Listening to the political ads for the special election to fill the Virginia Senate seat of Lt. Governor elect Ralph Northam on January 7, 2014, is enlightening. Despite what some have said about GOP candidate Wayne Coleman not being a typical Republican, his campaign ads are the same old angry attack ads that one has come to associate with the Virginia GOP. In addition, Coleman has said little about what policies he supports other than the usual GOP sound bites, including the usual denunciations of gays and abortion. Apparently, the Virginian Pilot and Daily Press have taken note. Both have endorsed Democrat Lynwood Lewis for the 6th Senate District seat. Here are highlights from the Daily Press endorsement:
The forces acting on the special election in Virginia Senate District 6 make the race a compelling one for voters and observers. All were weighed in our endorsement process, and made for a strong conclusion in favor of Del. Lynwood Lewis ascending to the General Assembly's upper chamber.
The Democrat, who faces Republican Wayne Coleman in the Jan. 7 election, has firm footing on the issues, a solid grounding in the district and a record of compromise. Those qualities make him a strong candidate for higher office and the better option in this race.
Democrat Lynwood Lewis, 52, is a five-term delegate who in November won another two years in the General Assembly serving residents of District 100. He is a native of Nassawadox who earned degrees at Hampden-Sydney College and the University of Richmond School of Law.
In terms of geographic size, District 6 may be the largest in the state, stretching from the Maryland state line down the eastern shore to central Norfolk and as far west as Mathews County. A majority of its population comes from Norfolk, but residents of Accomack and Northhampton counties are included with some from Matthews and Virginia Beach.
Del. Lewis has leveraged his public office to create jobs at Wallops Island on the eastern shore, advocated on behalf of expanding the port and been a determined defender of the environment. That he has accomplished these things as a Democrat in a Republican-controlled legislature speaks to his willingness and ability to compromise.
[A]s he touts his business acumen, Mr. Coleman also calls into question his preparedness for life in the public square. He recently appeared on a radio show and claimed that busing during integration led to the decline of public schools, an amazingly short-sighted and wrong-headed remark.
While Virginia's is a citizen legislature, its members should have at least some polish. Recent years have demonstrated the folly of empowering those prone to speaking before thinking. The commonwealth will struggle to project itself as a moderate, pro-business state without a government that reflects some level of maturity when discussing complex issues.
[T]he race here comes down to who best represents the district. In this case, Del. Lewis' record of moderate leadership while serving his constituents should win the day. District 6 has a difficult decision to make early next year and there is no perfect candidate. Del. Lewis represents the better choice and voters should support him at the polls.