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Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust (D-Dranesville) this week announced his intention to unseat longtime U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-10th).

Wolf, who was first elected in 1980, has easily won re-election in his races over the past decade. Foust is the first sitting elected official to challenge the congressman since the 1980s.

Two other candidates are seeking the Democratic Party nomination in the 10th District: Oak Hill attorney Richard Bolger and Leesburg architect Sam Kubba.

The 10th District spans westward from McLean to Winchester and is generally considered a Republican-leaning district.

Foust was elected to represent the Dranesville District on the Board of Supervisors in 2007, unseating Republican Supervisor Joan DuBois, and easily won re-election in 2011.

He said he decided to run for Congress following the federal government shutdown earlier this year.

“I got tired of the dysfunction in Congress, as it seems like it’s having an adverse effect on our future,” he said. “I think it’s time for a change.”

While Wolf often portrays himself as an independent-minded representative who is willing to buck party leadership, Foust said Wolf is part of the problem on Capitol Hill.

“I think that I have demonstrated that I can work in a bipartisan way, not only on the board but also in the community,” Foust said.

He said he believes Congress should be focused on funding education, research and other priorities that will restore economic opportunity. Foust, whose professional background is as an attorney, was the first in his family to attend college.

“With the direction the country has taken, I don’t see that same opportunity,” he said. “We have to re-create that if we want to compete in the 21st century economy,”

Democrats have not yet determined whether the nomination process will involve a primary or a different type of selection process.

In a statement, Bolger welcomed Foust to the race but said he believes that the dysfunction in Congress requires the perspective of a political outsider.

“It is no secret that Congress is broken. But to fix it, we need new leaders from outside politics, with fresh ideas to end the dysfunction in Congress and fight the extreme positions of Frank Wolf and the Tea Party,” Bolger said.

kschumitz@fairfaxtimes.com