Friday, Jun. 7
Guest Opinion: Democratic primary June 11
By Bruce Smart
Only Virginia and New Jersey have statewide elections this year, so everyone is watching them for hints on the 2014 and 2016 elections.
Virginia’s primaries come on June 11.
During a quiet lunch with a Republican state legislator we agonized over the partisan divide that is blocking legislative compromise, allowing problems to fester and grow more ominous. My friend sees some progress in Richmond – for example, a Republican governor raised taxes – but Washington gridlock persists.
Why so? Moderate members of Congress have been unseated in primaries by party extremists, so each party’s leaders now bow to their extreme wings, and members follow or risk losing in the next primary or general election.
Result: No one compromises. Nothing gets done.
This flight to the political fringes threatens our nation, but here in Virginia we have a chance to keep Richmond politically viable. The coming primaries will select Democratic candidates for two of the three top spots in state government
Terry McAuliffe, the only Democratic candidate for governor, is already their nominee. Several primary contests will also decide nominations for House of Delegates races. All registered voters are eligible to participate.
Republicans recently chose their statewide nominees at a convention attended principally by activists. Nominees selected are predictably hard line conservatives, little given to compromise.
The Democrats running seem more moderate, willing to work across the aisle to get results. Here are their statewide choices to consider on primary day:
Ralph Northam is a graduate of VMI, a physician with eight years of service in the US Army Medical Corps. He was elected to the Virginia Senate in 2007, and considers himself “fiscally conservative, socially liberal.” He lives with his wife and two children in Norfolk. He is strong on education and environmental issues.
Aneesh Chopra was born in New Jersey, educated at Johns Hopkins and Harvard. He served as Virginia’s Secretary of Technology, and most recently was Chief Technical Officer in the White House. His specialty is in electronic systems to manage health records.
Mark Herring received his B.A. and M.A. from UVA, and a J.D. from the University of Richmond. A practicing attorney in Leesburg, he served on the Loudoun Board of Supervisors, and as town attorney for Lovettsville. He was elected to the Virginia Senate in 2006. He lives with his wife and two children in Loudoun County.
Justin Fairfax is a graduate of Duke, with a J.D. from Columbia. He was raised in DC by his mother and grandparents, who instilled his commitment to public service. A former federal prosecutor as assistant district atttorney in Virginia, he is strong on education, individual rights and gun control. At 34 years old, Justin serves on Duke’s Board of Trustees.
These are four strong but varied candidates. For those who believe a government is best restructured from within, locally experienced Virginia Sens. Northam and Herring will appeal. For those looking for 21st century rising stars, consider Chopra and Fairfax.
Research them and then vote. The nation is watching what Virginia does.
Wednesday, Jun. 5
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Friday, May. 31
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Thursday, May. 30
LTM Editorial: Smaller government is the public
Friday, May. 24
LTM Editorial: Remembering the fallen
Thursday, May. 23
LTM Editorial: Leesburg – café style
Wednesday, May. 22
Guest Opinion: Giving students the gift of a prosperous professional future
Friday, May. 17
LTM Edit: A little more of Loudoun’s past lost
Thursday, May. 16
Guest Opinion: A season for horses
Wednesday, May. 15
Guest Opinion: Take the statue down
Wednesday, May. 8
LTM Editorial: The other shoe that’s ready to drop