Democrat Irene Shin, a nonprofit organizer from Herndon, has announced she is running for the 86th House of Delegates seat currently held by Del. Ibraheem Samirah (D).
The 86th District includes parts of western Fairfax and eastern Loudoun counties.
“I’ve worked as a community organizer, an activist, a General Assembly advocate, and most importantly, as someone who brings people together to get things done,” Shin said in a prepared statement. “The 86th District has a long history of electing representatives who know how to carefully listen to the public, cooperate with other legislators, and thoughtfully work to get things done for our community. That’s why I’m running for office, and that’s why I’m asking for your vote.”
Shin said she believes the district deserves “strong progressive leadership” and was inspired by the election of Kamala Harris to the vice presidency in November. In 2015, she served on Harris’ campaign team as a finance director, according to her LinkedIn profile.
As the executive director for the Virginia Civic Engagement Table, Shin is focused on increasing civic engagement in Virginia.
Shin, a first-generation American, has also worked on transportation and mass transit issues in the region, having served as a member of the Tysons Transportation District Service Advisory Board for Fairfax County.
In 2019, Samirah won the 86th District seat in a special election, succeeding Sen. Jennifer Boysko (D) and defeating Republican challenger Gregg Nelson and independent challenger Connie Haines Hutchinson by claiming nearly 60 percent of the vote.
Samirah said he is planning to seek re-election.
"We need more affordable, quality housing and health insurance options for all, especially our most burdened Virginians of Black, Latino, Asian, and lower-income backgrounds, and so I've been very focused on delivering quality, affordable housing and health care solutions,” Samirah said. "I have gotten five pieces of legislation of mine to pass the House of Delegates and are now in the Senate for consideration."
Update: This story has been updated after Samirah told the Times-Mirror he will seek re-election. He initially declined to answer the question.