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She didn’t deviate from the progressive-Democratic playbook – no surprise, given her audience – but the vice mayor of Alexandria on March 3 launched a bid for General Assembly with a call to develop a stronger Virginia in the post-COVID world.
“We need to build an economy that works for all of us,” said Elizabeth Bennett-Parker, who is seeking the seat of Del. Mark Levine in the 45th District.
Speaking to the Arlington County Democratic Committee, Bennett-Parker said her experience as a small-business owner, non-profit leader and as member of a local governing body will allow her to bring a different way of thinking to the legislature.
“Serving in local government has given me a unique insight,” said Bennett-Parker, who recorded a kickoff video for Arlington Democrats because she was attending an Alexandria budget hearing that evening.
The solidly Democratic 45th District is centered in Alexandria but includes Arlington neighborhoods from Shirlington almost up to Pentagon City. Levine won the seat in 2015 after incumbent Rob Krupicka opted to focus more time on his business, and has held it since.
Krupicka has endorsed Bennett-Parker, as has Marian Van Landingham, who also once held the seat.
Levine, an attorney, entered the political arena by running in the crowded 2014 Democratic primary to succeed U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-8th). That was won by Don Beyer, but Levine a year later scored a surprise victory among better-known figures in the Democratic primary for the 45th.
This spring, Levine is running concurrent races both for renomination and for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor, with voting for both slated for a June 8 primary.
Two other members of the Arlington delegation to the House of Delegates – Patrick Hope in the 47th and Alfonso Lopez in the 49th – also are facing primary challenges in June. The fourth member of the delegation, Rip Sullivan, is unopposed.
In an ordinary year, delegates would be running in newly redrawn districts. But the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 data has been delayed, meaning the districts cannot be reconfigured in time for the general election.
The filing deadline for House of Delegates candidates to run in the primary is March 30.