Seibold Wins Nomination in Upset in Democratic Canvass for HD-35 Special Election

In an upset, Holly Seibold is the Democratic nominee for the House District 35 special election despite endorsements for Fairfax School Board Member Karl Frisch from many top Fairfax Democrats including former Speaker of the House of Delegates Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax), Representative Don Beyer (D-VA-08), Virginia Senate Finance Chair Janet Howell (D-Fairfax), Delegate Marcus Simon (D-Fairfax), Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano, several county supervisors, and several school board members.

“I cannot thank the Democrats of District 35 enough for this tremendous honor. I promise to make you proud in Richmond and fight for the Virginia values of equality, justice, and freedom,” Seibold said on Facebook. “And thank you to Karl Frisch for his kind words and for making me a better candidate. Democrats stand strong together, and I look forward to us all uniting to keep this seat blue on January 10th.”

Seibold won the Saturday canvass by 67 votes, 1,210 to Frisch’s 1,143. She will compete against the Republican nominee in the January 10 special election to complete the rest of former Delegate Mark Keam’s (D-Fairfax) term after he resigned to become the deputy assistant secretary for travel and tourism in the International Trade Administration in the Biden administration. Although special elections often have lower turnout and can be more unpredictable, Seibold has a strong advantage in deep-blue Fairfax; in 2021 Keam defeated his Republican opponent by carrying 68.73 percent of the vote even as Republicans retook the majority in the House.

Seibold touts her experience as a former fourth-grade public school teacher, as a small business owner, and as the founder and executive director of nonprofit BRAWS: Bringing Resources to Aid Women’s Shelters, which provides period products and undergarments to women in need. She represents the 11th Congressional District in the Democratic Party of Virginia’s Central Committee.

She received endorsements from some leading Democrats, including State Senators Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax), Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax City), Jennifer Boysko (D-Fairfax), and Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chair Ann Wheeler.

The Fairfax Democrats unit said in a press release announcing the results, “Holly works day-in and day-out to make our community a better place for everyone. While our absentee Governor and his lackeys in the legislature attack public education, the LGBTQ+ community, environmental protections, and even democracy itself, we need candidates like Holly to lead the fight to protect the progress we’ve made and forge a path to move Virginia forward when we retake the House of Delegates next year.”

“Two excellent candidates sought the Democratic nomination for serving the remainder of the Honorable Mark Keam’s term in the House of Delegates. Thousands of Democratic voters from the existing 35th House District participated in our nomination caucus earlier this week and today. Both campaigns should be commended for their ability to organize and mobilize voters in a compressed timeframe,” the release said.

Republicans in House District 35 have two candidates who have filed for the November 5 firehouse primary, but their applications haven’t been reviewed yet; additional candidates can file through Saturday, according to a spokesman.

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Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and The Star News Network.  Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Holly Seibold” by Holly Seibold for Delegate.


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