Del. Bell Joins Race to Unseat Black in Senate

Second-term state delegate John J. Bell (D-87) has announced he will run to unseat Richard H. Black (R-13) in the Virginia senate in 2019.

Bell, of South Riding, said Black does not represent the changing district, one of the fastest-growing in Virginia.

“Number one is focusing on the 13th district and the needs of the families and people who live and work there,” Bell said. “Senator Black has focused on Syria and many issue that have nothing to do with the 13th District.”

He said his campaign will seek to differentiate him from Black, one of the state legislature’s most conservative members. Black is known for stirring controversy with his opposition to same-sex marriage, abortion—once handing out plastic fetus dolls to legislators—and his vocal support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is accused by American and international agencies of human rights abuses and war crimes during his time in power.

“The straw that broke the camel’s back for me was his 24-minute speech on Syria when we were having a very crucial special session on passing Medicaid expansion,” Bell said.

In the press release announcing his campaign, Bell specifically cited “keeping children safe in schools, protecting reproductive choices for women and finding cost-effective transportation solutions, not someone who uses his platform to propagate an extremist agenda.”

In particular he has advocated for years a partial buyback of the Dulles Greenway, something he continues to push. He said that will give the state a seat at the table and a way around the “bad deal” the state struck with the Greenway, which gives the State Corporation Commission little authority to deny toll increases on the Greenway.

“As a partner and really a half owner, we could force distance-based pricing,” Bell said, along with lower tolls in part due to the state taking over the cost of patrolling and clearing the road. Currently the Greenway pays the state police to patrol the road and hires private companies to clear it during bad weather.

Bell also mentioned a number of gun law reforms, such as making it a crime to leave a loaded gun unattended at home.

“We have to tackle this one from a 360-degree perspective,” Bell said.

Bell joins a race that, like many since the election of President Donald J. Trump, is crowded with Democrats. The race has already seen formal announcements, filings, or fundraising from at least four other Democrats. He said he stands out as the only Democratic candidate in the race so far who has held elected office, and as a long-term resident of the area, having moved in when he retired from the U.S. Air Force in 2007.

He also begins his campaign with endorsements from 13 other local elected officials, including Loudoun Dels. Jennifer B. Boysko (D-86), Karrie K. Delaney (D-67), Kathleen Murphy (D-34), David A. Reid (D-32); and Sens. Barbara A. Favola (D-31) and Jennifer T. Wexton (D-33), who is seeking a seat in Congress.

“I am proud to endorse my friend and colleague Delegate John Bell in his campaign for the Virginia Senate,” Wexton stated. “Over the past five years, I have come to know John to be a tenacious candidate, and thoughtful legislator. After we flip the U.S. House from Red to Blue in November, all eyes will turn to Virginia as we fight to flip our State Senate in 2019. There is no doubt in my mind that John is the right candidate to lead that fight.”

Bell is a retired U.S. Air Force officer, serving from 1981 to 2007 as a finance officer and retiring as a major. He and his wife Margaret, a local realtor, have five children and three grandchildren.

The 13th Senate District covers the western half of Loudoun County and a portion of Prince William County. In 2011, Black, who had served in the House of Delegates since 1998, handily won the set over Democrat Shawn Mitchell. His 2015 re-election victory was narrower, as Democrat Jill McCabe came within 2,354 votes of a victory.

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7 thoughts on “Del. Bell Joins Race to Unseat Black in Senate

  • 2018-08-27 at 6:09 pm

    This is the same Del. Bell who actually thinks people can buy hand grenades and bazooka’s at Costco… And the very same Del. Bell who screwed over every Loudoun Taxpayer by stealing the transportation tax money we paid for our roads and gave it to the cronies at Metro.

    Confront this guy. Demand he answer why he stole our road money and gave it to the dud that is Metro. Ask him if he knows any good deals on a bazooka too.

    • 2018-08-28 at 3:50 pm

      I am an immigrant from India and I chose to support Del John Bell last year over another immigrant from India, Mr. Kola, who participated in nominating Mr. Trump, whose language was and is contemptuous to others, divisive, disrespectful to his opponents, and inappropriate for the President of the United States.
      I am convinced that Del Bell has served us admirably in the Virginia House in many ways. Del Bell is to be seen everywhere connecting with everybody through out the year, approachable and dressed casually like one of us, not always in wrapped the shield of a politicians uniform.
      Mr. Manthos’s words are laced with anger and venom, and comes with no context, references or sources. This typically the style Russian GRU bots adopted on Facebook and other media to generate anger and sow division among Americans. There is the unsubstantiated fiery, angry claim, and a call to action.
      Yes, we can’t buy guns and bazookas in many places including Starbucks, but the list of places where dangerous and useless weapons can be purchased is endless. The sting video last year by Mr. Helmer acquiring an automatic weapon in a Virginia gun show/fair, similar to the weapon he carried while deployed in Afghanistan, was an eye opener.
      We can, and we must, do better than adopt a foriegn aggressor’s techniques against our own citizens participating in a vital, national function that constitutes us. At the very least we need to learn from it and avoid practices that hurt us as Americans.
      Let us uphold the proud Virginia tradition of civility, however bold our discussions.

      • 2018-08-28 at 7:09 pm

        Mr. Amudhanars, Here’s the link to Del. Bell’s own words:

        As you can see, democrat Delegate John Bell believes his constituents to be ignorant rubes. He used incendiary and false language to scare people with the use of uber-hyper-hyperbole by convincing them that people can purchase bazookas and hand grenades. As you correctly state, it’s a big fat juicy lie. But Del. Bell says it anyway. Del. Bell is just another politician who always thinks he’s the smartest guy in the room. In reality, he lies, conflates, and obscures. Ask him why he said that. Let us know what he says.

        Secondly, he did indeed vote to take the Northern Virginia’s special tax money that we pay extra for, and is supposed to be for Northern Virginia roads… Our roads, and he gave it to the failed Metro system. What was the democrats answer for stealing your money? It was to raise even more taxes to cover up for it. You look that up yourself, and then ask Bell why he stole your road money, and raised your taxes.

        The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming! Goodness. Not that worn out tripe again. Russia is a state in decline. Delhi knows it. That’s why India recently refused to be “partners” any longer in the T-50/Su57 fighter program. The Russians needed India’s investment, and India was sick and tired of being used as an ATM machine for junk projects. Russia is a basket case. They don’t even break the top 10 economies on the world and their demographics are in serious decline — take away the oil and the nuclear weapons and nobody would even deal with them. Let’s dispense with the silly GRU “anger and division” talk, shall we? You’re likely much smarter than that. As a native of India, you know first-hand who the real threat to world peace is: Communist China. Yet, we rarely hear about the ChiCom threat here in America – Just those diabolical Rooskies.

        Ask democrat Delegate Bell why he says people can buy hand grenades and Bazooka’s, when it’s a lie. Ask him why he stole our road money and gave it to Metro. And ask him why he failed to mention any this before he sent you out defend him. It appears to me he holds you in low regard.

        • 2019-10-17 at 6:06 pm

          —-> “Yet, we rarely hear about the ChiCom threat here in America –”

          What? Seriously?

  • 2018-09-04 at 2:27 am

    Mr. Manthos,
    I suggested civility and you got coarser. I’m responding at this time to inform Loudoun Now readers.

    My name is Sri Amudhanar, and I am the current Ashburn District Chair for Loudoun County Democratic Committee, elected to a second term.

    Delegate Bell, Mr. Green, Ms. Wiley and others are seeking to win the Democratic Primary to unseat Republican Senator Dick Black, which includes voters from Ashburn District. It is my elected role to help democrats get elected, defend them when possible against lies and deceitful attacks, like yours.

    I don’t need to have anyone send me to defend them. I asked for it when I ran for election in Ashburn, and received popular support. I support the democratic candidates in my district.

    There are many Virginia commuters who love the Metro, and your claim that the Metro is bad and that no one wants it is false. You asked for action against Del Bell for something you say was stolen, and that is a fictional claim.

    Mr. Manthos, you are still obfuscating. Your link to an old statement only proves his opposition to bazookas on the street, nothing about allocated funds turning into stolen dollars.

    It is commonly accepted now by many Americans, that Russian intelligence cyber-attacked and continues to cyber-attack the US, seeking to affect and control US elections, US industrial infrastructure, and US military and government operations. It doen’t matter what the size of its economy is. Ill intentions are ill intentions.

    You are attempting to misdirect the Russian cyber-attacks with Chinese arguments. Just like Mr. Trump is bleating pathetically and endlessly to escape Robert Mueller’s tightening vice-like grip.

    Your attempt to win chuckles by using disrespectful names for the Russian people and Chinese people is exactly the style of giving someone mocking and demeaning names by Mr. Trump. Rooskies and ChinCom? Who talks like that. What novels are you reading! Where do you really live? Who are you talking to?

    And you don’t have to pander to my pride about my nativity. That buys you nothing. I am American.
    Since when do you love people from India? All that verbiage about India, Indian ATMs, military acquisitions, and plane numbers, really means nothing right now in our Loudoun County elections. Where did you pick up all that information? Intelligence Department?

    We will certainly talk about “anger and division”. You seem to have time to romp around the world, and you appear to have the technique and resources to flare up angry reactions in communities exercising their civic duties to elect their representatives.

    Your claims are inaccurate, like Mr. Trump.
    Your language is disrespectful like Mr. Trump.
    You misdirect attention from Russia to China, like Mr. Trump.
    Are you sent by Mr. Trump to meddle in Northern VA?

    Your attempt to stroke your target’s ego and recruit the target’s sympathy is a cheap attempt. Are you a hostile agent, active in local Virginia elections to turn Americans against Americans, and cause havoc in Virginia?
    Goodbye, Mr. Manthos.

  • 2018-09-13 at 6:35 pm

    Hello Mr. Amudhanar,

    I apologize for not corresponding with you sooner. I just came across this today. Thank you for identifying yourself as a democrat party official. Del. John Bell did indeed swipe our NVTA road money and gave it to Metro. And then he voted to raise taxes on Loudoun residents to cover for it. Here’s just one of the reports:

    “Your link to an old statement only proves his opposition to bazookas on the street, nothing about allocated funds turning into stolen dollars. “
    By your own words, you are stating that all of Del. John Bell’s political statements have an expiration date. Thank you for informing the readers of Loudoun Now of that. It’s always good to hear a party official admit the truth.

    The majority of your comments border on departing the precincts of reality Mr. Amudhanar. You imply the Russians are messing with our elections: That’s correct. They have been trying… for over 70 years. That’s not news to anyone who reads. Now, I’m insulting them for calling them Rooskies? You can’t have it both ways.

    Same goes for the “ChiComs.” You’re smart. You know that’s a contraction for “Chinese Communist.” You also know that China is robbing us blind of our intellectual property and military secrets. Certainly, you know that China invaded India, and you must know of the war that resulted. You have to know that at this very moment, Indian troops face Chinese troops along that same border, which the Chinese routinely cross with provocative and hostile intent, as they want nice slice of India for themselves. Think “minerals.” China is not America’s friend, nor are they a friend of India.

    The voters of my state senate district have every right, and a responsibility, to question Delegate Bell as to why he lied about “bazookas and hand grenades” being available to the public, and why he voted to steal NOVA’s road tax money and give it to Metro, while raising taxes on Loudoun County?

    I know reality can be hard for some people Mr. Amudhanar. I get it. Just in case you forgot, here’s that link again

    Like you Mr. Amudhanar, I’m an American. I’m also a Virginian, and I’ve lived in Loudoun County my entire life. I’m sorry I can’t be the double secret super intelligence officer, or “hostile agent” you wish me to be. (By the way, do you realize how unhinged your accusations sound?) I’m a voter in the 13th state senate district. Like many other voters, I plan on requiring Del. Bell to explain himself for his falsehoods and for voting to steal our road taxes and feed it to Metro. I strongly encourage all voters to confront Del. Bell on these issues.

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