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FAIRFAX COUNTY, Virginia, July 6, 2011 ( – A well-backed Democrat candidate for a prestigious school system in the Capital beltway area has slipped out of the race after it was revealed that she is facing assault charges for allegedly ramming a pro-lifer with her car during this year’s national March for Life on January 24.


A local Washington Post blog revealed the developments Friday in the candidacy of Charisse Espy Glassman, the niece of former U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy.

Glassman was angling for a position on the board of Fairfax County Public Schools, the eleventh largest school system in the nation. Although the race is non-partisan, she had received backing from the local Democratic Party and U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly.

According to the Post, court records show Glassman was driving out of an alley near the Supreme Court building on the day of the March for Life, when a woman stepped in front of the car, yelling at her to stop because of the crowd.  Glassman allegedly laughed and kept moving forward until she hit the woman in the legs, causing minor injuries.

Police say the event was video recorded, and Glassman has been charged with assault and possession of a prohibited weapon.

Glassman dropped out of the race after the impending legal battle was revealed, although she says the charges are false. She claims she didn’t mean to strike the woman and was trying to back up; she also alleges that “the demonstrators surrounded her car and proceeded to bang on it,” frightening her.

“Charisse maintains her innocence,” said a statement sent to the Post in response to a request for comment from Glassman.

“The development scrambled the Democratic slate of endorsed candidates in a busy election year in which both parties are deploying for a school board election that has attracted more attention than usual because of the number of retirees and controversies involving the school board and the district,” the Post reports.