Krupicka Defeats Gautney in Democratic Caucus

Alexandria City Councilman Rob Krupicka claims 63 percent of the vote.

Rob Krupicka is the Democratic nominee for the 45th District House of Delegates seat. 

The Alexandria City Councilman defeated Karen Gautney 1,540 to 891 after caucus voting ended Saturday at .

“I couldn’t be here without the amazing group of friends I made when I entered public life in this city,” Krupicka said shortly after the results were announced. “It was great seeing all those friends come out despite the governor’s best effort to throw one past us.”

Gov. Bob McDonnell announced the date of a Sept. 4 special election less than two weeks ago, causing both parties to scramble to nominate a candidate. Krupicka will face .

The seat opened when . Englin had previously said he after admitting to an extramarital affair.

Two provisional ballots were not entered into the total vote count on Saturday. After at Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy, printed another 800 for Saturday’s voting. Those ballots went quickly, so another 1,000 were printed during the day on Saturday. 

“Just unbelievable turnout,” Alexandria Democratic Committee Chair Dak Hardwick said. “The voters of the 45th responded magnificently to a shotgun election. The candidates are to be congratulated for their outreach to voters. We look forward to sending Rob Krupicka to the General Assembly.”

Gautney, who was endorsed by Englin when he announced his resignation from the seat, said she’s completely behind Krupicka.

“We have to let the governor know this dirty trick will not work,” Gautney said. “We have to make sure in September we rock this town.”

If Krupicka defeats McGhee in September, he will have to resign from City Council before taking the oath of office for his new office. The Circuit Court would then appoint someone to finish out Krupicka's term, which expires at the end of the year. 

Ma Tee Bell August 07, 2012 at 12:05 PM
Nice try, Gail. Del Pepper actually said, "He won by a huge margin...63%...I was HOPING for 70%." She was not referring to the overall total. She used actual percentages and was comparing the spread between Krupicka and Gautney. It was a shocking moment and very offensive.
R Lindell August 07, 2012 at 12:15 PM
Pepper was clearly gloating about the percentage of the win, not the turnout, and she did say she would like for it to have been even bigger. 70% is what she said. Karen has been extremely gracious and that was a classless move by Pepper.
West End Dem August 07, 2012 at 01:06 PM
I am ready to leave the ADC. I am a Democrat and always will be, but our state party is a hot mess and the local party is a joke unless you are one of the lucky 10 or so insiders. After that, there is a second ring of people who do all the work so they can be close to the insiders. Most of them get sick of it and quit within a year. The meetings are a boring, uninspiring, horrible waste of time. Sadly, the highlight is the worship of the electeds and the lowlight is the constant badgering of beleaguered members to volunteer more and give more money. Yes, there are constantly new members but no growth, because most of them don't stay long and there are always seats because of members dropping out. There are definitely a lot of die hard Democrats in Alexandria, but they don't waste their time with the ADC. I'm tired of wasting mine.
Jim Miller August 07, 2012 at 02:16 PM
Maybe Del had a huge bet on Rob getting seventy percent of the vote, or more. Who knows, but it sounds like it was an awkward, yet equally classic 'Del Pepper' moment. The comments made by me, and others here, are only a very small percentage of the huge resentment that thousands of Democrats have, throughout the City of Alexandria, regarding how the Alexandria Democratic Committee is so poorly run, coupled with how low the organization is truly regarded. As a liberal/progressive Democrat, I must confess that I absolutely take no joy in bashing people within my own party, but when a very token few have taken the ADC to the edge of a cliff, and those in a position of leadership there don't realize how bad things are, or how worse their lack of strong leadership has made the organization, than wholesale changes apparantly need to be made. I'm actually very much an advocate of having a large group of Democrats form what for all intents and purposes would be an alternative to the ADC, a brand new Democratic Party of Alexandria Committee, or something like that, so that there is no baggage brought on by the change. Once a new Democratic committee in the City of Alexandria is firmly in place, the ADC needs to simply fold up their rag-tag carnival act and go away. Forming a new committee for Democrats in the City of Alexandria won't be easy, and probably will never happen, but it could be the panacea that can and will evoke those in our party to wake up. The ADC is broken. It's bad.
Jim Miller August 07, 2012 at 02:34 PM
T Ailshire, you're right, Rob is an absolute, total shoo-in, a 110 percent mortal lock to win and be our new delegate for the 45th, but as any politician will tell you, money is the true 'mother's milk' of any campaign, and while he obviously will not need it for this race, he will probably need to salt some cash away for his reelection campaign. Politicians like Rob, or any of them, aren't and shouldn't be shy about shaking the proverbial constituent money tree, because donations also measure how successful you are at reaching out to the masses in your campaign. Poor Tim McGhee, we all know the guy is going to get absolutely trounced on September 4, but Rob still also needs to have a vibrancy of Democrats in the 45th to rally behind him as he heads off to Richmond.
Matt Harris August 07, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Ma Tee Bell - Based on your logic it seems that most citizens are pretty pleased with the direction of how the City is run, especially since the two incumbents were both re-elected in the primary and will easily win again in the fall. Justin and Tim should also win this time around, which will further augment the notion of general satisfaction with city council. With the additions of John Chapman and Allison Silberberg, new and productive view points will further improve on an already great place to live.
NoBS August 07, 2012 at 02:52 PM
I was in the far back row so I guess I misheard or misinterpreted what Del said and if what is posted here is true, I am also unhappy with her comments. I've never been a big Del supporter. She ticked me off over parking restrictions in the 90s at the townhouse development where I used to live and I've never voted for her, but that doesn't mean I'd vote for a Republican. I bullet vote for Dems. I also agree that the state party is a "hot mess" as WestEndDem pointed out above - I'm one of the DPVA's biggest critics. Lastly, I don't do all the work I do to be "close" to the insiders. Some of them are okay, but there are plently I don't like and I'm not shy about showing it. I volunteer to register voters and get the word out on Dems I like. When I sit at an ADC table, I have to be neutral about Dems, but when I canvas or make calls on my own time, it's for those Dems that I truly respect and believe in. I got burned badly by David Englin, and so did a lot of other people he disappointed. We'll all be more careful from now on about who we give our time to.
Jim Miller August 07, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Gail, the Alexandria Democratic Committee left you out flailing in the wind during the whole anti Boyd Walker PAC fiasco that was brought on by the 'stellar' brain trust of Shayna Englin, Sean Holihan and Danny Barefoot, from what has been now exposed. And while David 'Tiger Woods' Englin was out playing '18 holes', he too was a part of the overall problem and perception that has many, many, many Democrats in Alexandria absolutely giving up on the Alexandria Democratic Committee. The problem with the ADC, as is with many volunteer organizations, is that there aren't any mechanisms for individuals to be vetted out, for background checks to be conducted, all which could very easily be done and should have been done, especially when it comes to the backgrounds of both Sean Holihan and Danny Barefoot, who while not being actual 'criminals', acted within the party as being very devious and divisive, as well. Much of that though was also brought on by Shayna Englin, who while knowing that her husband, David, was on 'tour' with his group of 'David's Daisies', she was also on edge herself, trying to be the loyal political wife, while he was checking out the thread count of many beds in the 45th. Sure, the state party is a "hot mess", which we'll all agree to, but so is the ADC, as well. That's why I think that if wholesale changes aren't made, your little band of followers, or volunteers, will continue to get smaller and smaller, with each election and that's not good for Alexandria.
Nate McKenzie August 07, 2012 at 03:47 PM
It seems like the objectives of 'firm direction, strong leadership' are necessarily in tension with other good objectives like getting rid of the ''good old boy/girl network', adding new voices and ideas. Having a wide band of 'unforgiveable' things just leads to more of the 'my way or the highway' attitude that you decry.
Jim Miller August 07, 2012 at 04:31 PM
I'd like to thank Drew Hansen of the Patch for allowing this thread of comments to be active for as long as possible, because I feel it is serving as a useful tool to let Democrats in our city voice their frustrations of the overall bad management of the Alexandria Democratic Committee.
Sherry Henderson August 07, 2012 at 07:14 PM
I would like to echo the sentiments of people complaining about the Alexandria Democratic Committee, which is an organization that has become insular, very clickish, and seemingly arrogant in how they represent themselves in Alexandria. I too am a very liberal Democrat who is equally disgusted with how the Alexandria Democratic Committee has shamefully conducted themselves for many years now. I am quite sure that they see that they've done nothing wrong, that how they act is perfectly fine, and that Democrats, overall, in Alexandria, are very pleased with their organization. That assertation couldn't be further from the truth. I also know of many other Democrats who laugh and shake their heads when I bring up the subject of the Alexandria Democratic Committee, of how much of a shallow-minded joke it has now become. It is sad, because as a Democrat I would like to see quite the opposite from the ADC, but we as Alexandria Democrats continue to get the same failed leadership, year-after-year, with no hope in sight for any positive change. I'm quite sure that those in a leadership position of the ADC, or any of the lemmings who follow them, see nothing wrong, which is so obvious on how they run operations. I would be very happy to see a new Democratic committee be formed to represent ALL Alexandrians, instead of the nimcompoops who have wrecked and ruined the reputation of the ADC. I know that in their heart of hearts, they meant no harm, but the ADC needs to close shop for good.
NoBS August 07, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Sherry and others, what specific complaints do you have about the ADC? Yes, some people can be cliqueish, but certainly not everyone in the ADC is like that. I only joined a little over three years ago and I've made many friends. The executive board has some relative newcomers this year. I'd love to see some of you join the party and work for change. The bylaws require that the ADC basically dissolve and reorganize itself every two years, and that's what has been happening. If you have any questions or concerns, contact Dak or any other member of the executive board and we'll work to address those concerns. Contact info is on the ADC website. You may remain confidential if you wish.
Mr. Brown August 07, 2012 at 08:33 PM
The state of Alexandria schools should be enough of an indictment of the local Democrat cabal. How could we possibly not have enough schools, and have them perform so badly? It's not like we don't have a sufficient base of tax revenue. Maybe a little real competition is finally in order? This is a classic example of a town that's in the can for one party, and can't understand why things don't work well.
Mark Williams August 07, 2012 at 08:38 PM
I only joined the Alexandria Democratic Committee this year. Having seen local Dems all over, I can't agree one bit with the assertions in this thread that the ADC is just weakly-led inside-baseball. It isn't; in fact, it's not even close. ADC leadership has always (and I mean always) been available for info and ideas, and this year's crop of ADC-supported candidates generally seems to be engaged, competent and progressive -- that is, the candidates mirror the Committee and the Party, which is the way it's supposed to work in a partisan system. ADC's leadership is incredibly dedicated, and I don't believe that the criticism I've seen in this thread is at all merited. If anyone feels excluded from ADC participation, contact the relevant precinct or committee/division leader, and please remember that leadership changes every two years (and it indeed does) under the local-committee reorganization rule adopted by the State committee. I have been an active Democratic donor at the national level for twenty years, and was raised in a local Democratic organization in New York City, where I grew up. I'm not an ADC officer, or candidate, and I'm not even a full voting member. I am posting this because what I've seen in a few of the comments simply isn't accurate, and works an insult to a number of people who have been nothing short of selfless during what is the most intense two-year cycle for a local Dem committee that I've ever seen. Ever.
NoBS August 07, 2012 at 09:01 PM
Matthew, I agree with you 100% about our failing schools, but the school board is to blame for that, and the school board is entirely non-partisan. There are both Dems and Republicans on it, and until recently, the chair was a Republican. City council sets the budget for the school as a whole, but the rest of it is up to our do nothing school board, which only serves to worship the almighty Superintedent Mort Sherman. Fortunately, we have some very good new people running for school board this year. I will be supporting them. D or R, I think many of us on both sides of the political spectrum can agree that the ACPS adminsitration is doing a terrible job. That is NOT a criticism of the teachers. The blame falls squarely on the overpaid, bloated administration and the rubber stamping school board.
pvogel August 07, 2012 at 11:03 PM
Thanks everybody for this thread. We have a diversity of opinion in Alexandria, and it is good to be heard. Alexandria is the best place I have ever called home in my 56 years of life! Perfection in our civic leaders and politicians is and will be impossible to attain.
Jim Miller August 07, 2012 at 11:22 PM
pvogel - I couldn't agree more with your statement that 'perfection in our civic leaders and politicians is and will be impossible to attain. You are so correct. That is why, for me as a liberal/progressive Democrat, that I want to see the left leaning moderate Republican, Frank Fannon, get reelected, because I feel that if all the power is employed to just one party, then there won't be any checks and balances, because everyone will be trying to cover any messes that they get into. For instance, the BRAC-133 building on Seminary Road. Rob Krupicka, Paul Smedberg, Del Pepper, Tim Lovain and Justin Wilson, along with Bill Euille, all were responsible for getting hoodwinked by the Department of Defense's Washington Headquarters Services division. All of them stuck their heads in the sand, and when the building got finished, they all acted completely dumbfounded. "Say what? Building? What building?" As a Democrat, I'm embarrassed when other Democrats make mistakes, but BRAC-133 wasn't a small error in judgment, it was HUGE! It clearly brought out the fact that the aforementioned members of the city council had no idea of what they were doing, and it still shows today, by how puzzled all of them act when BRAC-133 is mentioned in front of them. They talk out of the sides of their mouths and blame someone else, but, no, the then all-Democrat Alexandria City Council wasn't at fault, or so they'd like people to think. That's why I firmly support Frank Fannon for reelection this fall.
Mark Williams August 07, 2012 at 11:39 PM
Sigh. I don't know exactly how this thread morphed into a BRAC building discussion, but the comments to the effect that the Alexandria City Council is at fault are simply inaccurate. The Inspector General's report made clear that in 2007-08 communications, DoD simply lied to City staff. I don't mean shaded, or advocated, I mean that DoD made false statements on which reliance was invited. So the City didn't object, but precisely because the City got fibbed to. The matter was public at the time, and I recall no one from any party or faction objecting. That's because, again, DoD made false statements that invited reliance. The BRAC building is terrible for everyone (including DoD employees), but setting the arrow towards City Council simply is not correct as a factual matter.
Jim Miller August 08, 2012 at 12:38 AM
Mark, sigh, the then all-Democrat Alexandria City Council got 'jobbed'. They didn't get lied to, because if they did, as you so assertively claim, then they certainly had the mechanisms in place to potentially correct BRAC-133 from ever being built. To put the blame solely on DoD/WHS is laughable, when every citizen in the City of Alexandria would think that the city staff, along with the Alexandria City Council, would be right on top of a project of that size being built, every single step of the way. Did BRAC-133 just spring up out of nowhere like a weed? Do you have any 'factual' proof of the 'factual' matter, as you claim, that the Alexandria City Council got lied to, and hoodwinked, by DoD/WHS? No. But the building is now built, so the aspect of who allowed it to happen under their watch, does go back to the then Alexandria City Council. Did the Federal Government seize the property as eminent domain? No. You seem quite eager to try to say that everything is rosy with the ADC, when it's not, or that no one is ever at fault for anything that goes wrong in the City of Alexandria. The 'see no evil - speak no evil - hear no evil' mentality of the Alexandria Democratic Committee is what continues to have so many ardent Democrats completely turned off to local city politics. I know of many people, such as yourself, from out of town, who are local Democrats who would have liked to have been a part of the ADC, but have passed seeing bumbling and stumbling going on all the time.
Mark Williams August 08, 2012 at 02:43 AM
Mr. Miller, I'll limit my response to our Congressman's report of the facts. DoD's IG found that DoD's assertions and assumptions in the planning stage -- when DoD presented the plan to the City, leading to the 2008 memo from the City Manager's office that summarized the City's position. See, http://moran.house.gov/press-release/dod-inspector-general-releases-damning-report-brac-133 and http://moran.house.gov/sites/moran.house.gov/files/documents/DoDIGreport_ArmyTransportationPlan.pdf , especially at PDF sheets 11, 17, 64, and others (numbered page cites omitted). Your assertion that there is no proof is inaccurate.
Andrew Macdonald August 08, 2012 at 03:50 AM
The City Council was more interested in encouraging BRAC-133 to relocate to Alexandria than they were in doing anything else. I think the City Council (i.e., the Mayor) knew exactly what they were saying when they asked Mark Jinks to write that letter to the Army saying that they had no real problem with the DOD building this monstrosity overlooking the Winkler Nature (formerly, Botanical) Preserve. The fact that the IG later found out that basic traffic assumptions were flawed is simply not a justification for the earlier decision by Council to give the green light to the project and not to say CLEARLY that Alexandria would welcome BRAC ONLY if it agreed to locate to certain locations, near a metro for instance. We should not be electing, or reelecting, people to the City Council that didn't have had the foresight to oppose this project. Officials should have known better than to rubber stamp BRAC, and the fact that they didn't say no to it—Mr. Williams’ obfuscation aside—is reason enough not to put them in positions of authority. The City felt BRAC would accelerate the redevelopment of the West End. The fact that BRAC is a net drain on the City's budget doesn't seem to matter to elected officials.
Katy Cannady August 08, 2012 at 03:52 AM
Any Alexandria citizen, even those of us who do not live on the West End, reading that DOD description of minimal traffic impacts from a facility planned for 6,000 employees in a location far from Metro and with only a few major roadways, could have said that the DOD study was not just flawed, it was pure fantasy. We have a right to expect our elected leaders, Mayor Euille and all the Council members whose names appeared on the BRAC-is-welcome-anywhere letter, to be more knowledgeable about our home town than to accept some fantasy scenario from some Federal bureaucrats. It is unlikely we will ever know why some power in DOD chose that location. We know beyond all doubt that our elected City leaders in 2008 chose not to do their due diligence by getting to the truth of the potential traffic nightmare on the West End. They did not protect us nor did they consult us. Few citizens ever knew the welcome to BRAC letter had been sent until after the 2009 election. Not consulting the citizens by holding a public hearing on preferences for a BRAC location is a scandal in itself.
Jim Miller August 08, 2012 at 04:36 AM
Mr. Williams, am I to believe, as you state, that the city staff, and the Alexandria City Council, are absolutely completely absolved from any issues of the BRAC-133 building being built on Seminary Road? You know, and I know, and the public knows, that if that is the case, if the then Alexandria City Council, got the wool pulled over their eyes, and got 'lied' to, as you put it, then why would anyone who is a voter, right now, want to reelect anyone who was apparently asleep at the wheel during that time period. You seem to easily point out that DoD/WHS lied to those in power then, but one can equally make the assumption that those in power who could have had firm checks and balances in place, did not do so, they did not have their hands on the wheel as the proverbial BRAC-133 building went over the cliff, and right onto the current site it sits today. Rob Krupicka, Tim Lovain, Justin Wilson, Paul Smedberg, Del Pepper and Bill Euille, now want voters to vote for them on their past records in office. BRAC-133, mind you, is a huge blight on all of their records, and each and every one of them, quite frankly, shies away from talking about it because they are rightfully embarrassed for screwing up. I don't think any of them did it on purpose, but the incompetence that has been brought about by their collective actions is shameful, and each of them needs to 'man up', yes, even Del, and tell exactly how they made an error in judgment and apologize to voters for their mistake.
Jim Miller August 08, 2012 at 05:37 AM
This document is worth reading, http://www.hqda.army.mil/acsimweb/brac/EA_DOCS/EA_final/Belvoir_FNSIfinal.pdf, for anyone who is interested in the BRAC-133 building fiasco on Seminary Road. Apparently no one from the city staff, or the then Alexandria City Council, voiced any objection to DoD's Washington Headquarters Services to build at the Mark Center site, when the Victory Center was still very much in play. So, yes, Rob Krupicka, Tim Lovain, Justin Wilson, Paul Smedberg, Del Pepper and Bill Euille are all truly accountable, and should be on notice, in an election year, of how they could have so easily screwed up and stuck their heads in the sand on this issue. The Victory Center on Eisenhower Avenue, which sits as a vacant 'white elephant', could and should be where DoD/WHS moved to, and not the Mark Center. So while everyone who's in power with the Alexandria Democratic Committee says that leadership rolls over every two years, it's all coming from the same pool of incompetency, which is a great example of the 'The Peter Principle' coming into effect with their organization, for people to rise to their level of incompetence. This is not a perfect world, and there are mistakes made all the time, we all makes mistakes, I've made them, everyone makes them. But when you're in elected office, or working in a situation of public trust, then you have to be held accountable for your current and past actions. BRAC-133 shows the then Alexandria City Council asleep at the wheel!
Neal Learner August 08, 2012 at 11:27 AM
I agree 100%. BRAC-133 was a litmus test for the competency of the leaders who were overseeing our city at the time. And people like Rob Krupicka, Tim Lovain, Justin Wilson, Paul Smedberg, Del Pepper and Bill Euille failed miserably. Ignorance is no excuse! Add to BRAC the other mammoth development projects underway at Potomac Yards and Braddock Metro and slated for the riverfront – projects that will bring thousands and thousands of more cars to our already choked streets and stressed infrastructure – and it’s clear these individuals need to go. They have put the interests of developers over citizens. Regardless of their other strengths, I’ll never be able to vote for pols like Krupicka or Euille again. That’s why I support Andrew MacDonald for mayor! It’s time for a change in City Hall.
Edgar Warfield August 08, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Ms. Gordon, this ol' Democrat was also towards the back at the ADC meeting -- but I saw and heard Del make her comment wishing Rob had beaten Karen by a bigger margin (she said she was counting on him to get 70%). As I saw it, it was just a joke between two people who have obviously worked together and known each other a long time -- a little teasing, that's all. She said it with a big smile. No need to read too much into it. Also, a comment re: your efforts and those of West End Dem: in my view, those who become "insiders" at the ADC are the ones who realy put the hours in -- at the subcommittee meetings, organizing outreach, lugging tables, chairs, and tubs of literature from festival to market, etc., etc... The Committee rewards people who work with promotion. That's really true in every civic group -- there's a core of people who really throw their time into it, and appear to be "insiders," and then there's everyone else who finds their place. If West End Dem really cared, he/she would put some time in and then he/she could be an "insider" too -- and actually move the party forward instead of griping from the back benches. Regards, & c., E. Warfield
Edgar Warfield August 08, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Hear, hear. And welcome to the ADC. E. Warfield
Edgar Warfield August 08, 2012 at 02:51 PM
Yes, absolutely, instead we should re-elect people who will quit the job halfway through and leave the work to others who will complete their terms.
Sherry Henderson August 08, 2012 at 05:16 PM
I have been a Democrat since my youth and I am quite surprised at how the Alexandria Democratic Committee take people for granted, like every Democrat in Alexandria is going to follow them like lemmings. Not so with me and many other of my fellow Democrats who have absolutely given up with the little clique that runs the ADC. I will say that I too question the judgment, or lack there of, regarding how Rob Krupicka, Tim Lovain, Justin Wilson, Paul Smedberg, Del Pepper and Bill Euille were completely ignorant regarding BRAC-133, and none of them have apologized for making egregious miscalculations on dealing with the DoD at the time. Are we, as voters in Alexandria, supposed to believe that they are completely clean and had no knowledge whatsoever of the BRAC-133 disaster? Who's dumb enough to believe that? I'm sure there are a flock of lemmings who will all believe that not one of those good folks had anything to do with having BRAC-133 built on Seminary Road, but, wake up people, they all had a hand in creating the mess, and they all should own up to it. Of course, shamefully, none of them will own up to making grave errors in judgment for fear of casting doubts in voters mind before their elections. Rob Krupicka, he's a shoo-in over the Republican guy that no one knows, but he won't admit fault with BRAC-133, as well as Tim Lovain, Justin Wilson, Paul Smedberg, Del Pepper and Bill Euille all need to come clean, too. As a Democrat, I'm very embarrassed, and it is a shame.
Dak Hardwick August 08, 2012 at 09:04 PM
There are many different topics on this particular thread (schools, BRAC, 45th special election, etc.) and I hope those reading and posting are getting some added value to these issues as a result of this online discussion. As the current Chair of the Alexandria Democratic Committee, I wanted to briefly respond to some of the comments made by previous posters concerning the ADC. I certainly appreciate the feedback that I’m reading on this thread. My only request is to ask those who are posting and providing that feedback to sit with me, one-on-one, and talk about your concerns in a way that can be used to positively influence the organization. Every organization has its strengths and challenges and we are constantly looking for ways to improve. On previous occasions in this forum, I have offered the opportunity for comment posters, including some in this thread, to contact me directly about any issues, concerns or challenges they have with the ADC. That offer still stands and my contact information (phone and email) is available on the ADC website at www.alexdems.org. In fact, if there are any Democrats in Alexandria that are reading this but not posting, please know that I personally welcome the opportunity to sit down with you and see how we can continue to improve our organization. My door is always open and feedback is always welcome, but constructive, specific feedback is much more desirable.


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