Local Commentary

Editorial: Tuesday’s Big Day For Falls Church

Next Tuesday is retiring State Del. Jim Scott’s 75th birthday, another good excuse to pay tribute to his years of public service on our behalf. He’s still our delegate until next January, and so we expect there will be many more chances to say thanks.

But Tuesday is also a big day for other reasons, reasons which our readers should be paying close attention to as the day approaches.

First, it is the Democratic primary election for the three statewide offices that will be on the November ballot. There is only one Democratic candidate for governor, Terry McAuliffe (who will face off against the only Republican candidate, Ken Cuccinelli) but the races for lieutenant governor and attorney general will be contested Tuesday, and voters need to be aware that the ultimate outcome of these races will be very important for all Virginians come November.

In the race for lieutenant governor, Norfolk State Sen. Ralph Northam is pitted against Arlington’s Aneesh Chopra in what has turned into a very hotly contested one and as it comes into its last days, we remain convinced that Chopra, who was chief of the office of technology for both Gov. Tim Kaine and President Obama, is the Democrats’ best choice for success in November. He will do a better job of bringing out the vote of the high-tech “creative class” Democratic constituents of Northern Virginia, and that will be key to the entire election.

Moreover, the lieutenant governor race is spiced up by two more important ingredients: 1. the most radically right wing, by far, of the GOP candidates, E. W. Jackson, will be the Democrats’ opposition and, 2. with the State Senate gridlocked at 20-20 Democrats and Republicans, the winner for lieutenant governor this year will basically provide the majority for whichever party wins it. That’s because a major part of the lieutenant governor’s job is to cast tie-breaking votes in the State Senate.

On the ballot in the race for attorney general Tuesday are State Sen. Mark Herring of Loudoun County, and prosecutor Justin Fairfax of Arlington. In that race, we believe the election of Herring will serve the Democrats best.

Second, next Tuesday is the filing deadline for candidates interested in running for City Council and School Board in the City of Falls Church this November. So far, there have been only a bare minimum of candidates, surprisingly enough. But there is still time for that citizen out there who’s thought about it to jump in and qualify by Tuesday.

There are only 125 valid signatures of Falls Church registered voters required, and there are enough public events in the City this weekend alone to gather the minimum. Any reader of this editorial even the slightest bit interested should put in the effort to get qualified. A final decision to run for the office can actually be put off until mid September, before any ballots get printed.

So, come on now! Go for it!