Written by Former Delegate Michael Futrell
Dear House District 2,
In the last few days, a chain of events has taken place that has left us with a vacancy in our representation in the Virginia General Assembly.
In 2015, following a long grueling Senate primary campaign, I announced that I would not seek reelection in HD2 by writing to you, my community detailing all that we accomplished when I was the Delegate of House District 2. I did this, because two-years prior, conventional wisdom said that House District 2 was already “spoken for” – a Republican seat, held by the incumbent who the district seat was purposefully drawn for during the redistricting process. I wanted you to remember with me, all we had accomplished by believing in all that is good and what was possible for our community when everyone outside of our community doubted. We won, outperforming the former governor in Prince William County. We won over performing in Stafford County. We won because we believed in a focus on the future.
When I ran for the Democratic nomination for Senate, I was balancing my new family, my mother was living some of her final days of life after a battle with cancer, and my responsibilities as a candidate and elected official were growing. It was you who inspired me and gave me hope. While we did not win the Senate nomination, House District 2 continued to show your faith in our collective vision, and we never received less than 65% of the votes in our precincts in House District 2! I remember being so proud of us. We may not have won, but your unwavering support during that very difficult time inspires me to this day. That is why I continue to work so hard for our community even though I am no longer in office. I will always show up for you, as we did during the government shut down in 2019 by bringing community organizations together for the Furloughed Worker Resource Fair or working with our former chief of police during the 2020 demonstrations against violence and racism. I will always continue to show up for you.
I write today because I have been inundated with calls from so many of the voters in House District 2 asking me what I meant by “it was not goodbye, but more like see you later!”, in that letter that I wrote in 2015. I am humbled and grateful for all of the outreach about the democratic nomination. It was a tough decision, but I have decided that I will not seek the Democratic Nomination for House District 2.
I want to thank my Harvest Life Church family for guidance (feel free to be our virtual guest on Sundays at 9 and 1130. I always share it on my Facebook page!) I want to thank all of the community families and organizations that were ready to go at a moments notice, and mostly I want to thank my amazing wife for her wise counsel!
Many of you have asked me what we should be looking for in a candidate, and my answer has always been the same, but is more important now than ever.
1. We need someone that is community focused. Too often political parties focus on the inside of their political bubbles and miss hearing the voice of the community. As an elected leader, you are supposed to stand for the collective interests of the community. While I understand that political parties have their own nominating process – to be clear, what someone has done for a political party is less important to those like us who would rather know what you have done for the ACTS Homeless Shelter, the Boys and Girls Club and working families in our community.
2. We need someone who is ok not being “liked”. An elected official must understand that there may be many times that what is best for our community and what may be best for the “party” will not align, and when that happens they will have to make the uncomfortable decision to stand up to those “on your team” because we need your leadership. I have found that many insiders struggle with this because of fear of being unliked.
3. And finally, we need someone who has a heart for our community. It is not about their political ambitions or prestige, but about U.S. Having a heart for the community means being focused on constantly learning about all the wonderful things that the community has to offer. Seeing our community for all we are and can be!
For those who have followed me after my time in office, you have seen me show up across the nation for candidates that embody those principles. I do that, because you taught me what can be done when we collectively focus on the principles that connect us – rather than those that divide us.
This short process for electing a candidate for House District 2 may not allow us to get to the person who represents our principles. This nominating process is set up to reward party insiders, not necessarily the voice of the people, but you can do something about it, over the next two days, I ask each of you to study the candidates closely to see what they have done for our community, not just Joe Biden, and vote for who is representative of our principles.
I am watching very closely with you, and after the nominating process is over, we will come together to make sure that our principles are represented. I love you all and will continue to show up for you!
Hon. Michael Futrell
© Copyright 2018 What's Up Prince William. All Rights Reserved