Now that the primaries are over, the general race for all seats have begun in earnest. Yes, I realize the fight for who actually will occupy a seat actually occurs in the primaries, the votes most of America ignores. Yet, now political candidates are committing more of their time and resources now that they are the official party candidate for their seats.
I live in a new district, created by the redistricting effort to account for the population growth in Northern Virginia. This is an open, and fairly uncertain seat for this election cycle. In the Red corner is the current Chairman of the Stafford County Board of Supervisors, Mark Dudenhefer.
Dudenhefer enjoys good popularity for his work on the BOS here in Stafford County and garners great respect for over 30 years of service to our country in the US Marine Corps. I may write more about Mark another day, but this article is about the political activist in the Blue corner.
30 year old Esteban Garces received the nod to run on the liberal ticket this election cycle and his self-proclaimed credentials explain why he’s the progressive choice for this seat. Garces is employed by an Alexandria non-profit, Virginia New Majority, where he works as a community organizer. If the words “community” and “organizer” didn’t just grab your attention, at least remember them for what you’re about to read.
Garces claims to have recently received Arlington County’s James B. Hunter Human Rights Award for “advocacy for marginalized communities.” I have no reason to doubt he did receive the award. But of course, I had to check it out. It’s not entirely clear what Garces received the award for, as his name does not appear on the official list of recipients on the Arlington County website. To tie down exactly what Garces did, I had to go to this Free Lance-Star article, which describes Garces as “an activist in Northern Virginia for immigration causes [i.e. illegal immigration], and works with Tenants and Workers United.” The Potomac Local gives us this further description of the man: “Garces is employed by an Alexandria non-profit, Virginia New Majority, where he works as a community organizer.” The award was handed out this December to, among others, the Arlington Coalition Against the “Secure Communities Program.” If Garces received the award, he would have received it for work with this coalition. What’s so bad about the Secure Communities Program that Garces would fight against it? And, what is the Secure Communities Program?
Here’s what Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has to say about the program: “Under Secure Communities … ICE takes enforcement action – prioritizing the removal of individuals who present the most significant threats to public safety as determined by the severity of their crime, their criminal history, and other factors – as well as those who have repeatedly violated immigration laws.” So, the US ICE Agency is a bad boy for actually trying to keep America safe and lower our justice costs by deporting criminals who are here illegally.
So, this seems to be the tie to Garces’ claim to a social justice award – making sure criminals who are here illegally stay here in this country! Seriously? Is this the best qualification we can find in a man running for a state elected office? Perhaps the young guy ought to run for a local office and see what it’s like to actually try to keep the streets safe before he wants to bring his ‘vast’ experience to the general assembly. Pardon me for not trusting a guy who sides with criminals, but I won’t vote for this guy!
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