It looks like Janet Oleszek, who is challenging John Cook to represent Braddock District on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors received the endorsement of Fairfax County Professional Firefighters and Paramedics Local 2068. While this is not a surprise, the endorsement was also used as an attempt to smear Cook, but the reality is that it backfired against Oleszek.
Oleszek accused Cook of not funding a fourth firefighter position on the County ladder truck. This issue has been debated for years, even going back to when former Board Chairman Gerry Connolly was in charge. It was even mentioned in an October 2006 memorandum. These positions were never filled, despite revenues increasing under Connolly and current Board Chairman, Sharon Bulova.
In a statement, Cook had this to say about Bulova’s accusations about not doing anything to create the firefighter position:
‘It’s sad that Ms. Oleszek is so desperate and so willing to throw her Democratic colleagues and every member of the Board of Supervisors for the last 10 years under the proverbial bus for a cheap press release and blog entry. The truth is, I am a proponent of Chairman Bulova’s fire and safety priorities. My commitment to fire fighters, EMS and other public safety is unquestioned. Traveling with local first responders during the annual August National Night Out events has provided me a great opportunity to see firsthand the critical role these invaluable professionals play in protecting our neighborhoods and community.”
So, Oleszek turned an opportunity to smear her opponent, and instead, it turned into an attack on her Democratic colleagues on the Board of Supervisors. This is what I call really smart behavior from a political candidate.
Remember “I have to waffle,” it was a famous line used during a 2007 State Senate debate by Janet Oleszek, who was running against then-State Sen. Ken Cuccinelli for the general election. Oleszek made many blunders during that race, and there was no doubt that she was not ready for prime time.
In fact, things were so bad during the State Senate race that The Washington Post gave a non-endorsement for Oleszek by saying:
“Democrat Janet Oleszek is a Fairfax County School Board member who has run a lackluster campaign, at times embarrassingly short on substance. The district, in Fairfax County, deserves better choices; we make no endorsement.”
Both Not Larry Sabato and Lowell over at Blue Virginia report that Janet Oleszek will be running for the Democratic nomination to go against current Braddock District Supervisor John Cook in the general election.
You have to wonder what is going in the Fairfax County Democratic Committee right now. This race could become a real battle in terms of leadership, whether State Sen. Chap Petersen takes control of the party or whether Rep. Gerry Connolly’s style stays in place. Both Connolly and Sharon Bulova, Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors recruited Chris Wade to run for the Braddock seat. Wade comes with some baggage, as he has voted in several Republican primaries, and there is no doubt that this upsets the grassroots. Petersen endorsed Oleszek, which could spell a change for the party, as this is one step to take the leadership from Connolly.
Whatever happens, the Braddock Supervisor race will be one to watch over time, as both the Democrats are not very strong candidates. In the end, it will all be contingent on the voters in the Braddock district.
Cross Posted at Bearing Drift
The Washington Post’s Virginia Politics Blog has confirmed that Janet “I have to waffle” Oleszek will not be running in the 37th District Senate race. David Bulova also stated in the same article that he will not be running either.
Right now, it appears that the only interested Democrat at this point is Del. Dave Marsden, who barely won re-election on Tuesday by 209 votes. Something tells me, this race could get pretty interesting.
Perhaps, this should bring back memories. In 2007, Janet Oleszek ran against Ken Cuccinelli for the State Senate seat in the 37th District. She made many miscues, including the infamous response during one debate of “I have to waffle.” Even The Washington Post said at the time she was “embarrassingly short on substance.” Now, she wants to run for the seat again.
The question is: Will Janet have to waffle again?
I have a feeling this could come back to haunt Janet once again.