September 17, 2021

UMW to Host Public Debates for House of Delegates Seats

The University of Mary Washington will host a public political debate between candidates for Virginia’s 28th District House of Delegates seat on Wednesday, Sept. 22, at 7 p.m.

UMW will host two public political debates, beginning next week, via YouTube.

UMW will host two public political debates, beginning next week, via YouTube.

Incumbent Del. Joshua Cole (D) will face off against opponent Tara Durant (R) live via Zoom, with public viewing accessible through YouTube. Viewers may submit questions for consideration for inclusion in the debate using an online form until 11 a.m. on the day of the event. The 28th district covers Fredericksburg and parts of Stafford County.

UMW will host a second House of Delegates debate, for the 88th District seat, on Tuesday, Oct. 26, with Democrat Kecia Evans, Republican Phillip Scott and Libertarian Timothy Lewis. The 88th district covers part of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania, Stafford and Fauquier counties.

“While COVID has forced us to debate online this fall, we can look forward to vigorous discussions about the path forward for Virginia,” said moderator Stephen Farnsworth, UMW professor of political science and director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies.

Del. Joshua Cole

Del. Joshua Cole

The events are being hosted by Mary Washington’s College Republicans, Young Democrats and Student Government Association (SGA). “Such debates make an investment in student participation and increase excitement for civic engagement,” said UMW SGA President Brianna Reaves. “Including students in this process is crucial to the grassroots activism we see on campus.”

The debates are co-sponsored by the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce, The Free Lance-Star and the League of Women Voters of the Fredericksburg Area. News Director Ted Schubel of WFVA Radio and Editorial Page Editor Barbara Hollingsworth of The Free Lance-Star will ask questions of the candidates during the hourlong debate.

Elected to represent Virginia’s 28th District in 2019, Cole has been appointed to serve on the State Commission on Youth, Autism Advisory Council, and the Rappahannock River Basin and Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial commissions. He was elected in 2020 as one of Virginia’s five Democratic National Committee representatives. Former president of the Stafford County NAACP, Cole is a member of the Greater Fredericksburg Area Interfaith Council, associate pastor at Stafford’s Union Bell Baptist Church and chairman of the House of Clergy for the Union of Charismatic Orthodox Churches.

Tara Durant

Tara Durant

Tara Durant is an elementary school teacher, mother, Marine wife and breast cancer survivor, making her first run for public office. She has served on the boards of the Fredericksburg Area Service League and the PTO, as well as the Citizens Review Panel with United Way. Durant also has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and been a supporter of local sports teams and St. Mary’s Church in Fredericksburg.

Occurring less than a week before National Voter Registration Day, a celebration of democracy that encourages participation in the political process, the first of two 2021 UMW debates shines a spotlight on local elections.

“One of my favorite traditions at Mary Washington is our ability to host candidate debates for area elected offices,” Farnsworth said, “and the willingness every year of those candidates to join us to discuss the future of our region.”

Submit questions, which must be received by 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 22, via an online form at umw.edu/sept2021debatequestions.

Watch the live debate on YouTube at umw.edu/sept2021debate.

Larus Comments on Vice President Harris’ Visit to SE Asia

Professor and Chairman of the Department of Political Science Elizabeth Freund Larus.

Professor and Chairman of the Department of Political Science Elizabeth Freund Larus.

Elizabeth Freund Larus, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Political Science and International Affairs, commented on U.S. Vice President Harris’ visit to Singapore and Vietnam. Professor Larus indicated that The visit demonstrates the good relationship between the U.S. and Vietnam, which has become more substantive, trusting, and effective.

View her commentary at https://vnews.gov.vn/video/quan-he-viet-nam-hoa-ky-tiep-tuc-phat-trien-tot-dp-10297.htm

 

Davidson Discusses New Book Through Panel Webinar

Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Jason Davidson

Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Jason Davidson

Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Jason Davidson recently shared insights from his book, America’s Entangling Alliances: 1778 to the Present, in a panel webinar presented by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore.

“What I hope will be an important consequence of this book is pointing out that some of the many reasons the United States has entered into new alliances in the post-Cold War period … was because of the benefits those allies provide that have nothing to do with their aggregate defense spending, have nothing to do with their payments for offsetting U.S. expenses for basing on their territory.” Watch here.

Dr. Davidson also commented on the following news stories:

Is a new war starting? The West could launch military attacks against Al Qaeda and the Islamic State (Capital)

“The West could reject all economic aid and launch periodic military attacks against Al Qaeda and the Islamic State” (La Razon)

Farnsworth Comments in the News

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies, recently commented on the following news stories:

McAuliffe, Youngkin Set to Meet in First Gubernatorial Debate Thursday (WVTF)

OP nominee for Virginia lieutenant governor drops staff before election (The Washington Post)

New Book: Top General Warned China about Trump (CTV News Channel)

Abortion rights at issue in local state House races after Texas ban (Prince William Times)

Angle on America (CTV News Channel)

End of Afghanistan War (CTV News Channel

Larus Comments on Biden’s China Ambassador Pick

Professor and Chair of Political Science and International Affairs Elizabeth Freund Larus

Professor and Chair of Political Science and International Affairs Elizabeth Freund Larus

Elizabeth Freund Larus, Chairman of the Department of Political Science and International Affairs, commented on President Biden’s nomination of diplomat Nicholas Burns as U.S. Ambassador to China, on the Indus News program In Focus South Asia on August 23, 2021. Professor Larus claimed that the choice of a career foreign service officer, rather than a political associate, signals the need for a seasoned diplomat to handle increasingly tense relations with China. Her comments can be accessed at
https://m.facebook.com/indusdotnews/videos/in-focus-south-asia-future-of-us-china-relations-indus-news/375762564013743/

Farnsworth Publishes co-authored article on Trump Presidency

Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Stephen Farnsworth

Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Stephen Farnsworth

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies, is co-author of an article, “Intermedial #MAGA: The Trump Presidency on Screen,” recently published in the Australasian Journal of American Studies.

Dr. Farnsworth also was featured in several local, regional and national news stories:

With Professor of Geography Steve Hanna: Richmond Politics 08/27/21 (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Why Meetings to Make Policies for Children are Turning into Fights (WRC-DC NBC)

McAuliffe polls higher, faces GOP lawsuit to keep him off statewide ballot (Potomac Local News)

Crisis in Afghanistan (CTV News Channel)

Chaotic Afghanistan Evacuation Efforts Continue (CTV News Channel)

Deciding Factors (Style Weekly)

McAuliffe touts slate of support from anti-Trump Republicans (Virginia Scope)

Census figures reveal extent of Democrats’ inroads, Republicans’ challenge in Virginia (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Eyeing November: Trump trouble ahead for Youngkin? A Biden burden for McAuliffe? (Virginia Mercury)

Republican Glenn Youngkin Rolls Out Tax Proposals (WVTF; WHRV 89.5)

Fed up, the vaccinated find their voice (Virginia Mercury, Fior Reports)

U.S. Military has Left Afghanistan (CTV News Channel)

Davidson Speaks on Situation in Afghanistan

Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Jason Davidson

Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Jason Davidson

Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Jason Davidson was interviewed about the situation in Afghanistan on LBC News in London.

“I don’t personally think that it made sense from a strategic perspective for the United States or for Britain to stay in Afghanistan forever. Both countries have other important interests and we certainly have other things to be doing with our resources … particularly if you look at a situation that didn’t really have the prospect of improving dramatically no matter how long we had stayed.” Listen here.

Davidson Speaks to Fortune.com about U.S. Allies’ Reactions to Afghanistan Withdrawal

Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Jason Davidson

Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Jason Davidson

Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Jason Davidson was interviewed on Fortune.com in an article entitled, “U.S. allies slam Afghanistan pullout as a debacle, but also see big opportunities.”

“For NATO allies, what they care most about at the moment is that the U.S. is better equipped coming out of this conflict to focus on bolstering the alliance relative to a resurgent, aggressive Russia,” said Jason Davidson, a specialist on U.S. political alliances, and political science professor at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

“The Afghanistan situation will be a blip to the U.S. commitment made to NATO,” he added. Read more.

Farnsworth Comments in the News

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies, recently commented on the following news stories:

Candidates for Virginia governor take opposite positions on mask and vaccine mandates (The Washington Post)

Crises in Afghanistan (CTV News Channel)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo Resigns (CTV News Channel)

Rural Virginia community offers roadmap for successful broadband expansion (Courthouse News Service)

Larus Comments on Vietnam News on U.S.-Southeast Asia Relations

Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science and International Affairs Elizabeth Freund Larus

Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science and International Affairs Elizabeth Freund Larus

PSIA Chairman Elizabeth Freund Larus commented on Vietnam national news on visits by U.S. government officials to Southeast Asia. Professor Larus gave U.S. Secretary of Defense Austin high marks for addressing COVID concerns and the lack of vaccines rather than the U.S.-China struggle. Southeast Asian economics rely on China for their economic prosperity, so they’re wary of being caught in the middle of an ideological struggle between the U.S. and China. In Vietnam, where the U.S. recently donated 3 million doses of the Moderna vaccines, Austin was able to discuss enhanced cooperation on maritime security. In the Philippines, Austin secured a major victory for the U.S. in its competition with China for influence in the region by compelling Philippine President Duterte to drop his threat to revoke the U.S.-Philippines Visiting Forces Agreement, an essential part of the U.S.-Philippine alliance. Professor Larus’ comments begin 10 minutes into the program, accessible at https://vnews.gov.vn/video/the-gioi-360-do-ngay-31-7-2021-218114.htm.