As next Tuesday’s election looms, it is clear that a different dynamic is operative in Northern Virginia than was the case a year ago. Then, the frenzy of activism devoted to the election of President Obama was at a fever pitch.
Now, President Obama appears mired in pitched battles in Washington, and while he has done some extraordinary things to forward the values he brought to his job, he’s been saddled with the consequences of eight years of Bush administration negligence on the economy and Afghanistan, and his crusade for health care reform is moving slower, albeit relentlessly, than originally envisioned.
Still, President Obama brought a sorely-needed shot in the arm to the campaign of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds at a rally in Norfolk Tuesday, but many wonder if it was enough. While the GOP’s Bob McDonnell is ahead in most polls, it remains clear to this newspaper that his anti-tax obsession, proposing funding transportation at the expense of education, and archaic arch-conservative social views, will hurt Virginia, including its chances of attracting the kinds of new commerce and business it will need to be competitive in this economy.
The News-Press has endorsed Deeds and Democrats Jody Wagner for lieutenant governor and Steve Shannon for attorney general.
Also, three state delegate races in the Greater Falls Church area are contested, a rare phenomenon in recent years and, in fact, a refreshing one. This newspaper has endorsed Fairfax School Board member Kaye Kory in the 38th District, Incumbent Del. Jim Scott in the 53rd and Incumbent Del. Margi Vanderhye in the 34th, all Democrats.
Kory, as a non-incumbent, may be vulnerable to the GOP’s Danny Smith, an affable openly-gay candidate running for the second time. Vanderhye is facing a formidable challenge from Barbara Comstock in a district represented by a Republican for many years. Scott, who has led the 53rd since 1990, is being challenged by Christopher Merola, an articulate candidate who brought over 40 vocal supporters to a candidate’s forum in the Falls Church Community Center last week. Merola moved to the 53rd District only last March and has no history of involvement in the affairs of the region.
Given that fact, it was audacious for Merola to accuse Del. Scott of not keeping his constituents informed on his issues, citing Scott’s incomplete campaign web site. Anyone who knows the 53rd District knows that for 18 years, no one has been more visible and accessible to his constituents than Scott. He’s been everywhere, all the time, listening and engaging. The accusation that Scott is aloof, or somehow withholding something from voters, could not be further from the truth.
Still, one would have to have lived here for awhile to know that. That is one reason why we particularly underscore our support for Del. Scott in next Tuesday’s election.