The courtyard next to the Leesburg Town Hall on Saturday served as the venue for Democrat Kristin Cabral to officially launch her campaign in the 10th congressional district against incumbent U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf (R).
Cabral, a Fairfax resident, made her gender a primary theme, likely one of the reasons Clarke County School Board member Barbara Lee spoke during the event. In Clarke County, women hold two of five seats on the board of supervisors and three of five seats on the school board as well as serve as treasurer, commonwealth’s attorney, commissioner of the revenue and clerk of the court. Women also hold five seats on two town councils in Clarke County and the state Senate seat that represents the county.
“We know and appreciate good, strong women when we see them,” Lee said. “We’re very proud of that. I look forward to adding Kristin to the women that represent Clarke County.”
Women’s issues also are likely to play a significant role in this year’s election because of debates at the national level about birth control and women’s pay and in Virginia after the state passed a law
The 10th district includes parts of Fairfax, Prince William and Fauquier counties, as well as all of Loudoun, Clarke, Warren and Frederick counties, as well as the City of Winchester.
Cabral, an attorney who served as prosecutor for the federal government, described herself as a wife, a mother, a worker and a volunteer. While succeeding in her law career, she is also raising two children, now teens. She was the first woman in her family to earn a degree, and as Lee pointed out, “she’s also a fantastic karaoke singer.”
In her legal career, Cabral litigated immigration cases. She also served as the law clerk for a federal judge and as a law professor at George Washington University.
Cabral said her background demonstrates that “I understand how Congress should work.”
At the same time, her service on the PTA, as a Girl Scout Brownie troop leader and on the Fairfax County Public Library board, she said, have kept her in touch with issues important to families and women. Cabral referred to a marker in Hillsboro that honors the mother and sister of the Wright brothers, the men credited with first achieving flight. Susan Koerner Wright, Cabral said, shaped the men that changed the world.
Cabral tied the topic of flight back to Dulles Airport, which lies within the 10th District and serves as an important economic engine to Loudoun, the region and the state.
If elected, she would work to end a bitter divide that makes certain legislation difficult, she said, if not impossible to move forward and referenced a quote by Abraham Lincoln.
“’A house divided against itself cannot stand,’” she said, reiterating the quote before adding her own John Lennon-esque comment. “Imagine a Congress that gets the job done.”
Cabral said she believes she has the right mix of qualities to help Congress move forward and address a daunting economic future.
“This mother can do it,” she said.
Wolf has faced challenges many times over the years, but has held on to his 10th District seat since he was first elected to it in 1980.