Local Commentary

Editorial: Nov. 7 Election Endorsements

Next Tuesday, Nov. 7, there is a Virginia-wide general election, one of only two statewide elections in the U.S. this year. It is the first one since the controversial presidential election of a year ago when Hillary Clinton won Virginia but Donald Trump won the national Electoral College despite losing the popular vote by three million. The entire nation will be watching this one.

Statewide, there has been a heated race for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general, and also for all the state delegate seats. In the City of Falls Church, there have been contested races for the City Council and School Board, and for and against the passage of a school bond referendum to replace the now outdated and undersized 65-year-old George Mason High School. From top to bottom, and mindful of the consequences of last November’s presidential election result, and with the entire nation looking for a signal, we strongly urge everyone who can to vote next Tuesday, or by absentee ballot before if appropriate. It is doubly important this time.

Below are our endorsements. Your newspaper of record in Falls Church, the Falls Church News-Press, is basing our endorsements on having covered virtually every City Council and School Board meeting, and every special meeting pertaining to the City, its schools and way of life. We’ve shared our findings with our readers every week. Our endorsements are not based on hearsay or prejudice, but are informed and are in the interest of good government and the well being of our readers and their families. Aside from our government officials, no one has been more thorough in examining and evaluating these matters than your local paper.

In statewide races, we endorse Ralph Northam for governor, Justin Fairfax for lieutenant governor and Mark Herring for attorney general. We endorse Marcus Simon as our state delegate representing Falls Church.

In local Falls Church races, we endorse a “Yes” vote on the school bond referendum. We endorse incumbents Marybeth Connelly, David Snyder and Dan Sze and first-time candidate Ross Litkenhous for City Council. We endorse incumbent Lawrence Webb and candidates Gregory Anderson, Shawna Russell and Richard Crespin for the School Board.

For us, aside from personal character and qualifications, the key issue involved in our endorsements has been the overwhelmingly compelling need for the passage of the school bond referendum and the contribution it will make to maintaining the world-class school system here. This is a good in itself, but it also provides a vital “value added” factor to local real estate values and an accompanying development plan calls for freeing 10 acres of the school campus site for dense commercial development that will significantly offset the cost to citizens of the new school. Were the referendum to lose, citizens would actually pay more in taxes for patchwork on the old school while losing the edge that having an outstanding school system represents.