One of the facts one learns living in the Washington, D.C. region is the difference between politics and government – and one of the key parts of the difference is the schedule the two keep. Just when most of the area is going on vacation to enjoy a long weekend, local politicians switch into high gear. It is, after all, the best time to meet those constituents still around.
Matt Berry provided a good example of this dichotomy, hosting a barbecue for neighbors and supporters at his home near Ballston, getting them ready for the next big push in his campaign. Berry, a 13-year resident of Arlington, is running in the primary to be the Republican nominee for the 8th Congressional District in Virginia, the seat currently held by Democrat Jim Moran. His competition for the nomination is Patrick Murray a retired U.S. Army Colonel.
While he spent most of the time talking one-on-one with potential constituents, Berry did stand up to give a brief speech to his guests who were enjoying traditional the summer barbecue fare. He began by thanking everyone for their work on his behalf, asking for us to remember our servicemen, saying the he was humbled by how many people were taking an interest in his ideas and concluded by making the official public introduction of his two dogs, Wilson and Thatcher, the special guests of the event.
Although they kept to the shade, guests conversed eagerly about topics ranging from how they honor Memorial Day to, naturally, local politics. Many of those present favored Berry’s focus on the issues and the fact that he promotes his plans for resolving problems rather than just standard talking points.
The sweltering summer weather was relieved by iced tea, lemonade, and hamburgers and hotdogs cooked up by his campaign staff. Berry gave a nod to the cupcake craze by including red-white-and-blue cupcakes next to the watermelon and potato salad. About 60 guests left with “party favors” of bumper stickers, yard signs, and an appeal to support the Berry campaign.
Berry also took time this weekend to march in the Falls Church’s Memorial Day parade. Primary elections are being held in the 8th and 11th Virginia congressional districts on June 8th and voting is open to all registered voters. Residents can expect phone calls, door knockers, and other get-out-the-vote efforts in the final week before the election.