An Obama Campaign Veteran Runs in the 35th

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Cross-posted at Kos

One thing that won me to the Obama campaign was the quality of its grassroots leaders, who defied the long history of political campaigns with their warmth, courtesy, openness and diversity. Mark Keam, former Fairfax for Obama Campaign Coordinator, impressed me on all counts, with a gentlemanly, thoughtful and serious manner that brought to mind the new POTUS himself. So I was pleased to learn that Mark is running for the House of Delegates from the 35th District (where Steve Shannon is leaving his seat to run for Attorney General).

This will be a campaign not only to watch, but to strongly and actively support. Mark has a remarkable story to tell and he tells it well. For Mark, the American Dream has been not an abstraction but a reality. He was born in Korea, the son of an Army chaplain who brought his family with him to Vietnam. Before his tenth birthday, Mark and his family had to flee as the Communists took over in 1975.

He lived in Korea again and Australia before arriving with his family in California in 1980. He came to Washington as an intern to the Democratic National Committee in 1988, living in Falls Church at the time. He studied law after that and began an impressive career that included stints as an attorney to the FCC, Assistant Chief Counsel for Advocacy at the SBA, and Chief Counsel to Dick Durbin at the Senate Judiciary Committee. Along the way (living in Virginia since 1995), he exercised leadership through groups that ranged from Governor Kaine’s Asian American Advisory Board to the DC Hate Crimes Task Force to the Northern Virginia Democratic Business Council.

Among the causes Mark will be championing in his race will be greater investment in mass transit, better pay for teachers and helping small businesses weather the current economic storm.

This is a serious candidate with more angles and depth to him than you would normally find in a General Assembly race. I encourage you to check out his website and keep an eye on this young man, as he works to bring the spirit of Obama to a Virginia General Assembly that could really, really use it.

You barely left anything to add

But I would add how impressed I was with the competence of the Obama staffers and Mark was one of the first ones to stand out during the primary. From Yohannes, Aveek, Kevin Wolf (petitions), Luke McGowan, Mike Lamb, Kyle Lierman and many more, they were all really excellent and Mark was a stand out in a group of stand outs.

Keam for the 35th!

Mark Keam's exemplary role as grassroots Coordinator of Fairfax for Obama made it a pleasure to work with him these past two years on the State Leadership Team. Mark's intelligent, informed and respectful manner infused every task and challenge that came his way. Our Commonwealth stands to greatly benefit from the caliber of energy Mark will bring to the General Assembly.
Jane Van Ostern
VA Grassroots Director
Virginia for Obama

Mark wins my support.....

.....before I even have any idea who else is running. Mark was simply an outstanding organizer, and more importantly, and outstanding human being over the last few years working for Obama and for progressive values. I can't think of any better person who I would like to see representing citizens in the Virgnia legislature---really! He is excellence personified. I am excited to help Mark out and would encourage anyone out there to get to know him. He's likely to win this thing if I know Mark!

I can't imagine...

supporting anyone else for this seat. As an avid Obama volunteer I can say without equivocation that Mark truly represents everything that was inspiring and good about the national campaign, and now brings this to his own race as well. He'll do so much for progressive values not just in the 35th district of Virginia but for the entire Commonwealth.

Chrisi West

Go Mark!

While I have nothing more to add regarding Mark's skill, experience, and abilities than what has already noted above, I am compelled to say that I too am supporting Mark. His outstanding efforts on Fairfax for Obama notwithstanding, he is more than qualified to represent the 35th as its next Delegate.

Mark IS our man!

I have been a 'card carrying' Dem. for eons; I laughingly displayed that Chicago Tribune
as a college freshman...you know; DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN. Through the years I have
helped in many other campaigns, most recently of course, when Barack Obama captivated
us all as the 2004 Keynoter.
It was my privilege to work with and for Mark during the campaign. He is another inspirational
and captivating individual, possessing the same charisma as our president. I'll be proud one
day to say, "I knew Mark when..."

A Wonderful Candidate -- This is Really Good News

I am both a strong Obama supporter and a life-long, active Democrat. Mark was one of many committed, hard-working, thoughtful people I was privileged to meet during this last year of political volunteering, a year I will always remember. I last saw him in person when we both attended Sharon Bulova's campaign office-warming party this January for that tough local special election campaign we all just got through. Even in a crowd scene like that, he took the time to have a real conversation and I was impressed again by his insights, enthusiasm, and solid political background.

I am absolutely delighted to hear Mark is running for this position. He is a strong, smart candidate and I know he will represent our region's needs effectively in Richmond. I don't have much to add to the other comments but I heartily endorse them all.

Best of both worlds

Mark is just the sort of person you want to have in the House of Delegates -- smart, thoughtful, hardworking, respectful of all points of view. It's even better to have someone who will be a great delegate and who is a great campaigner.

I can't wait to fire up the organizing machine and put it on the road again!