Writers make cases in elections

Zilles, Woofter for the House

Despite the fact that 42 million American voters identify as Democrat (compared to 30 million Republicans), Democrats don’t control a majority of state governments. One reason? Republicans have been paying attention to state elections for decades and Democrats haven’t.

In 2010, the GOP laid out a plan to aggressively recruit and fund state-level candidates. Republicans outspent Democrats by 3-to-1 that year, resulting in the GOP taking control of 20 state legislatures. Those wins allowed Republicans to draw congressional districts that practically guaranteed GOP wins in many districts. For years, Democrats chose not to run candidates in some of the most heavily gerrymandered districts, because gerrymandering makes them very difficult to win!

But in 2019, there are Democratic candidates running in 91 of the 100 House of Delegates races and 35 candidates running for the 40 state Senate spots in the General Assembly.

This is important for so many reasons. The party in control in 2020 will redraw the maps that will be in place for the next decade! With Democratic control, we can pass legislation on issues like voter protection, gun safety, transportation and the environment that can improve our daily lives.

With Democrats in control, Virginia can begin to tackle the party’s top priorities — which are also the country’s top priorities: reducing health care costs, improving education, protecting the environment and securing Medicare. Virginians have an opportunity to elect Democrats who will protect all of Virginia’s citizens and help create a fairer, more sustainable future for everyone.

Grab a neighbor! Go to the polls Nov. 5 to vote for David Zilles in the 23rd District of the House of Delegates and Jennifer Woofter in the 22nd District. It’s crucial.

MARTHA COUSINS

Forest

Clark for Campbell sheriff

I am writing to express my opinion on the upcoming sheriff’s election in Campbell County set for Nov. 5.

I had the privilege and honor of serving as a judge in Campbell County for over 30 years and worked closely with the several sheriffs and the deputies who served there during those years. I know all three of the current candidates, and they each would do their best to ensure Campbell County has the best and most professional sheriff’s office attainable.

However, one candidate represents, in my opinion, the best chance to continue and improve the excellent service, reputation and success enjoyed by that law enforcement agency. That candidate is Whit Clark. Whit has served as a police officer in Lynchburg and sheriff’s deputy in Campbell County for over 35 combined years and is held in high esteem by his fellow officers and supervisors.

He has proposed several programs to implement, if elected, that clearly would offer increased security and responsiveness to the residents of the county and do so in a cost effective manner. Among these new programs are the usage of canines to assist in the search and rescue of missing children, and senior citizens who might have wandered away from home and assist in the detection and location of illegal drugs. He also plans on forming a citizens panel which would allow direct input from individuals who are concerned about legal issues but have no forum to voice these concerns and to aide the citizen in resolving the matter professionally and promptly.

Clark offers a chance to the citizens of Campbell County to speak up for reliable, responsible and professional law enforcement. I hope the voters in Campbell County agree and cast their votes on Nov. 5 for the best candidate in the race: Whit Clark.

SAM JOHNSTON

Lynchburg

Editor’s note: The writer served as a general district and circuit court judge for 31 years in Central Virginia, retiring in 2008.

Write in StClair for state Senate

Tired of science being denied while some politicians work to destroy our environment? Tired of tax breaks for the 1 percent that saddle the rest of us with unsustainable debt? Tired of the rule of law destroyed every day by politicians too self serving to uphold it? Tired of paying three prices for prescription drugs and medical care while lobbyists for the same line the pockets of some politicians? Tired of the continuous mass slaughter of our citizens while some politicians block even the most universally accepted common sense, responsible gun control?

Then vote to oust every single Republican from office who collectively are responsible for all of the above.

A great place to start would be to elect Donna StClair as a write-in candidate to replace state Sen. Steve Newman, who represents all of the above. StClair, unlike Newman, wants to represent all of you with the common sense and decency that her background as a U.S. Army veteran and former school teacher brings.

Let’s stand up to the bought-and-paid-for politicians and give Donna St.Clair the message that there can be a breath of fresh air in the Virginia Senate! Write in Donna StClair for Senate!

MICHAEL WHORLEY

Lynchburg

Woofter for House of Delegates

I was distressed at a recent town hall meeting in Bedford to hear incumbent Del. Kathy Byron disavow the problem of women’s wage inequality. Instead of acknowledging the problem, she cast doubt about a research study, widely reported in the media, that shows Virginia near the bottom as a “worst state for women.”

A simple Google search turns up one academic study after another, all supporting the problems associated with gender equity in pay. Research conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management, American Association of University Women, Pew Research and many others all conclude the same thing: Women do not make the same wage for the same work.

Unfortunately, because Del. Byron wants to ignore this problem, there is very little chance that she will participate in efforts to address it. No one is asking the government to make the path easy for anyone. The request is to make the path even for everyone.

Fortunately, people in Del. Byron’s district have another choice: Jennifer Woofter. As a female business owner herself, Woofter understands the obstacles that present to women’s advancement on the job. She is uniquely positioned to help with this problem. She understands it.

Ignoring a problem won’t make it go away. I urge you to vote for a problem-solver. Send Jennifer Woofter to Richmond!

CAROL HENDRIX

Huddleston

Vote Democratic in Campbell

To my neighbors in Campbell County, for far too long, career politicians have represented our county in Richmond. This year, we have three teachers running to fight for our families in Richmond: Tim Hickey, Janie Zimmerman and Virginia Smith.

Hickey has been a high school teacher for 17 years; Zimmerman has been a special education teacher for decades; and Smith is a retired elementary school teacher. They aren’t politicians running for power or to serve corporations, they are educators running for change so we can properly fund our schools, pay staff, fund vocational programs and make sure our facilities are functioning — something Campbell County desperately needs. Please consider putting teachers who will fight to serve your family in Richmond on Nov. 5.

SAMANTHA LITCHFORD

Lynchburg

Hairston for Bedford schools

Georgia Hairston is by far the best choice for the school board seat in Bedford County’s District 5. I first met her in 2005 — the year I started school in Bedford County. At the time, she was the principal of Bedford Primary School, and I am pleased to this day that my introduction to public school was under her tenure.

As my kindergarten principal, it stood out to me how much she cared about every single student who walked through the doors of the school. It was obvious how she created an environment of collaboration and respect among the school staff.

What seemed to be her motto was inscribed on the welcome sign in front of the school: “Children … our primary goal.”

Fluent in all levels of education, she boasts an incredible 37-year career. She began as a classroom teacher specializing in special education before working her way up to the administrative level. She then served as both assistant and head principal at several schools.

Throughout her career, she conducted herself with poise, professionalism and class. She received recognition on multiple occasions, most notably when Otter River Elementary School was awarded the Governor’s Award for Educational Excellence under her administration.

She will bring a wealth of knowledge and a principled approach to representation to the school board. If you want a representative who has the experience and knowledge to bring Bedford County Public Schools to its full potential, please vote for Georgia Hairston on Nov. 5.

THOMAS MESSIER

Bedford

Load comments