Local Commentary

Editorial: McAuliffe, Northam, Herring & Simon

The News-Press endorses Terry McAuliffe for governor, Ralph Northam for lieutenant governor and Mark Herring for attorney general in the Virginia statewide campaigns leading up to the Nov. 5 election.

In calling for the Democratic sweep that this represents, we encourage voters in Virginia to deliver a very strong message of disapproval of the behavior of the Republican Party, both nationally in the debacle that has unfolded across the Potomac in Washington, D.C., but also in its anti-woman politics of excess in Richmond. This extends to all the state delegate races on the ballot next month, as well. We endorse all Democrats, up and down the line, in these races for the same reason, including Marcus Simon in Falls Church’s 53rd District.

Breaking the trend in place for so many decades – of the governor elected in Virginia being of the other party than the one who won the U.S. presidency the year before – would send a strong signal, nationally, of the Virginia’s extreme displeasure with what’s been going on in D.C.

The head of the GOP ticket in Virginia, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, has been in lock step with the radical Tea Party wing of the Republicans in the U.S. House. He welcomed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, the radical right’s latest demagogue du jour, to appear at a campaign event on his behalf recently, contributing to the notion that his fate should be sealed with those of Cruz and his faction in the eyes of American public opinion.

The same goes for the GOP candidates for lieutenant governor, E. W. Jackson, and attorney general, Mark Obenshain. If anything, they are even more aligned philosophically with the Tea Party right wing, notwithstanding their “shape-shifting” efforts during the campaign to obfuscate some of their more extreme beliefs.

The fact that the polls are currently showing the three Democrats in the lead can be traced directly to the extremely misbehaving Tea Party Republicans in the U.S. Congress. Their obstructionism forcing the federal government to shut down has furloughed thousands in Northern Virginia, feeling the impact of their nonsense directly.

Voters should not overlook the importance of electing Northam as lieutenant governor, in particular, because he will be the tie-breaking vote in a State Senate that is now composed of 20 Democrats and 20 Republicans. If elected, he will effectively become a tie-breaking 21st Democratic vote in the Senate, blocking a lot of extremist legislation that might otherwise be coming out of the legislature as it has in recent years.

Beyond all this, McAuliffe will make an outstanding governor. His enthusiasm and energy are infectious and the state needs that to continue to attract and retain business in a climate of regional and global competition. His will be a very high profile face for Virginia and we have no doubt that he, like his running mates, will advance progressive values on behalf of all Virginians because they’re right, and also to stay competitive.