Local Commentary

Editorial Tuesday’s Election: Our Endorsements

It’s bad enough that next Tuesday’s Democratic primary elections in this section of Northern Virginia (there are no Republican ones here) are being held in the middle of the summer, due to a delay caused by the state government’s approval process of redrawn district lines based on the 2010 U.S. Census, something that happens every 10 years.

What makes it even harder to generate voter interest is the fact they are all intra-party races, which means that the fear factor, the fear that a wrong electoral outcome will put a monster in office, just isn’t there as a motivator.

Indeed, there are four contested Democratic primaries in the North Arlington-Falls Church area, and in all four cases, all the candidates seem just fine to those staunch partisans attending candidate forums (we’ve had two in this area, one hosted by the Northern Virginia Democratic Business Council and the other by the Arlington Gay and Lesbian Allliance).

But most Democrats are concerned not only for the personal qualities and policies of their choices next Tuesday, looking beyond that to the balance of political power in the state as a whole. No matter who wins Tuesday in the elections around here, they will undoubtedly also win in November.

So, the choice of candidates Tuesday may have more to do with their perceived ability to strengthen the party’s hand statewide, with leadership that can resonate beyond this area to contribute to maintaining the slim Democratic control of the State Senate and erode the Republicans’ control of the House of Delegates.

This criterion seems valid to us, not only applied to the November elections this year, but for the federal ones in 2012, and beyond.

With this in mind, but with other considerations as well, we endorse the following candidates in next Tuesday’s election:

• For Commonwealth Attorney (the only race that’s on the ballot in the five precincts of the City of Falls Church and another six in North Arlington), we endorse current Commonwealth Attorney’s Office Chief Deputy Theo Stamos. She is strong, articulate, qualified and obviously experienced in that office. However, her opponent David Deane’s firm and principled opposition to the death penalty almost caused us to favor him.

• For the 31st State Senate District, held for so many years by our own State Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple but no longer covering Falls Church, we endorse Jaime Areizaga-Soto, who has exhibited a passionate commitment to strengthen the party statewide bringing his background in the military, his Hispanic-American heritage, and his dedication to fighting for equal rights for all.

• For the 30th State Senate District, we endorse current State Del. Adam Ebbin over two excellent opponents, based on Ebbin’s experience and achievements in the state legislature, and courage as the state’s only openly-gay lawmaker.

• For the 49th State Delegate District, we endorse Alfonzo Lopez, another strong voice that promises to resonate far beyond the boundaries of that district.