Member and Branch Statements on 2023-EER4: Resolution to Endorse Ibraheem Samirah for US Congress

Statements from chapter members in favor and against 2023-EER4: Resolution to Endorse Ibraheem Samirah for US Congress will be posted in this thread.

IN FAVOR by Alex Y.

I think the chapter has a great opportunity that will not soon come to us again in NoVA if we do not endorse this campaign. First off, it is a winnable race even if it may be risky with so many candidates running, but it is not unwinnable by any means. An open district is always a great opportunity to flip it and choosing not to endorse in this race only concedes it to AIPAC and likely the National Security interests that dominate in NoVA and we will not be able to contest it again with such a good opportunity in potentially decades. Additionally, the general election will remain unwinnable by a Republican if Ibraheem wins the primary, even beloved Governor Glenn Youngkin lost it by 1.6% of the vote in 2021 and 2024 will certainly not be as good as that year was for Republicans in Virginia.

I would also like to take this time to clear up some misinformation that was brought up during the GBM. The outgoing representative Jennifer Wexton has not endorsed Jennifer Boysko nor any other candidate. In fact, it is believed that former Governor Northam asked her for permission before he made his endorsement of Eileen Filler-Corn, suggesting that Wexton will not make any endorsement. Next I want to clear the record on Ibraheem’s votes on ending qualified immunity as I am sure many of us did not pay attention to it while it was happening. I was not paying attention then and only recently had them clarified to me. Ibraheem ultimately voted to end qualified immunity on the last version of the bill. However, due to how amendments are handled in Virginia’s state legislature, Ibraheem originally had to vote against the earlier drafts in order to get his amendment considered against the wishes of the other Democrats in the state legislature. His amendment would have changed it to punish counties and independent cities with bad cops by making them have to pay more on them based on their bad records once qualified immunity was ended. Once the amendment failed, he then voted on the final version to end qualified immunity.

Additionally, we should think of our reputation if we decline to endorse a viable Congressional campaign run by a Palestinian-American. Rashida Tlaib has been the best ally for Palestine in Congress ever since joining it and I think we can all be certain Ibraheem will be right up there with her. While Israel continues to spill Palestinian blood, we must do everything we can to help Palestine and that includes helping this campaign win. Many of you have gone to the marches and other actions for Palestine that have taken place over the past few months and some of you have even helped organize them. I ask you now to continue that work and endorse this campaign and get ready to do the work to give Palestine another great ally in Congress.

IN FAVOR by Kristen B.

We have a unique opportunity to endorse and support the candidacy of Dr. Ibraheem Samirah for U.S. Congress. This is a 12-way open primary so we have a real opportunity to gain a plurality of votes while the electorate splits the moderate/establishment vote among the many such candidates. Ibraheem has had electoral success in this region previously. There are large Muslim-Amerian and MENA communities in that district that are impassioned by the catastrophe in Palestine and so there is a activated voter and volunteer base. Our chapter saw a previous electoral win in Northern VA in an area well outside DC. Our Branch is extremely energized by the current Free Palestine/Pro-Ceasefire movement and can channel this energy into a door-knocking operation.


I have no confidence in Ibraheem’s alignment with our organization or in his ability to win even the primary, let alone the general; endorsing him would be a huge error that would meaningfully degrade our electoral program, especially in Northern Virginia, by making it look totally unserious. I implore you to join me in voting no.

In the past, when we’ve made poor decisions about endorsements, it has been because we endorsed someone strongly aligned with our values in a very difficult race. In this case, I have serious doubts about Ibraheem’s understanding of our organization and our electoral program, as well as about his campaign strategy. His pitch has consistently been a very generic case for us endorsing as part of a progressive coalition that will let him win the primary with a small minority of the vote. That case is not based on a history of legislative accomplishments, effective campaigning, or deep engagement with DSA, because none of these exist. In the time he did serve on the state legislature, Ibraheem provided the deciding vote against ending qualified immunity, which would have been a massive win for police accountability. His answer to questions about why he did this has been a technocratic dodge about the public cost of police potentially carrying insurance, which I find both unsatisfying on the merits and indicative of how his approach to politics differs from ours. He also can’t claim to be someone with a strong electoral track record, willing to tack left to win with our support: he lost his last two elections in districts that overlap with this one (but which are smaller), the most recent one by a wide margin, and his explanation of our role in securing the race for him strikes me as quite superficial, rather than as a rigorous accounting of his strategy and our place in it. If there were evidence that he’s been meaningfully involved in DSA over the last few years, we could lean on his history of involvement in our chapter, to resolve some of the tensions in his record, but unfortunately, no such history exists.

Ibraheem thinks he can win the primary by using our endorsement to claim to be the left candidate, so that he can consolidate a progressive coalition and win with about a third of the primary vote. He either does not know or does not care that we cannot deploy significant volunteer hours or comms resources in his district, and either option is concerning, since both indicate a deep lack of understanding of our program. It is unclear how he plans to win the general election, which will absolutely be competitive, even if the Democrat is favored. The absolute best case scenario for an endorsement is that he somehow wins with our paper endorsement, and then immediately goes back to ignoring DSA, as he has over the past four years. The worst case is that we spend a moderate amount of volunteer hours, which could go towards our other priorities, to somehow win him the primary, and then hand the general election – for which he appears woefully unprepared – to a Republican. We look irresponsible and unprincipled in either scenario. Any work in the chapter at all is a better use of our time than supporting Ibraheem, please join me in voting no on this endorsement.

AGAINST by Ryan O.

I want to write to encourage people to vote AGAINST the endorsement of Ibraheem Samirah. I have known Ibraheem for a while and I think it would be a liability for our chapter to endorse him. Ibraheem has exhibited behavior which leads me to this decision, including his current DSA membership, past votes while in the VA House of Delegates, failure to win reelection, the stiff competition he will face in the primary and general, as well as concerning activity around his past business ventures.

Ibraheem may not be a member of MDC DSA. During the candidate Q&A, Ibraheem was noncommittal about whether or not he pays dues to the chapter. Being a member (and a member in good standing) is a basic requirement of endorsements – you must be a member of the chapter and a member in good standing to receive our endorsement, as an indication of your willingness to work with the organization. Candidates are informed of this, and the vast majority easily pass this requirement.

While serving in the Virginia General Assembly, Ibraheem was a swing vote to maintain qualified immunity in the state. At the time, he defended the decision by saying that “he had only voted against it because he believed it wasn’t going to pass.”

When asked about this vote in the candidate Q&A, he doubled down on his vote and tried to deflect by claiming that removing qualified immunity would somehow help police officers. If it were not for Ibraheem’s vote, qualified immunity reform would have been written into law. When he was asked a question about his business on the chapter’s candidate Q&A, he didn’t answer the question and instead implied that someone who asked that question had been planted or “fed” that question. The question was regarding publicly available business data and federal PPP loan data which appeared to show Ibraheem may have broken the law. If these concerns are unfounded, Ibraheem should have no problem answering them. Instead, he avoided any discussion on the topic. If he is arousing suspicion about chapter members and refusing to be accountable during a candidate Q&A where he’s trying to win our vote, how accountable will he be during the campaign or if elected to office?

In addition to all of these long standing issues, I was not impressed by Ibraheem’s candidacy at the convention or the January GBM. As someone who has organized in the district Ibraheem is running in, for multiple candidates both at the local and congressional level, Ibraheem’s chances of winning are, in my opinion, very unlikely, with or without the aid of DSA’s endorsement. A congressional race is a huge undertaking, he’s lost his last two races (including as an incumbent), and he said at the GBM that his district is too big to canvas. I think endorsing Ibraheem would be a mistake both strategically and for the chapter’s reputation. I hope you vote no.

AGAINST by Philip B.

To Whom It May Concern: I am writing to my chapter comrades to vote AGAINST endorsing Ibraheem Samirah. Earlier last year, Ibraheem Samirah claimed to have the endorsement of national electoral group, Justice Democrats, in an attempt to garner more local support and show that he had national credibility. After this claim was proven false, by multiple sources within Justice Democrats, I have reason to believe that Ibraheem’s judgement is weak at best and a massive liability for the chapter at its worst. A candidate worthy of our endorsement does not inflate their resume or credibility for the ambitious pursuit of holding political office. I urge our chapter not to endorse Ibraheem Samirah.

AGAINST by Michael M.

I’m writing against endorsing Ibraheem for US Congress for a few reasons, which I’ll keep simple.

I grew up in Loudoun County most of my life, so I’m very familiar with the district Ibraheem is running for, and it is extremely unfavorable to our politics. Loudoun is the wealthiest county in the country, extremely reactionary, has a median household income of over $170k, and loves Jennifer Wexton. It’s already politically treacherous terrain for socialists, but if Ibraheem’s opponent is likely to be endorsed by Wexton, he has zero chance of winning, period. We’ve endorsed unwinnable campaigns in the past and it not only hurts us politically, but it’s extremely demoralizing for the volunteers who’ve spent their weekends knocking doors for a candidate they believed in. We should only endorse in races where the candidate has a fighting chance. Ibraheem does not.

On a personal level, I found Ibraheem’s motivating speech and responses to questions at the January General Body Meeting to be extremely lackluster and vague. It did not appear that he truly believed the things he was saying; rather, it seemed like he was attempting to perform what a socialist might say in response to what were pretty straightforward questions about his values. Also, while serving in the Virginia General Assembly, Ibraheem was a swing vote to maintain qualified immunity in the state. If not for him, qualified immunity would’ve ended. This is unacceptable and should be a red line for us.

Lastly, I think it’s imperative that we NOT divert volunteer power away from Janeese’s re-election campaign. She has a real chance of winning AND has a proven track record of aligning with our core socialist values; whereas, Ibraheem has already failed to win re-election once and has demonstrated he is not aligned with our values on a number of issues. We can only devote so much time and energy to so many campaigns, so we must be selective of who we endorse. I don’t think Ibraheem has made a strong case for why he’s deserving of our robust volunteer power. I urge you to vote AGAINST endorsing Ibraheem Samirah for US Congress.


I’ll be voting NO on endorsing Ibraheem Samirah’s campaign for Virginia’s 10th District House of Representatives seat. I hope Metro DC DSA members do the same.

My rationale for voting against Ibraheem Samirah’s endorsement is two-fold:

  • First, even though the Democratic primary election in Virginia is only about four months away (on June 18, 2024), Samirah’s campaign does not appear to have any basic campaign infrastructure up and running yet—such as a website, donation page, social media pages, or campaign events. Three of Samirah’s top opponents in the 10th District election (Jennifer Boysco, Eileen Filler-Corn, and Suhas Subramanyam) all have active websites and donation webpages, while the link on Samirah’s public Facebook page points to an inactive website for his 2023 state senate campaign. Although our chapter has endorsed insurgent candidates without substantial resources in the past, the lack of even a basic campaign website with four months before a congressional election is concerning.
  • Second, during the candidate question-and-answer event hosted last month by the chapter’s Northern Virginia branch, Samirah’s reaction to a question about Paycheck Protection Program loans for his dental practice was disappointing. Rather than answer a seemingly good-faith question with an equally good-faith response, Samirah wondered aloud about whether the question was secretly a bad-faith attack meant to undermine his campaign. I would expect a candidate seeking our DSA chapter’s endorsement to engage positively with chapter members who have questions.

If our chapter’s endorsements were just rubber stamp approvals of electoral candidates, then these two issues probably wouldn’t weigh significantly in my electoral endorsement vote for Ibraheem Samirah’s campaign. However, as the past seven years of our chapter’s electoral activities have shown, Metro DC DSA members devote substantial volunteer time and material resources to endorsed candidates.

Considering the concerns that I’ve identified here, I could not ask Metro DC DSA members to devote the level of volunteer time and effort that we know is necessary for victory, and as such, I will be voting NO on endorsement.

IN FAVOR by Kamran F.

My name is Kamran Fareedi, I’m a proud DSA member who has worked in
electoral politics for Virginia progressives and Democratic socialists since 2017.

I strongly urge my fellow members of the Metro-DC DSA Chapter to follow the lead of the Northern Virginia Branch and vote to endorse Dr. Ibraheem Samirah for U.S. Congress in Virginia’s 10th District.

Ibraheem Samirah is a former Member of the Virginia House of Delegates who spent three years fighting for a Virginia Green New Deal, state-level Medicare for All, and quality, affordable housing for all. He has proven himself to be worthy of our endorsement by demonstrating a track record of winning elections in Loudoun County and delivering on a progressive and socialist agenda as a Northern Virginia elected official.

The upcoming primary is an extremely winnable race that presents us with a chance to invest in DSA’s Northern Virginia Branch, exponentially grow it, and monumentally change not only Virginia but the entire world in the process by delivering a political earthquake that will reverberate for generations to come.

At a time when Israel is committing a genocide in Gaza, we must mobilize as socialists to channel the activist energy in the streets into political power through the electoral process. We have a moral obligation to fight back and deliver a victory for Palestinian liberation by electing a pro-BDS progressive champion who will introduce legislation to punish the Netanyahu regime through sanctions and stop the current ongoing genocide by pressuring the White House to enact a permanent ceasefire. It’s time to send a message to the Washington foreign policy establishment with Ibraheem’s victory that it won’t be business as usual anymore, because Democratic socialists are going on the offensive against AIPAC and winning nationally-watched elections.

We must seize this moment. If we don’t, the Democratic establishment will drag a pro-Israel hawk who is a mortal enemy of the progressive movement into Congress. This would be a tragic event that would existentially threaten the future of progressives in Virginia.


How will DSA grow thanks to this race? Can we allocate chapter resources to Loudoun County? Loudoun County is accessible via the Silver Line. The VA-10 Democratic primary is going to be one of the most nationally watched races in the country. Our endorsement will catapult Ibraheem into the national spotlight and turn him into a frontrunner. This media attention will funnel countless new Northern Virginia-based volunteers into Metro-DC DSA and expand our presence and foothold in Loudoun County. Once Ibraheem is elected to Congress, he will personally be directly involved in growing DSA locally as an elected official.

Why is the Democratic primary so winnable? This is not your typical election. A crowded 12-way primary in Loudoun County will be decided by which candidate has a strong volunteer base, the highest name recognition, and is running advertisements that have a message that breaks through the crowd. We can provide a strong volunteer base. Ibraheem has the highest name recognition out of all of the serious candidates because he just recently ran in the heart of the district. Ibraheem is working with the admakers and political consultants behind the victories of Justice Democrats including Reps. Jamaal Bowman, Cori Bush, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Summer Lee. He will win specifically because our endorsement will show that the progressive movement is coalescing around him. The media is going to cover this race as a battle between the Democratic socialist frontrunner and a bunch of moderates splitting the vote. Around 40% of the district went for either Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren in 2020. Around 50% of the district went against Governor Ralph Northam back in 2017. Ibraheem only needs 30% to win. It’s time for us to unite that 30% of the electorate by allowing him to center DSA in his campaign. It is not every day that a nationally watched congressional campaign approaches our chapter and asks us to be the centerpiece of their movement. Ibraheem will be accountable to DSA because we will be the reason he wins.

Won’t our resources be stretched too thin? No, because we can knock as many doors as our capacity allows in Loudoun County in order to supplement and add onto Ibraheem’s existing volunteer base from his previous campaigns.

Can a DSA candidate win the general election? A DSA candidate will actually be the most electable candidate in the general election, which won’t even be competitive based on how blue it is according to recent election data. We will energize Democratic voters who would otherwise stay at home due to the President’s stance on the ongoing genocide in Gaza.

What is Ibraheem’s record on fighting police brutality? Ibraheem voted to take qualified immunity away from the police when he was in the House of Delegates and is a leader on the issue of holding the cops accountable. There are no stronger champions out there in the General Assembly. He was one of the few Virginia elected officials to be attacked with tear gas by the police during the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020.

AGAINST by Hayden D.

I am writing to urge members to vote NO on the endorsement of Dr. Ibraheem Samirah. During the Q&A Ibraheem was asked about his employment/business and its use of PPP loans. He was asked whether he believed there was any wrongdoing in the use of the loans and whether an opponent might use it to attack him. Ibraheem started his answer by saying he had never had the issue brought up in previous campaigns since taking the loans for his dental practice. He also said it had never come up in the press or with locals. He said it was an interesting fact that was mentioned and that he “would love to figure out who is feeding that.” He said it was "nowhere in the press and nowhere in the public whatsoever, so there’s a lot of interesting commentary there”

The PEC is very diligent in researching candidates seeking our chapter’s endorsement recommendations. PPP loans state that the loan information could become public. The PEC bringing up publicly available information during a Q&A isn’t feeding interesting commentary, it’s helping our members decide how to invest their free weekends building our chapters’ power. Ibraheem incorrectly stated PPP loan information isn’t publicly available, and ignored the wrongdoing or potential attacks portion of the question. Ibraheem’s defensiveness and focus on whether the PPP loans are public, to me, suggests there might be concerns about wrongdoing. And if there is no wrongdoing, I would like for our chapter to avoid endorsing unprepared candidates. While he has been a member since 2018, he seems oddly antagonistic towards our endorsement process…

The Q&A is an important process and really demonstrates a candidate’s public speaking, reliance on staff, knowledge of our chapter, and overall vibes. While this one instance may seem small compared to the other issues discussed, we as a chapter must be discerning on who represents those issues we advocate for, and heed warning signs when they appear.

Per Section 6.4.2 of our bylaws, “Branch Steering Committees shall be permitted to issue a recommendation and rationale on candidates running for seats exclusively within their territorial jurisdiction during endorsement general body meetings. This recommendation and rationale will be included along with ballots sent to members.” The Northern Virginia Branch Steering Committee has submitted a recommendation IN FAVOR:

Dr. Ibraheem Samirah is a Palestinian-American and a former Member of the Virginia House of Delegates who has spent three years serving as a champion for key democratic socialist priorities, including: the fight against police brutality, the fight for state-level Medicare for All, a Virginia Green New Deal, and quality, affordable housing for all.
This campaign will be unique because it is an opportunity for us to go on the offensive and grow the number of DSA-endorsed Members of Congress by electing the next Palestinian-American, pro-BDS Congressperson, at a time when:

  1. Democratic socialist incumbents are under attack from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC),
  2. The Democratic Party base, including Muslim-Americans who are a deciding factor in VA-10 (home to one of the largest mosque communities in the country), is furious with the party establishment,
  3. Grassroots energy around the fight for Palestinian liberation is surging and in search of an opportunity to channel itself into an electoral victory.
    Ibraheem’s campaign is also an opportunity for us to grow our chapter’s presence in Virginia, especially in Loudoun County. The national attention on Ibraheem’s race will gain countless new volunteers and members to connect to the branch and the chapter, as well as continue our work in pursuit of Palestinian liberation.
    The 12-way open primary in Loudoun County will be very unique. Ibraheem is an experienced candidate who can successfully fundraise over $1 million from pro-Palestinian donors across the country, and can win by delivering a powerful message on the airwaves and in mailboxes to a progressive audience. Plus, our volunteers will knock as many doors as possible in the district, which will help make Ibraheem a frontrunner in the race.
    The Steering Committee of the NoVA Branch recommends the chapter endorses Ibraheem and hopes that all chapter members consider voting to endorse the campaign.

AGAINST by Bakari W.

I encourage members to vote no on the resolution to endorse Ibraheem Samirah. Congressional races have very large constituencies and are very difficult for the chapter to make a difference in. Every time the chapter has endorsed a congressional candidate, we’ve lost, and fairly badly. It’s very unlikely that the chapter has the capacity to swing one congressional race in our favor, and there are two congressional campaigns seeking the chapters endorsement.

It would be a huge mistake in my opinion if the chapter endorsed both congressional races (and it’s still possible that our volunteer hours would be more effectively spent on legislative canvassing instead of either). I view the two congressional races as mutually exclusive and so I evaluate them in relation to one another. If the chapter was to endorse and dedicate many of our volunteers’ weekends to a congressional race, it should be one that can energize volunteers and build power for DSA regardless of victory.

Andrea Crooms fits those criteria better than Ibraheem does, being an active chapter member for years and running in a district that can involve members the Southern Maryland DSA Organizing Committee (a new formation getting off the ground that isn’t officially a chapter yet) and Greater Baltimore DSA who choose to get involved. Additionally, in my experience with members from the Northern Virginia and Prince George’s County branches, NoVa members have been ambivalent about Ibraheem, a few wanting to endorse him but more not wanting to. NoVa Steering decided to abstain from recommending an endorsement of Ibraheem for this reason. Members from Prince George’s County on the other hand are generally excited about Andrea. This excitement is more capable of translating an electoral effort into growth and recruitment. I anticipate you will see this reflected in the other ballot statements submitted.

I appreciate Ibraheem running and seeking our endorsement, and I hope he wins his race. But I encourage to you vote no on endorsing him.

AGAINST by Aparna R.

I’m voting no on the question of endorsing Ibraheem Samirah in VA-10 and encourage you to as well. I want to start by saying that I appreciate Ibraheem’s platform and align with many of his stated values on the questionnaire and in the Q&A. But as someone who has been part of multiple endorsement processes, there are a few things that give me pause about Ibraheem as a candidate.

Ibraheem reacted pretty strangely when faced with a question about his dental practice during the candidate Q&A. Rather than actually answer the question, he seemed to try to raise suspicion about how that question came up and question the motives of the person who asked it. A candidate Q&A is meant to be an opportunity for chapter members to learn more about candidates, and it’s also a softball opportunity for candidates to answer questions they might face on the campaign trail. I was surprised to see him react so strongly to a question in a friendly setting. Additionally, when he was running in the special election of a VA State Senate race in 2023, he started preliminary conversations with the chapter’s Political Engagement Committee while considering applying for a chapter endorsement. He claimed at the time that he had the endorsement of Justice Democrats. However, they only endorse in congressional races and staffers at Justice Dems confirmed that, while they had met for an unofficial conversation, they had not endorsed him and that stating they had was a gross misrepresentation.

Outside of these personal concerns, he has not inspired confidence in his campaign. He went from losing his reelection to State Delegate to losing a special election for State Senate by nearly 50 points to running for Congress. He has a fundraising goal of $1 million, but has not actually officially filed his campaign yet for a congressional race with a primary in four months. In 2021, he spent $228,019 and in 2023 he spent $100,816, which was over 4 times less than his opponent at the time. So far, some of his congressional opponents have already raised $600,000.

I understand the desire to have an electoral race in Northern Virginia and I would work with members in Northern Virginia to identify state, local, or school board races to engage in next year. DSA’s National Convention recently approved a school board campaign, and with the conservative backlash against school boards, especially in Virginia, I think that is ripe ground for us to contest races and to run cadre candidates. But with some of these concerns about Ibraheem, and with the race likely not winnable, I think it is too risky to endorse him. I encourage you to vote no.