David Kennedy is in touch with what's going on with the local Republican party. He has served as the Mount Vernon Republican Committee Precinct Captain for Fort Hunt, as well as the operations chair for Mount Vernon.
He also knows what's involved in running a political campaign, having worked on both of Scott Klein's campaigns when he ran against Delegate Kris Amundson. Now Kennedy has decided to throw his own name in the ring and will face Lou Kobus in the Republican primary for the House of Delegates, 44th District race next week.
"The first vote I got was from my family," said Kennedy, who has the full support of his wife, Jenny, and his three children, Tommy, Grace and Gil.
In addition to his involvement with the Mount Vernon Republican Committee, Kennedy is also active at Heritage Presbyterian Church, Cub Scout Pack 1504, Waynewood PTA, and the Waynewood Recreation Association. He has been in the Mount Vernon area since 1996, and said, "We considered a lot of areas and had looked at Mount Vernon about a year before we moved. We kept coming back to this area and decided to move here."
Kennedy is running because, like most politicians, he thinks he can make a difference.
"As a Republican, I think I have the ability to build relationships with the House of Delegates. I've already met with the Speaker of the House."
Kennedy said that he's not an ideologue and plans to reach across the aisle. "I don't necessarily distinguish between the two parties," he said, adding that he looks forward to working with Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerry Hyland.
"I don't always agree with his policies, but I do respect how he works with local issues," said Kennedy.
Kennedy believes that his background as a lobbyist will serve him well. He has been involved with aviation associations for the past 14 years, and currently works for the National Air Transportation Association as the manager of government and industry affairs. As such he represents aviation businesses before federal agencies such as the Federal Aviation Administration; Department of Transportation; Department of Labor; Environmental Protection Agency and others.
"I'm familiar with the workings of state politics. I've worked with many policy-making offices," he said.
As a lobbyist, he believes that his job is to "provide information and help shape policy. I tell the truth and the whole story and I build long-term relationships, I'm not just there in times of crises."
KENNEDY SAID THAT he's not a fan of taxes, and would like to take a look at capping the real estate taxes. "I think it's a valid idea and we need to look at it. Every dime that I pay in taxes is a dime that's not going into my children's education fund," he said.
He's not sure that there needs to be an increase and cautions that only in government is a reduced rate in increase called a cut.
"I want to look at the revenue we're bringing in, what essential services are needed and then determine what is needed," he said.
He also questioned the duplicity of efforts at the county level. "If the car tax is going away, then why do we need to have a county sticker?" he asked, thinking that that function could be better served by DMV.
Regarding the schools, Kennedy said that he plans to educate his children in public schools and would like to see them continue to get the resources they need to do the basics. He thinks Fairfax County has an excellent school system and believes that the Standards of Learning are a great way to measure how the schools are doing, and take corrective action when theyíre not.
To get the word out, Kennedy plans to talk to individuals by going door to door; he also plans to do mailings.