jared Foretek covers the Manassas area and regional news across Northern Virginia. Reach him at jforetek@insidenova.com

(9) comments

Pamela Kincheloe

What the article fails to mention is that Manassas Republican Committee member Russ Harrison reported Mr. Farajollahi's alleged Hatch Act violations to Mr. Farajollahi's employer directly with even notifying Mr. Farajollahi, Manassas Democrats or Virgina's Election Board. This was no "aha" moment. This was a carefully crafted hit job to eliminate the competition when it was obvious that Mr. Farajollahi was likely to win the seat on the city Council which he had occupied since January. But this is no surprise given the current status of the cult-like GOP. Anything to win: Lie, cheat and claim that everything is rigged or unfair. Shame of Russ Harrison who probably suffers from sour grapes over his loss when he ran for Treasurer. So sad.

George Lawton

Nice work Russ. Rejects like Pam think they’re above the law.

Manassas Mike

The Republican candidate has spent the last couple of years standing in front of City Council offering denigrating and illogical comments, all under the guise of "transparency". Most of it just to attract attention, since hardly anything she offered was constructive. Karma's about to pay her a visit. I can't wait for citizen time when she's on the receiving end of the nasty vitriol she previously exhibited.

Paul Benedict

You are upset that she is using democrat tactics? Are you so blind that you are oblivious to your double standards?

Manassas Mike

Those are not Democratic tactics. They are the tool of a loud person, postulating for attention while offering no practical ideas or solutions. A crying toddler is the closest example that comes to mind.

Allen Muchnick

Labeling Mr. Farajollahi as a "Democrat" or "Democratic" is inaccurate. While he has strongly supported Democratic values, Mr. Farajollahi appropriately qualified for the election ballot as an independent and was only later endorsed by the Democratic Party.

It's unfortunate that some Manassas Republicans have engaged in voter suppression, by filing a Hatch Act complaint that jeopardized Mr. Farajollahi's continued federal employment.

In his nine months as an appointed member of the Manassas City Council, Mr. Farajollahi clearly demonstrated his effectiveness as a valuable member of the local governing body.

Since Mr. Farajollahi's name will remain on the election ballot, Manassas voters remain free to vote for him and register their lack of confidence in the misguided and attention-seeking Republican candidate.

Paul Benedict

So, filing a Hatch Act complaint is voter suppression? That's the dumbest thing I have heard since Rev. Baily asked police to investigate someone with a different opinion. Who didn't get to vote?

Matt LaFramboise

Is it dumber than saying COVID19 is a fake Pandemic created by the cabal while in the same sentence pushing horse dewormer as a treatment against said COVID-19 fake pandemic?

Paul Benedict

Good news for Manassas

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