Editor’s Note — With all 100 seats in Virginia’s House of Delegates on the ballot, Tysons Reporter is running Q&A-style profiles of the races in the Tysons area this week ahead of the general election next Tuesday (Nov. 2). The candidates’ responses have been edited for length and clarity.
While the 48th House District is primarily situated in Arlington, it also includes southern McLean between the Dulles Toll Road and Old Dominion Drive.
A science teacher who lives in McLean, Republican nominee Edward Monroe is the first person from either major party to challenge Del. Rip Sullivan since the current House Democratic Caucus chair won the 48th District seat in a special election in 2014.
Who are you?
- Raised and attended public schools in Northern Virginia, along with his wife, Beth. They have four children and four grandchildren.
- Graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College with a law degree from the University of Virginia
- Partner in the law firm Bean Kinney & Korman, P.C., in Arlington
- Chair of the House Democratic Caucus
- Served as House Democratic Caucus Campaign Chair in 2017 and 2019, during which the party took control of both the House and Senate
- Chairs subcommittees that deal with energy, corporate and individual income tax bills, and judge elections for all Virginia courts
“As a Delegate, Rip has fought every year to encourage the growth of Virginia’s clean energy and energy efficiency sectors, promote access to the ballot box, protect and advance LGBTQ rights, and de-politicize the redistricting process,” Sullivan’s office said.
- Born and raised in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, PA, the youngest of three
- Joined the U.S. Peace Corps after college
- Has a nearly 20-year teaching career across Maryland, D.C, and Virginia
- A former Fulbright Fellow who is currently earning a graduate degree in education leadership
- Assisted in the General Election of 2020 as an Elections Officer at a local precinct
“As a husband and father, I am engaged in my faith-based community and have supported youth sports through coaching and officiating,” Monroe said. “My focus is on representation, education, and a responsive energy infrastructure.”
What would you cite as your top accomplishments of the past term?
Sullivan: During the 2020 session, Rip introduced the historic Virginia Clean Economy Act to advance the Commonwealth’s clean energy sector and promote energy efficiency and a life-saving “Red Flag” law to curb gun violence before a single shot is fired, among other significant pieces of legislation. Rip worked diligently with stakeholders and his colleagues to ultimately ensure that these landmark bills became law.
Why are you running for office?
Monroe: For me, the value of community service and representation became clear in my experience with the US Peace Corps. As a volunteer, I witnessed first-hand the difficult transitions underway in southeastern Europe, from command and control to participatory democracy. I was struck by the importance of good representation, provided by dedicated individuals who simply took seriously the interests of their communities.
Now, at home in the 48th District, I recognize the difficult conversations necessary for finding a path forward on a variety of topics. I am running as a Republican in a District that for a number of years has had only one candidate on the ballot. If we believe that our system of government is of high quality, then we need to take steps to fully utilize it. I am thankful for having the opportunity to do my part.
If elected, what would be your top priorities?
Sullivan: If re-elected Rip’s main priorities would be to continue to pass meaningful legislation to support job creation through growing our economy by increasing workforce training programs, access to capital for small businesses, and creating incentives for small-business development.
Rip understands that every child deserves a high-quality education and will continue fighting for teachers as well as our children. As long as Rip remains in the General Assembly he will make sure that Virginia remains a leader on issues such as climate change and will always defend a woman’s right to choose.
Monroe: I have had the opportunity to talk with so many wonderful people. Based on those conversations, there are several issues that stand out:
- Education: I see that investing in our schools means investing in our children. For example, there’s a lot we can do to strengthen the connections between education and careers. I would be happy to get to work on this and other important education topics.
- Environment: Virginia is fortunate to have a stable energy infrastructure that we can rely on. While change is underway, we will need to diversify our means of production, transmission and utilization. Let’s invest in our energy future by building upon public and private partnerships based in Virginia.
- Representation: In the last year, there was increase in state legislation by over 35% from previous years. I think we can spend less time legislating and more time in reaching out to our communities. I call this putting the “present” back in “representation.”
Is there anything else you would like to say to voters?
Sullivan: Make your voice heard and vote!
Monroe: I like to say that voting is the least we should do as citizens. Think of all the uncounted hours that one might contribute, this is the type of effort upon which everything else depends. Thank you for being a part of the 48th District, and thank you for casting your vote.
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