Reston viewers will get to meet the candidates for Congress from the redrawn 11th District on Wednesday, Sept. 12 at 8:00 p.m. on Comcast Community Television, Channel 28.
The Reston Citizens Association and local public affairs program Reston Impact once again are co-sponsoring the Forum as they have for 14 consecutive years. It will be their 30th televised Forum for local, state and federal elections.
Candidates participating in the live Forum include Republican candidate Col.(Ret.) Chris Perkins; Independent Mark Gibson, and Green Party candidate Joe Galdo. For the first time in the history of the Forum, a candidate has declined to participate. Incumbent Democrat Gerry Connolly dropped out after over a month of back-and- forth contacts with organizers. Connolly's scheduler says he was too busy to participate in the Reston Forum.
The forum uses a classic format, with candidates making brief opening and closing statements around a question-and-answer segment featuring questions posed by Reston area journalists representing the Connection Newspapers, the Fairfax Times and Patch. Forum moderators will be Colin Mills, President of the Reston Citizens Association (RCA) and myself as Host/Producer of Reston Impact.
Following the 2010 national census, Reston was redistricted out of the 8th District represented by longtime Rep. Jim Moran in order to add some Democratic-leaning territory to Connolly’s 11th District. Connolly won re-election to a second term by a whisker in 2010. Following the 2010 elections, Virginia agreed to adjust all of it districts to make them safer for incumbents for the coming decade. Mr. Connolly got Reston in the deal.
It came as a surprise that he chose to skip Wednesday’s Reston Forum given his newness to the community, now part of the 11th District. It could be that Mr. Connolly is taking Reston for granted. Other candidates, who are campaigning in Reston and taking the trouble to articulate their public policy positions on websites (e,g, www.gibson4congress2012.com, www.perkins2012.com ), seem to think that Connolly’s failure to meet them face to face in Reston plays in their favor with an electorate seeing them the first time.
Tune in Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. on Comcast Channel 28. There may be some surprises. If you don’t have Comcast cable service at home, go to www.rctv28.com anytime after Thursday, Sept. 13. When you are on the site, select Shows, Reston Impact, and see the Forum in its entirety on the web.