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Del. Sullivan makes re-election bid official

As he embarks on what likely will be an easy journey to re-election, Del. Rip Sullivan says he has been effective in the minority and will be more so if Democrats win the majority in Richmond.

“I have gone to Richmond and been a leader,” Sullivan (D-48th) said in campaign-kickoff remarks to about 175 people at the March 6 meeting of the Arlington County Democratic Committee.

“There’s work to be done,” Sullivan said, but “the ball is moving forward.”

An attorney and McLean resident, Sullivan was first elected in 2014 to fill the seat left open by the retirement of Bob Brink. He defeated Republican David Foster in the special election and has not faced a significant challenge since.

The district includes swaths of Arlington and McLean and is a safe Democratic seat.

In kickoff remarks, Sullivan touted his efforts to win dedicated state funding for the Metro system; his support for renewable energy; and redistricting reform. He also noted his efforts as campaign chair of the House Democratic Caucus to win control in the lower house of the legislature.

Riding a wave of reaction to the election of Donald Trump, Virginia Democrats scored big House of Delegates increases in 2017, ending up with 49 seats, just shy of a majority.

“I want to lead us – I will lead us to 51,” said Sullivan, who will reprise his role as campaign chair for the 2019 election cycle.

Although the filing deadline remains open for several weeks, Sullivan is unlikely to see a challenge within the Democratic ranks. Republicans and independents have until June to file campaign paperwork, but so far no opponents have emerged.