Local Commentary

Senator Whipple’s Richmond Report


Election Day November 8th!!

Nothing less than the future direction of Virginia is at stake.

Democratic control of the Senate of Virginia, at 22-18, is the Democratic counter to the Republican Governor and the heavily Republican House of Delegates. Should three seats change hands, Republicans will control Senate floor votes and every Senate committee will have a Republican majority.

What difference would that make? Along with the Governor’s agenda, many bills that have passed the House could well become law. Let me quote from a recent AP story from veteran reporter Bob Lewis:

“A Republican Senate could green-light other bills that emerge perennially from the conservative, Republican-ruled House of Delegates and die in the Senate

Carrico, a retired state trooper from Grayson County, has carried his conservative bills for 10 years to Senate committees and watched them die. The bills advanced gun rights, restrictions on undocumented immigrants and state sovereignty.

One bill he hopes to bring back to a more accommodating Senate would allow the manufacture of firearms not regulated by federal law if they are constructed solely in Virginia and are never sold or moved outside the state.

He plans to resurrect a bill that Howell’s committee killed last winter that would add an amendment to Virginia’s constitution that has explicit protections for prayers offered voluntarily in public places and public events.

The House’s most prolific author of anti-abortion bills, Del. Robert G. Marshall, R-Prince William, said he would celebrate a conservative Senate takeover. Among the bills he might bring back is one that would effectively end abortion by granting legal rights of personhood to fetuses.”

The reputation and standing of Virginia would change.

As Election Day approaches, we know there are many hotly contested Democratic incumbent races across Virginia.

Closer to home, we have some vigorous races quite near by. Democrat Barbara Favola is running in the reconfigured 31st district. Her well-financed Tea Party Republican opponent comes from the new part of the district that includes McLean, Great Falls and a portion of Loudoun. Although his new district has several precincts in heavily Democratic Alexandria, George Barker has a contentious race with a Republican endorsed by the Tea Party. Key to both these races will be voter turnout in the more Democratic parts of the districts. Another nearby Northern Virginia race to watch is that of Dave Marsden who also has significant numbers of new voters to contact.

An open seat in Loudoun offers another interesting race to watch. Democrat Shawn Mitchell, a businessman and Iraq veteran with a young family, faces ultraconservative former Delegate, Republican Dick Black. Black is best known for having sent pink plastic fetuses to the women Senators in support of his anti-abortion legislation before he was defeated for the House.
The greatest enemy in these races is apathy.

Voter turnout is crucial. Readers of the Falls Church News Press hardly need a reminder – you are faithful voters. But be sure to remind everyone you know, everyone you can canvass or call, to vote on November 8th.



Senator Whipple represents the 31st District in the Virginia State Senate. She may be e-mailed at district31@senate.virginia.gov