Ramadan opponent, Bell, hits the airwaves
John Bell, the Democrat challenging Republican state Del. David Ramadan in the Virginia House of Delegates 87th District, launched a TV ad last week highlighting his experience as a finance officer in the U.S. Air Force.
Bell is the first local candidate for the House out with a TV ad.
The race for the 87th District – comprised of portions of Loudoun and Prince William counties – is expected to be one of the tightest in the region. Ramadan won his 2011 bid by just 51 votes out of more than 10,500 cast, and last year more than 56 percent of voters in the district cast ballots for Democratic President Barack Obama.
Bell's ad never mentions Ramadan, instead focusing on the Democrat's call to “cut the waste [in the Virginia budget] and keep what matters.”
“When voters hear about my history of streamlining government and managing budgets in the Air Force and get to know what we are fighting for – good schools, a robust economy and long-term transportation solutions – they join our team,” Bell states on his website. “This ad helps tell that story.”
Ramadan would not say Monday whether he plans to run any TV ads, but he did chime in on his opponent's spot.
When asked about the ad, Ramadan said his focus as a lawmaker has been on “jobs, stopping tax increases and ensuring that Virginians have more say in their health care.”
“If John Bell is interested in cutting waste – he would immediately oppose expanding Medicaid and oppose implementing Obamacare – which will cost Virginia families thousands of dollars in increased costs, and kill small business and employment,” Ramadan said. “Those are the issues that John Bell doesn't want voters in Loudoun and Prince William to ask about.”
In response, Bell's campaign manager Joe Hamill said, “It doesn't take an Air Force budget expert like Major Bell to see that Medicaid expansion will bring federal tax dollars that we have already paid back to Virginia, help get healthcare to folks who need it and save Virginia money – Major Bell will help fix our budget, not push a hard line partisan agenda.”
At last financial filing, which was compiled through August, Bell had an advantage in terms of cash on hand. The Democrat reported more than $131,000 to Ramadan's $116,000, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.
This story has been updated from an earlier version.