Local Commentary

Endorsing Incumbents (Including McAuliffe)

The drama of waiting until the eve of an election to endorse candidates is rendered counterproductive when a lot of the voting is already done by election day. So it is now with the upcoming June 8 primary where statewide and state General Assembly district races are contested, at least their primaries are. This time, the GOP will select its candidates at a convention this weekend, so it is only the Democrats who are having an open primary this time, and a lot of those races are being hotly contested this time.

In the case of the race for governor this year, the state is clinging to an archaic rule that prohibits governors from seeking more than a single term at a time (Virginia is now the only state in the union with this ridiculous rule), so that there is no incumbent in the race.

As our endorsement policy is generally to support incumbents when they are doing a good job, the closest thing to an incumbent seeking reelection possible is running, Terry McAuliffe, one of the most effective governors the state has ever had, following a four-year hiatus required by that silly law here. So, we view it as McAuliffe seeking re-election to a second term.

Our endorsement for governor in the June 8 Democratic primary, then, is McAuliffe. This we do enthusiastically. It is not because his birthday is the same as our esteemed chief, which is also the same as the nation’s ninth president, a good Whig, William Henry Harrison. It is because his outstanding, energetic leadership produced more jobs and economic development in Virginia than in just about any four year period in its history. Plus, he gave felons who’d paid their debts to society the cherished right to vote and protected women against a once-powerful misogynist voting block in the state with two dozen vetoes of bills restricting women’s rights, all of which were upheld and so, thanks to him, none of which became law.

So it’s Terry McAuliffe for Governor in our book. The same goes for the race for Attorney General where incumbent Mark Herring is being challenged. It’s Herring for us. He’s has proven himself in multiple ways to be proactive for the state, among many other things authoring critical briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court, including for same-sex marriage.

In the only race with no real incumbent, for lieutenant governor, from the six candidates vying for the Democratic nomination, and our endorsement goes to State Del. Mark Levine from Alexandria. If elected, Levine would become the first openly gay man elected to statewide office in Virginia, but he also brings energy, progressive values and a proven track record.

In state delegate races around Falls Church, we endorse incumbents Kaye Kory, Kathleen Murphy, Ken Plum and Alfonso Lopez. They’re all doing very good jobs contributing to so much groundbreaking pro-humanitarian legislation in Richmond now that Democrats are in the majority.