By Joe Beck
Democratic Party leaders in the 10th congressional district decided Saturday to choose their nominee through a combination of local caucuses and district wide convention.
The nominee will be officially chosen at an April 26 convention under a process similar to that of national party conventions in presidential election years when delegates cast votes for competing candidates. The delegates will be chosen at caucuses in the weeks running up to the convention.
The nominee will be running to succeed long-time U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Vienna, in what Democratic and Republican party activists expect to be a close, costly election that tests the strength of the national as well as the local parties.
Charlie Jackson, chairman of the 10th District Democratic Committee, said in an interview Monday that committee members chose the caucus-convention procedure to give the party's nominee the best chance of winning in the general election.
"It allows our eventual nominee to save money and resources for what will be an extremely expensive general election," Jackson said.
Jackson added that the process will also allow the nominee to get an early start on the general election. A state-run primary could only have been held on June 10, which would have delayed fund-raising for the general election by six weeks.
"We feel our committee made a strong stand to do what's necessary to win the race this November," Jackson said.
Fairfax County Board of Supervisors member John W. Foust, Fairfax attorney Richard Bolger and Leesburg architect Sam Kubba are the three declared Democratic candidates so far.
The 10th district runs from West Virginia eastward through the Winchester area and parts of Loudon, Fairfax and Prince William counties.
Delegates to the convention will be chosen by rank-and-file party members in local caucuses in each of the district's jurisdictions. Each of those delegates will represent one of the candidates at the district wide convention where the nomination will be officially decided.
Jackson said the committee meeting on Saturday in Ashburn attracted 20 of 22 committee members and 50 candidate supporters.
"It was a great turnout and great energy for everybody there," Jackson said.
Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or firstname.lastname@example.org