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Democrat Kathleen Murphy to Oppose Comstock in November

Murphy, a McLean resident, plans to focus on human rights, transportation and education.

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 Tysons, Vienna, 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.

Murphy called Comstock’s voting record “egregious,” pointing specifically to her affirmative votes on women’s rights issues such as transabdominal ultrasounds and personhood.

“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.

Navid Roshan February 02, 2013 at 04:09 AM
Ok, any growth puts more of a burden, that is fair. But the problem is the world isn't that simple. Opposing growth in fairfax means more people will continue to move into pwc and loudoun. Those people use Fairfax's roads to get to Fairfax, Arlington and DC, and now (unlike if they had lived in Fairfax) they dont even pay towards the infrastructure that they use. That is the worst case scenario sir. I respect what you have done with the MCA, I thought you were actually a good moderate voice on development and its importance in bringing money into our community and good jobs. But all development is not equal. There is such a thing as sustainable development, and what smart growth at its core is intended to do is to make sure, to the greatest extent possible, that the tax payers are not on the hook for robber baron mentality when it comes to land development. That is what smart growth is. What it isnt? It isnt a mandate on others lifestyles. It is for providing more options so we as residents can enjoy the kind of lives we want to live. Teddy Roosevelt once said better cities preserve our natural lands. If you don't believe it, go to New York City, then head about 50 miles in land from New York City. Then report back.
Navid Roshan February 02, 2013 at 04:14 AM
Your statement is devoid of reality. Many of the states with the lowest state tax rates are the highest receivers of federal aid and the highest unemployment. The reason why Virginia's economy is at 5.5% is because of Northern Virginia. Removing the counties of Loudoun, PWC, Arlington, and Fairfax Virginia actually has an unemployment rate of 9.5%, one of the worst on the east coast. I hate to break it to you, but "socialist" NOVA is kicking the crap outta the low tax haven lands of the rest of the state, and the effective tax rate on business (including localized tax rates in order to make up for the lack of state funding) in NOVA is far greater than Roanoke, Richmond, or Norfolk. I do agree that social issues in NOVA might not be a big deal... except for the fact that big government in Richmond continues to try and make it an issue.
Navid Roshan February 02, 2013 at 04:21 AM
Id also point out that I am a transportation engineer, I have read all of the reports, I have reviewed in detail table 7 and frankly I disagree. The study is irrelevant firstly because it tries to attribute behaviors of suburban life onto a new and virgin ground in Fairfax. It holds similar trip generation values as today, even though 100,000 residents are anticipated in Tysons. Can I ask you a logical question? If you are a prospective apartment dweller, why would you choose to live in Tysons instead of Arlington, DC, or Alexandria? Because your job is in Tysons. Rent in the new Tysons apartments will be equivalent to all of those other regions, so it wont be because it is cheaper. This concept hasn't even been thought of in the transportation study. Why? Because transportation engineers, of which I am one, are in charge of transportation. When it comes to land use there is a disconnect. It is like two parts of the brain that can't talk to each other. The land use guy designs a system to reduce traffic, but the transportation guy only sees zoning code and trips generated. All that being said, with the political environment that is, I have no doubt that 2.15 billion will be spent, but whether it is needed is a whole other story. PS, nothing you stated are elements of smart growth, so please dont lump us in with people who want to add freeway ramps on people's property. Thats like attributing Martin Luther King to the Black Panthers, it's frankly on its head
Louise Epstein February 13, 2013 at 01:44 AM
Barbara Comstock's class size bill, HB 1556, illustrates how well she represents her constituents on an issue of concern to many parents in her district. Virginia already regulates class size through its Standards of Quality (SOQ), which allow school districts to average large class sizes in some schools with smaller class sizes in other schools. HB 1556 would require these existing class size ratios to be applied to each school separately. http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?131+ful+HB1556 FCPS average reported elementary school class sizes as of October 31, 2012 ranged from 16.7 students per class to 25.9 students. http://www.fcps.edu/it/studentreporting/documents/ElmClassSizeAvg2012.pdf The average reported class size was 21.9 students, well under state SOQ class size requirements. However, all but two McLean and Great Falls elementary schools reported average class sizes from 24.0 to 25.9 this year. Worse yet, individual class sizes sometimes exceed 30 students, especially during math instruction. HB 1556 would have placed a fairly high upper limit on school-wide class sizes - one which most FCPS elementary schools outside our area already satisfy. That's why parents thanked Barbara Comstock at her recent town hall for introducing this bill.
Adams March 03, 2013 at 06:06 AM
It's time to defeat NRA lapdog Barbara Comstock. She is completely out of touch w/her constituents on the gun issue and doesn't care. How can she be Catholic pro-life AND pro-NRA and gun proliferation at the same time? By being a hypocrite and pocketing the NRA's blood money, that's how. Bye-bye, Barbara.

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