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California Rep. Adam Schiff (D) (center of photo) congratulated Eugene Vindman on his Primary Election win by posting a photo of him and twin brothers, Eugene and Alexander Vindman. [Photo: @AdamSchiff on X]
Eugene Vindman is the Democrat nominee for Congress in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District, which includes eastern Prince William, Stafford, and Spotsylvania counties, as well as Fredericksburg.

Vindman, of Dale City, ran a campaign solely to oppose Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for President. He and his twin brother Alexander Vindman were key figures in Trump’s first impeachment in 2020.

“The stakes of this election couldn’t be higher; the passion behind my campaign comes from voters wanting integrity, moderation, and professionalism in a government that works for them; and our grass-roots movement is coming for the extreme MAGA agenda,” Vindman wrote in a prepared statement sent to the press after declaring victory about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 18.

Vindman cruised to victory over a sea of Democrat candidates vying for the nomination, winning nearly 50% of the vote in the district. He outraised them, too, raking in more than $5 million, mainly from out-of-state liberal donors who oppose Trump.

The only other Democrat who came close to matching Vindman’s cash was Andrea Bailey, a Prince William County Supervisor who raised nearly $340,000 during her campaign.

Vindman is primarily seen among Democrats as a community outsider and was criticized by fellow party members when he announced his campaign last fall.”I’m sorry – who is this? I’ve never seen this person in our area. At. All,” Delegate Joshua Cole of Fredericksburg posted to X shortly after Vindman announced his campaign.

Vindman beat a host of female Democrats, black and Hispanic, all seeking the nomination. Vindman was asked to step aside during candidate forums to allow “a woman and person of color” to win the nomination. Each time, Vindman assured Democrats he was the person for the job.

Familiar Democrats from Prince William County were candidates in Tuesday’s Primary. Elizabeth Guzman, a former state delegate, finished in second place, while Delegate Brianna Sewell, Woodbridge District Supervisor Margaret Franklin, and Bailey all failed to come close to Vindman’s vote totals.

The total number of votes received by the three losing candidates from Prince William County (15,764) is close to but still less than Vindman’s 16,609 total vote count. “[Prince William County] Dems now fumble the 7th twice in a row to outsiders when they have the votes to win,” wrote Ben Tribbett, a political commentator. Several Democrats from Prince William County, including State Senator Jeremey McPike and School Board Chair Dr. Babur Lateef, opted not to challenge Spanberger, who did not live in the district at the time of the election, during the last congressional election cycle in 2022.

Other candidates, Carl Bedell of Greene County and Clifford Heinzer of Stafford pulled in a combined 3.94% of the vote.

Criticism of Vindman continued Tuesday night, as fellow Democrats pointed to a report from The Independent, a newspaper based in the United Kingdom, that Vindman threatened to sue a reporter who asked him about his military rank at retirement. According to the report, Vindman claims to be a retired Army Colonel but holds the lesser rank of retired Lt. Colonel.

“This is so painful to watch,” wrote Ben Litchfield of Stafford County as the returns rolled in Tuesday night. Litchfield sought the Democratic Party nomination for a Virignia State Senate seat last year.

“As your Democratic nominee for VA-07, I will work tirelessly to hold this seat and ensure we can take back the house and continue to preserve this fragile experiment that is our democracy,” said Vindman.

Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D) holds the 7th District congressional seat. She’s not seeking re-election to Congress but is running for Virginia Governor in 2025.

Republicans chose Derrick Anderson as their nominee to face Vindman in the November General Election.

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The Virginia Railway Express (VRE) and Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) services are set to strengthen their collaboration. The VRE Operations Board is expected to vote on Friday, June 21, to restore an agreement that allows VRE riders to board MARC trains and vice versa. This move has been speculated as a step toward providing non-stop service between Maryland and Virginia.

The recommendation from the VRE Operations Board requests authorization for the Chief Executive Officer to amend the Passenger Tariff to reflect the MARC/VRE Cross-Honor Agreement Terms. The summary indicates that VRE and MARC will reinstate their cross-honor agreement on July 1, 2024, allowing passengers to ride either service with a valid ticket from the other.

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Lyver

Six months into his tenure as Gainesville Planning Commissioner, Dr. John W. Lyver, IV, passed away unexpectedly on June 16, 2024, while on a personal trip to Canada.

Lyver, 67, of Heritage Hunt in Gainesville, was appointed to the Prince William Planning Commissioner by Gainesville Supervisor Bob Weir on January 9, 2024. In a statement on his social media pages, Weir wrote, “He was a remarkable man whose shoes cannot easily be filled and a place in our hearts that cannot be replaced. There are no words to express my gratitude for John’s countless hours of dedicated public service to the County and decades of service to our Nation. He will be greatly missed.”

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Photo: Stafford County Public Schools

The Stafford County School Board has voted to create a new Office of Student Conduct during its June 11, 2024 meeting. School Board member Alyssa Halstead motioned to support the Superintendent's recommendation, which included the creation of the Office of Student Conduct and allocating necessary funds and positions to support the new office. The motion also considered how to balance the budget to accommodate teacher salary increases while implementing the new Office of Student Conduct.

The final vote on the original motion passed 5 to 3, with Dr. Sarah Chase, Patricia Healey, and Dr. Elizabeth Warner voting against it.

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[Scott Rodgerson/Unsplash]
A 17-year-old was fatally shot at Misty Ridge Apartments in Woodbridge on June 18, with the suspect fleeing the scene on foot. Police are actively investigating the incident, which appears not to be random, and are seeking information from the public to assist in the investigation.

Homicide Investigation – On June 18 at 12:44AM, officers responded to the Misty Ridge Apartments located in the 15000 block of Lost Canyon Ct in Woodbridge (22191) to investigate a shooting. Responding officers located a 17-year-old male juvenile in an outdoor stairwell suffering from gunshot wounds. Officers provided aid to the juvenile who was transported to an area hospital where he later died. The investigation revealed the suspect had fled on foot after the shooting. A police K-9 and Fairfax County police helicopter searched the area for the suspect who was not located. An apartment in the complex was also struck during the encounter. No other injuries or property damage were reported. Detectives are actively investigating the incident to determine what led up to the shooting and are seeking to speak with anyone who has information to assist in the investigation. Preliminarily, this incident does not appear to be random. Due to the age of the deceased, their identity will not be disclosed by law enforcement at this time. More information will be released as it becomes available. The investigation continues. Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact Prince William County police at 703-792-6500 or submit a tip online at pwcva.gov/policetip.

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Yevgeny “Eugene” Vindman

The Independent: “A law firm representing the Vindman campaign then contacted The Independent threatening litigation. The letter insisted that Vindman “is a Colonel and correctly identifies himself as such” and that “Pursuant to Army Custom and Regulation 25-50, the proper mode to address Colonels and Lieutenant Colonels is Colonel.” The letter also claimed that reporting Bedell’s statement would be defamatory.

The attorney for Vindman further stated that he “does not dispute that he retired at the grade of O5 [Lieutenant Colonel]. However, his pay grade at retirement has no impact on either pay or entitlements and on whether he is in fact a retired Colonel.”

Vindman, a Democrat who lives in Dale City, is widely considered to win today’s Primary Election in Virginia’s 7th District, which includes eastern Prince William County, Stafford, Spotsylvania counties, and Fredericksburg.

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Photo credit: Volunteer Prince William on Facebook

Recognize Outstanding Volunteers
Does your organization have an outstanding volunteer or volunteer group whose service deserves recognition? Serve Virginia announces that nominations for this year’s Governor’s Volunteerism & Community Service Awards are open! This is a wonderful way to recognize and thank your special volunteers for their service. Please visit https://bit.ly/3K2GLT1 for more information. The deadline to submit is June 25 at 5 pm.

BEACON for Adult Literacy
BEACON for Adult Literacy needs volunteers age 18+ to host their Summer Conversation Classes this summer. Sessions will be held Mondays and Wednesdays, 9:30 am-11 am, and Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7 pm-8:30 pm. All sessions are online, so you can help students improve their English skills from the comfort of your home. Online volunteer information sessions are available; please visit https://bit.ly/43zEFTv to sign up. For more information, email [email protected] or call 571-531-5838.

Boxes of Basics
Looking for a summer volunteer opportunity? Consider helping the wonderful staff at Boxes of Basics! They’re hosting Summer Drop-In Volunteering for volunteers age 18+ on Mondays, 9 am-1 pm, starting June 17 through August 12. Help sort and organize their warehouse at 9239 Mike Garcia Drive, Manassas, in preparation for the next school year. For more information, email [email protected].

Canine Companions
Dog lovers! You can volunteer to raise a puppy and be a part of something truly life-changing. Canine Companions needs Prince William area volunteers to be Puppy Raisers, supporting their mission to provide service dogs to people with disabilities. This family-friendly opportunity allows you to help train a puppy for a future career as a service dog. For more information, visit [this https://bit.ly/3yNvAuT. Upcoming virtual volunteer information sessions will be held June 25 and July 11. For more details, email [email protected].

Educate America, Inc.
Educate America, Inc, a nonprofit startup, is seeking volunteers ages 18+ to assist with providing after-school tutoring and mentoring services within five to ten Prince William County Public Schools during the Fall 2024 and Spring 2025 school year. Your time and expertise can positively impact the academic success and personal development of underserved youth. Volunteers need to complete background and CPS checks by July 15, 2024. To join, complete the online application form at https://www.educateusainc.org/now-recruiting. For questions, email [email protected].

Celebrate America
Historic Manassas, Inc. needs volunteers to support Celebrate America and the Stars & Stripes Rooftop Picnic in Old Town Manassas on July 4. Shifts are available from 11 am-3 pm, 3 pm-7 pm, and 7 pm-11 pm. Support these fun events, including kid-friendly and family-friendly activities, and enjoy a magnificent view of the fireworks. Sign up at https://bit.ly/3Sp91TJ or email [email protected] for more information.

Manassas Bee Festival
The Manassas Bee Festival is coming on June 22 at Liberia House, 8601 Portner Avenue, Manassas, and volunteer “Worker Bees” of all ages are needed. Volunteers under 18 are welcome with a responsible adult or group leader. Volunteers are needed June 21 to help set up the festival and during the event on June 22. Tasks include assisting with set up, helping vendors, and working at the welcome tent. Volunteers will receive a free green t-shirt. Sign up at http://www.manassasbeefestival.com/contact-donations-questions/, indicating you are a Volunteer. For more details, email [email protected].

USO Centers at Marine Corps Base Quantico
Support those who serve our country! Marine Corps Base Quantico needs volunteers age 18+ to support their USO Centers. Volunteers support center operations, events, and programs, positively impacting active-duty service members and military families. For more information, visithttps://bit.ly/3zbrUDi or email [email protected].

Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners
If you love plants and connecting with local gardeners, Virginia Cooperative Extension Prince William Unit is recruiting Master Gardener volunteers. Information sessions will be held over the summer, and training begins in September. For more information, visit https://bit.ly/3V3NwsK, email [email protected], or call 703-792-7747.

For more volunteer opportunities, contact Volunteer Prince William at 703-369-5292 or visit volunteerprincewilliam.org. Thank you for all you do in our community!

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Dr. Thomas W. Taylor will leave Stafford County Schools to join Montgomery County this fall.

Stafford County Public Schools (SCPS) has announced the departure of Superintendent Dr. Thomas W. Taylor, who has led SCPS since November 2021. Dr. Taylor will begin serving as Superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools effective this fall. In a county-wide email, Dr. Taylor lauded accomplishments made in the schools, but also noted the county has dropped from 111 to 117 in state rankings for school funding.

During his tenure, Dr. Taylor implemented several measures aimed at improving educational outcomes, including the introduction of staffing standards and a streamlined budget focused on efficiency.  SCPS saw an over 20% increase in average staff wages, as well as advancements in both diversity and gender equity in leadership positions that exceed national and state averages. Dr. Taylor also oversaw the construction of three new schools and the renovation of Edward E. Drew Middle School to accommodate the county’s growth.

Dr. Taylor added several events like Transition Day, Chart Your Future, and Decision Day to schools to help students build plans for after graduation. To address community needs, Dr. Taylor partnered with the JED Foundation to provide mental health support at all schools, and with the Fredericksburg Food Bank and others to provide more resources for food security. Under his leadership, SCPS also partnered with the Commissioner of Revenue’s office and the Internal Revenue Service to train accounting students to provide tax preparation services for low-income families, as part of Virginia’s first Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

Recognized as Region III Superintendent of the Year in 2024, Dr. Taylor expressed gratitude for his time in Stafford County, saying “It has been an honor to serve Stafford County. The school division has made significant progress in a short period of time, and I am proud of what we have accomplished together. I would like to thank the School Board, students, staff, and community for allowing me to serve this great county.” Dr. Taylor’s email, in addition to noting the drop in funding rankings, also noted that on top of “rampant and largely unchecked growth, the school system’s facility maintenance has been continually underfunded for decades despite pleas from the schools to the Board of Supervisors to fix our aging infrastructure.” He reports  students’ chronic absenteeism and discipline have eroded the schools’ culture, but are improving. Dr. Taylor encouraged citizens to voice their concerns and advocate for SCPS although “Stafford citizens espouse full support for our schools but their voices fall on the deaf ears of some local decision makers. “

SCPS spokesman Sandra Osborn said the School Board will begin the search for a new superintendent immediately.

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