I have been paying so much attention to the race for President that I really had no clue who was running against my Congressman. So I did a quick search and found his Republican challenger:
Colonel Chris Perkins is a retired United States Army officer, former Special Forces (Green Beret), small business owner, and family man who has lived in Northern Virginia since 1991 when not deployed overseas. Concerned about America's deteriorating fiscal situation, and severely disappointed with the lack of leadership in Washington and the poor performance of careerist politicians such as Congressman Gerry Connolly, Chris has once again dedicated himself to honorable public service. - (Read More) www.perkins2012.com
It all sounds good and he sounds like a nice step up from my present Congressman Gerry Connolly. And it seems that Congressman Connolly thinks so to, given that he refuses to debate his challengers (There is also an Independent running).
FAIRFAX, Va. – Mark Gibson, independent candidate for Virginia’s 11th Congressional District, says he’s eager to engage the other candidates and media in a forum on Wednesday, September 12 at 8 p.m. televised by Reston Community Television, RCTV28 on Comcast. But, Gibson said, “I’m disappointed that the incumbent has declined.” Gibson will appear along with Republican candidate Chris Perkins and Green Party candidate Joe Galdo. Moderated by Colin Mills, President of the Reston Citizens Association, and John Lovaas, host of RCTV28’s Reston Impact, journalists from three media outlets serving Reston – The Connection, Fairfax Times, and Patch.com – will pose questions to the candidates. Notably absent is the incumbent, Gerry Connolly. The two-term Democrat declined participation, though he benefited from inclusion of Democrat-dominated Reston in Congressional redistricting following the 2010 Census. - potomaclocal.com
The Congressman is certainly not required to debate. However, his failure to do so does lend credence to complaints that he is a career hack politician. It is that type of politician that we don't need in Congress. Here is a summary from the Washington Examiner from two years ago:
Incumbent Virginia Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly exemplifies the fading political fortunes of the freshman tax-and-spenders who rode President Obama’s coattails into Congress two years ago. The former chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and president of the 2008 congressional class, Connolly loyally cast votes for the president’s $814 billion stimulus bill, bank bailouts, cap and trade and Obamacare. - Link