Richard 'Rip' Sullivan earns Democratic nomination for Virginia House of Delegates special election

(WJLA) - Democrats in Northern Virginia voted last week to name a nominee in the race for the House's 48th District - and they have a winner.

The party will officially back Richard "Rip" Sullivan for the state's House of Delegates special election, scheduled for Aug. 19.

Sullivan will campaign for the seat vacated by Bob Brink, who recently accepted the position as Deputy Commissioner for Aging Services at the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services in Virginia.

According to the Arlington Democrats, the caucus employed Instant Runoff Voting when no candidate initially secured more than 50 percent of the votes cast.

Five rounds were needed to determine the winner. Sullivan won with 53 percent of the vote in round five.

"Rip has been widely recognized as a leader in our community, as reflected in his appointments to numerous Northern Virginia boards and commissions," the Arlington Democrats said in a statement Monday.

Sullivan's experience includes serving on the Fairfax Consumer Protection Commission, the Transportation Advisory Commission, the Housing and Redevelopment Authority and the Park Authority.

Additionally, he has served as president of the Legal Services of Northern Virginia, a nonprofit institution providing legal services to low-income residents. He is also a former member of the Board of Governors for the Virginia Bar Association.

Some Democrats criticized the rushed nature of Sunday's caucus.

“Despite Speaker Bill Howell scheduling an Aug. 19 special election, which required a July 7 filing deadline, Democrats in Arlington and Fairfax showed up in impressive numbers to volunteer and vote during a holiday weekend," said Arlington County Democratic Chairman Kip Malinosky, following the vote. "We had seven passionate and incredibly well organized candidates who pulled together great campaigns in just six days."

Sullivan thanked voters in a statement on his campaign website Monday.

"I am honored to accept the Democratic nomination in the 48th House District," he said. "I’m looking forward to working with Democrats all across Arlington and Fairfax counties as we shift focus to the special election on Aug. 19. Let’s keep the 48th District blue, and then start winning back the legislature one seat at a time!"

The 48th House of Delegates district is composed of parts of Arlington County and Fairfax County. The district extends as far north as McLean, and encompasses most of North Arlington, everywhere Arlington County touches the Potomac River, and the Crystal City area.

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