Republican Challenger Seeks to Unseat Longtime Incumbent
By: Safiya Khan, Mason Votes 2022 Online Editorial Team
This year’s midterm election in Virginia’s 11th District is a race between 14-year incumbent Gerry Connolly (D-VA-11) and his Republican opponent, Jim Myles, for the House of Representatives seat. Connolly has been the incumbent in this district for over a decade, and Republicans are putting more behind his challenger than they have in a while.
Governor Glenn Youngkin (R-VA) attended a rally supporting Jim Myles (VA-11) and Karina Lipsan (VA-08) in late August where he said to the crowd, this is “chapter two of the journey to remind everybody that Virginia is not Blue, Virginia is Red.”
Myles is adopting a similar framework to Youngkin regarding issues such as education and the Second Amendment.
“I’m just very unhappy with the direction our country and our district have been going,” said Myles, a first-time candidate. “It’s time to step up. We all need to get involved to change the course, the direction.”
Myles received 59 percent of the vote for the Republican Party nomination in the May primary. His platform focused on inflation, public safety, education, immigration reform, domestic energy, social security, the pandemic lockdown, being pro-life, and the second amendment.
He is a former air force pilot and retired federal judge of 11 years. He has spent 35 years in public service. He worked for the Social Security Administration and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals.
Before his 14 years serving in the House of Representatives, Connolly was on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors for 14 years, and the Chairman for five years. Connolly has played a key role in securing federal money for transportation improvements in Northern Virginia such as completing Fairfax County Parkway, securing a 150 million dollar annual federal commitment for the regional metro system, and widening Prince William County Parkway.
Connolly has made education a central platform of his time in office. He has proposed universal pre-K, lowering tuition costs to encourage students to a pathway to college, and expanding childhood education.
Connolly has also accused Republicans of using schools to wage culture-war politics.
He tweeted at the governor, “That record $16 billion surplus you inherited and the ‘state’ funding for schools is, in large part, because Democrats in Congress passed the American Rescue Plan. [Northern Virginia] students shouldn’t be held hostage for your culture war.”
Election Day is Tuesday, November 8, 2022. Midterm elections often have less voter turnout than Presidential elections, and so can be swayed by fewer votes.
Learn more about the candidates:
Gerry Connolly’s campaign website: gerryconnolly.com
Jim Myles’ campaign website: mylesforcongress.com