One of three progressive Democrats will win the right to challenge Republican Tim McGhee and represent Alexandria and the region in Virginias Senate after Tuesdays primary.
For most of the campaign season, Del. Adam Ebbin (D-49), Arlington School Board Chair Libby Garvey and Alexandria City Councilman Rob Krupicka have had trouble differentiating themselves for 30th District voters, but as the race has progressed, so have the candidates individual identities.
So whos who among the candidates?
ADAM EBBIN LEANS ON EXPERIENCE
Ebbin has spent much of the campaign season leaning on his experience in Virginias General Assembly, where he has represented Alexandria and the region as state delegate for the 49th District since 2004.
The 47-year-old has stressed quality education throughout his campaign, much like his opponents, but also has called for more environmentally sound legislation and money to expand mass transit in the region.
The first openly gay member of the General Assembly made equality a theme of his campaign and has made human trafficking a staple of his political career.
No matter what his opponents threw at him, Ebbin maintained the one thing that separated him from his opponents is on-the-job training.
Were all good Democrats and in many cases, I would say in nearly every case, we agree on the policy, he said at a debate earlier this year. But I think that the fact that Ive been in Richmond and shown that I can pass bills or stand up on the floor, make a difference or change minds is an [advantage].
If I can pass legislation in the House than I can do something, Ebbin said. Im going to bring my experience, my knowledge, and do a good job no training required.
Libby Garvey, a 14-year veteran of the Arlington School Board, has campaigned on her toughness and ability to bring people together. Though her independent thinking has sometimes been unpopular with her colleagues, her message to voters has been about building relationships in Richmond to affect change.
Education has been a stump issue for Garvey, who has the endorsement of former 30th District Senator Patsy Ticer. But transportation often enveloped debates among candidates. Garvey spent much of her time blaming Krupicka for what she believes to be a lack of foresight on his part: his indecision several years ago allowed the Defense Department to plop their BRAC-133 building at Alexandrias Mark Center, three miles to the closest Metro station, she said.
The standstill congestion is expected to strangle the surrounding community and entangle motorists once federal workers finish moving in next year.
People are feeling like theyve not been heard. Theyre feeling that its going to benefit developers, not the city, Garvey said at a May debate. Alexandria is a wonderful place to live and we all want to keep it that way.
Garvey has been in hot water lately, though, for comments she made about her two opponents. At a debate held by the Alexandria Gay and Lesbian Community Association, she ridiculed Krupicka for repeatedly reminding voters he is the only candidate with children in public schools, saying it was code for commenting on Ebbin, who is gay, and cant have children in schools. Members of the gay community have since written letters to local media criticizing her comments.
A Del Ray resident, Krupicka has run his campaign on a platform revolving around education particularly early education reform and the environment, including eco-friendly mass transit options. He has sat on the city council since 2003 and is a governor-appointed member of the Virginia Board of Education.
Krupicka has spent much of the campaign shielding attacks from Garvey, who accused him of lacking leadership when the Defense Department asked the city to build its BRAC-133 buildings on Alexandrias West End.
I was against the Mark Center location at the beginning and Im against it now. I spent the last three years working to find solutions to it, Krupicka said in May. Libbys spent the last two months discovering BRAC exists.
On the city council, Krupicka is best known for his focus on pre-kindergarten education programs and environmental initiatives, like the Eco-City charter, which seeks to make Alexandria a model for environmentally sustainable cities.
The councilman has also vowed to fight for the sacred contract with Virginias veterans who return from war to find their lives significantly altered. He supports legislation to ensure they have access to education, employment and housing after fighting overseas.