What a difference a handful of votes makes! In the closest race since “Landslide Jim” Scott won the 53rd state delegate seat in 1990 by a one-vote margin, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring wound up last fall winning his job by a 165 vote margin out of 2.2 million votes cast statewide.
Think back to that development, not finally resolved until a recount in December, and appreciate what a difference that outcome has made in less than a year. Persons inclined to support progressive causes should never question again the importance of robust involvement in the electoral process, including in the last weeks before this November’s election.
Last February, Herring courageously broke with protocol by refusing to defend Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage and taking the side of those who’d sued the state on the matter. Now, as of this Monday, Herring stood ready to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies at the Arlington courthouse, and the state will forever be grateful to him for including Virginia among the early states to enjoy the U.S. Supreme Court’s sanction of same-sex marriage that came down Monday.
Against the tide of cynicism and the relentless drumbeat emanating from reactionary sources that all politicians are sell-outs and nothing is really to be gained by voting, comes this stunning and historic development.
No, progressive-minded Virginians, those who stand for equality, for the increase of science and reason over the governance of our lives, for the universal value of education and culture, need to redouble their resolve and help to see to it that the outcome of next month’s mid-term elections hold fast to those values.
This year, for example, there will be no surprises in the News-Press’ choice of preferred candidates, because the contrasts between them is, we believe, self-evident.
We proudly endorse the re-election of U.S. Senator Mark Warner, and the election of Democratic congressional nominee the Hon. Donald S. Beyer, Jr. for election to the U.S. House from the 8th District of Virginia that includes the City of Falls Church.
As for other matters on the ballot in Falls Church, we enthusiastically endorse passage of the City’s school bond referendum and election of the experienced, talented and balanced Jody Acosta for City treasurer.
Adjacent the City, we staunchly back Fairfax Supervisor John Foust for election to the 10th congressional district seat vacated by retiring Rep. Frank Wolf, and the re-election of Rep. Gerry Connolly to his 11th District seat.
With Obama’s back-to-back wins here, Virginia is now poised to copy the example of California, and turn into a permanently “blue,” or progressive, lock.
As such, the state can compete for enthusiastic new residents who will repeat the happy refrain, “Virginia is for ALL lovers.”