Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Erik Curren announces for the 20th House District
Erik Curren, Director of Marketing and Sales at the American Shakespeare Center, will challenge Chris Saxman for the 20th District House of Delegates seat. Curren has been exploring the opportunity for the past couple of months and said he's been encouraged by colleagues in business and the community, by party leaders, and by friends and family. While he knows taking on an incumbent is tough, Curren says folks tell him they want a delegate who will listen, be more responsive, and be less dogmatic.
The filing deadline is April 10 and it appears Curren will be the only candidate to have completed the paperwork and collected the signatures to be certified for the June 9 Democratic primary.
Curren is active in a number of community activities including Staunton Green 2020, a recently formed citizens group focusing on raising awareness about clean energy and economic development for the the Queen City. His campaign for delegate will probably focus on those issues, transportation, and preserving the quality of life in the Shenandoah Valley. He has expressed strong support for public education, a position that stands in sharp contrast to Saxman's.
Curren is a graduate of Washington and Lee and earned a PhD at the University of California, Irvine. He's taught English abroad and several places in the United States, including Blue Ridge Community College. He lives in historic downtown Staunton.
The 20th District includes Staunton, Highland County, much of western Augusta County, and several precincts in southern Rockingham County. He promises to run on issues, not personalities, and sees the campaign as "project in participatory democracy for the area where citizens can be involved in a discussion of the most promising opportunities and solutions for the area and state."
Over the past few months, Erik has earned a reputation for asking questions and listening to the answers rather than talking to potential voters. That is as refreshing as our warm spring days!