Generally, the audience at Adat Reyim appeared to support Democrat Connolly, although those interviewed said they were excited to hear Fimian speak.
“I felt that Gerry Connolly had much stronger answers and really answered more of the questions to the point,” said Tara Francke, 26, a Burke resident who “came in knowing” she was going to vote for Connolly. Asked if Fimian changed her mind in any way, she quickly responded, “No! Not at all.”
Another Burke resident, Russell Nadel, 25, said that Connolly’s experience makes him the right choice for Congress. “It seems like Mr. Connolly had a wider range of answers for all the questions asked.” He also said that listening to Fimian’s positions made him confident in Connolly.
The two candidates have another debate scheduled for Sunday morning at the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia in Fairfax.
Chairman Gerry Connolly of the Fairfax Board of Supervisors was the first to speak. The Democratic congressional hopeful for the 11thDistrict led off by telling an anecdote from his days as Chairman. He received a call from a woman called who said, ”I have a dead deer in my front lawn What are you going to do about it?” When he asked, ”Well, have you thought about calling animal control?,” she said. ”No, I didn’t want to bother them this early on a Sunday morning.” This story, he said, illustrates the accessibility of local politics that is lost on the federal level.
Connolly went on to address the issue of healthcare. We have to do something to make healthcare accessible and affordable to all Americans, Connolly claimed, but we cannot do that until concerns can be heard by legislators. He said that he could take that message to the federal level.
He also said that health insurance companies should not be able to cherry pick and exclude people based upon pre-existing health conditions.