Category Archives: Political Science and International Affairs

Virginia senator who twice met Syria’s Bashar al-Assad will not seek reelection (Washington Post)

By bowing out, Black could clear the way for his party to nominate a moderate with more appeal to crucial swing voters. But the GOP will also lose a “canny political survivor” who built a loyal following through attentive constituent service and unyielding social and fiscal conservatism, said Stephen J. Farnsworth, a political scientist at the University of Mary Washington.

Link to report

UMW To Host 1st Congressional District Debate: 7:30 p.m., Monday, Oct. 6

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The University of Mary Washington will host the 1st Congressional District Debate on Monday, Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m. in George Washington Hall’s Dodd Auditorium.

The debate will present Republican Rep. Rob Wittman, who has held the seat since 2007, Democratic challenger Norm Mosher and Independent Green Party Candidate Gail Parker. The 1st District includes more than 15 counties and includes parts of Stafford, Spotsylvania, and the city of Fredericksburg. The event is free and open to the public.

Wittman, a resident of Montross, co-chairs the House Chesapeake Bay Watershed Caucus and serves on the House Natural Resources Committee. Prior to his election to Congress, he served in the House of Delegates for the Northern Neck.

A former captain of the U.S. Navy, Mosher is a resident of Irvington. He served on the Irvington Town Council and as chair of the Lancaster County Democratic Committee.

Gail Parker is a retired US Air Force Reserve officer who was also a candidate for Virginia's First District in 2010 and 2012.

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the Center for Leadership and Media Studies, will moderate the program. Panelists will be Chelyen Davis, assistant editorial page editor at The Free Lance-Star, and Ted Schubel, news director for B101.5 and WFVA’s News Talk 1230.

The debate is co-sponsored by the Fredericksburg Area Chamber of Commerce; The Free Lance-Star; UMW’s Young Democrats; UMW’s College Republicans; The Blue and Gray Press; and the university’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies.

For more information about the debate, contact Stephen Farnsworth at