Bernie Sanders LEAD

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders campaigned at Jirani's Coffee House in Manassas Monday, the eve of Election Day, in support of Del. Lee Carter, D-50th, and several other local Democratic candidates.

Presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders drew a crowd of more than 400 to Jirani Coffeehouse in downtown Manassas Monday to stump for Del. Lee Carter, D-50th, Del. Elizabeth Guzman, D-31st, state Senate candidate Qasim Rashid and Democrats running for local races in Prince William County and Manassas. 

Carter and Guzman were both elected in 2017 after defeating longtime Republican incumbents and are aiming to hang onto their newly won districts. Carter faces a challenge from Republican Manassas City Councilman Ian Lovejoy; and Guzman is facing a challenge from Republican D.J. Jordan. 

Rashid is challenging state Sen. Richard Stuart, R-28th.

Also in attendance were Democratic candidates for the Prince William County Board of Supervisors Raheel Sheikh, who is running against Republican Yesli Vega in the Coles District, and Kenny Boddye, who is running against Supervisor Ruth Anderson, R-Occoquan. Democratic-endorsed Prince William County School Board candidate Lisa Zargarpur, who is vying to unseat Willie Deutsch in the Coles District, was joined by Lisa Stevens, who is running for an open seat on the City of Manassas School Board.

Sanders, addressing a crowd that overflowed onto the sidewalk, said the audience should vote for Democrats in Tuesday’s elections.

“Here in Virginia, progressives are going to win tomorrow because the people of Virginia and the people of America understand that what being an American is about is pride in our diversity,” Sanders said. “What we are about is exactly the opposite of what Trump is about. Trump wants to divide us up. We bring our people together around an agenda that works for all of us, not just the top 1 percent.”

Dems cheer Bernie at Jirani: Bottino, Carter, Stevens, Sheikh, Guzman and Zargarpur

Democratic hopefuls gathered at Jirani's Coffee House in Manassas on the eve of Election Day. From left: Tiziana Bottino, candidate for Soil and Water Conservation director; Del. Lee Carter, D-50th; Lisa Stevens, candidate for the City of Manassas School Board; Raheel Sheikh, candidate for the Coles District seat on the Prince William County Board of Supervisors; Del. Elizabeth Guzman, D-31st, and Lisa Zargarpur, candidate for the Coles District seat on the Prince William County School Board.

Carter, who is the only self-proclaimed socialist serving in the Virginia legislature, said he thinks the Democrats are poised to take control of the state Senate and House of Delegates. 

“I think we’re going to do it,” Carter said. “For the last two years, I’ve been the only socialist in a Republican-held legislature. I can’t wait to be the only socialist in a Democratic held legislature.”

Guzman said it was Sanders who inspired her to run for office in 2017. 

“I started looking around and realized that no one that looked like me was representing my community,” Guzman said. 

Guzman touted recent legislative efforts like raising teacher salaries, increasing the felony threshold and expanding Medicaid in Virginia that occurred since a Democratic wave election in 2017 brought the party within striking distance of controlling the General Assembly, but said it isn’t enough. 

“Give us a Democratic majority tomorrow and you will see commonsense gun legislation,” Guzman said. 

The event attracted a mix of both Sanders supporters and people curious about the Sanders’ positions and the candidates he was there to support. 

Manassas Park resident Allison Thompson, 35, said she came to the event to learn more about Sanders and about the local candidates. Thompson, who recently moved to the area from South Carolina, said she usually votes for Democrats but considers herself an independent. 

“I feel like the only way I can go this time is Democrats. Unfortunately, Republicans are proving that they’re not willing to stop the corruption that’s going on already,” Thompson said. “Even some of the Republican candidates aren’t saying ‘no’ to some of the things going on in Washington. They’re still just going along to get along and I’m tired of that rhetoric.”

Casey Bach, 28, an immigration lawyer who works in Manassas but lives in Reston, said he was there to hear Sanders and Carter speak and planned to vote for Democrats on Tuesday. Bach said, locally, he is focused on elections for commonwealth’s attorneys in the region. 

“I’m very excited that in Northern Virginia there are some real progressive prosecutors running, people who are going to change the policy on marijuana, on cash bail, on disproportionate incarceration,” Bach said. “It’s really exciting to have candidates who are talking about those sorts of issues.”

Reach Daniel Berti at dberti@fauquier.com

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(11) comments

Louf

400 people attending Bernie Sanders in Manassas? WOW! Not too impressive is it? Trump fills up the arena both as President and while a candidate.

Omarndc72

Bernie, another sociologist wealthy liberal getting high on the public doe. He is a looser , never done anything worth a dime in his life. I wonder of he had his heart surgery in russia where he had his honeymoon. I would guess not.

The justice department should be investigating how these do nothing politicians come in to office and leave millionaires on a public salary.

Fracas

What a disgusting bunch of socialist garbage. Freedom is going in the crapper.

ccw

400? That many immigrant children get off of two school buses in the mornings in Prince William County everyday. Even more hang out in a typical local 7-Eleven parking lot.

From all of the surveys, polls and liberal articles published on this (and sister) website the bragging should have started no lower than 4,000.

InsideCommenter

Those immigrant children will replace you and your family. Might as well just start packing.

ccw

You forgot to check your rear view mirrors genius.

Sixty four million plus and growing fast supporters of President Trump say otherwise. They've had a belly full of the wholesale liberal cop outs and the socialist international immigrant takers that they've invited into America.

The ICE man is coming sooner than you might think. If anyone needs to consider packing up and leaving it definitely is not the everyday citizens of our nation. Americans are not in a good mood about this issue. That includes American individuals of all races, classes, political parties, religions and social status. The last thing that they will ever let happen is allow it to continue any longer.

Think not? President Trump is the beginning, not just an exception or the end when he leaves office. The free rides from the liberal ticket masters gleefully handed out to the takers that have and are invading America are over. Take it to the bank!

ed1

Growing fast..... I'd like to see the evidence of that. Actually I wouldn't like it but I might have to accept it if it's for real.

zcxnissan

CCW I don't hold it against her and she pays her fees every time they are due. Although she married my father a legal US citizen (being born here) she still hasn't chosen between her birth country or the USA. It has been estimated that there are around 300000 illegal immigrants in the state of Virginia. I am well aware of how most people feel about the illegal immigrant situation and the fact that we need a border wall and increased border security. It does not matter what illegal criminals think about the matter.

zcxnissan

Do you have something against immigrants? My mom was a legal immigrant.

ccw

No and you shouldn't hold it against your mom either.

ed1

I'm a legal immigrant. They missed of the word "illegal" to try and paint all immigrants as bad.

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