When Bob Flanagan first signaled that he would challenge Courtney Watson for the District 1 council seat I labeled him a formidable challenger. Bob is a seasoned politico having served as a member of the House of Delegates and as Transportation Secretary under former governor, Bob Ehrlich.
The problem for Bob is that Courtney, more of a centrist than party ideologue, is doing a great job. In four years she has proven herself to be a thoughtful and highly capable legislator. Courtney loves this job and it shows, particularly when it comes to serving her constituents in District 1.
When she ran for election four years ago I supported her Republican opponent, Tony Salazar. The bottom line is that four years ago I really didn’t know much about her and some of my colleagues had encouraged me to support Tony, though truthfully I didn’t really know him all that well either.
Over the past four years I’ve come to know Courtney quite well. I watched her during public hearings and have been impressed with her questioning of those offering public testimony. She seems to work well with her council colleagues and regularly gets high marks for tackling the tougher issues in her council district. When the Doughoregan Manor development plans were being debated this past spring Courtney did not shy away from taking a stand. When the debate was in full heat I asked Bob Flanagan what his position was and he responded that he was “open to receiving information.”
That is hardly a position to rally around. If you are trying to unseat an incumbent who is perceived as doing a good job it would be wise to offer a compelling argument for doing so. In my opinion Bob has failed to do that and therefore I support my new friend Courtney for reelection.