Blue Louisa: A blog Covering Central Virginia & national politics from a progressive perspective
The excitement is everywhere. Motivated by Republican legislative roadblocks year after year, on issue after issue, Democratic candidates are taking the field in unprecedented numbers this year, and they are demanding action.
In this “off-off-year” election, Democrats in Virginia are competing in 36 of the 40 senate races and 92 of the 100 delegate races. This is unprecedented in Culpeper, as well, where we have Democratic candidates running in three State Senate and two House of Delegates races.
Culpeper’s Democratic candidates are local people with local backgrounds and experience in the jobs and problems of the people of this county, and these districts.
Amy Laufer, running for Senate in the 17th District, grew up on a dairy farm, found her passion in teaching, and later served as chairman of a school board.
Annette Hyde, running for Senate in the 24th District, lives on a historic farm in Madison, owns a private business, and worries that lack of rural access to the internet hobbles children’s futures.
Ronnie Ross, running for Senate in the 27th District, is also a teacher.
Ann Ridgeway, running for the 30th District House of Delegates seat, is a native Virginian, grew up in a family of dedicated community activists, advocates for the underprivileged, and has worked as a teacher and juvenile probation counselor.
Laura Galante, running in the 18th Delegate District, also grew up in Virginia, worked in 4-H and now, in addition to being a small farmer, is also a cybersecurity expert who helped the Pentagon uncover Russian and Chinese attacks on America.
These five prospective citizen legislators want to work in a bipartisan way to actually represent the needs of the people and to solve problems.
What have our Republican incumbents given us?
Very little movement or progress on better funding for schools and teacher pay—teachers are leaving the profession in droves.
Very little movement or progress on access to rural broadband—this depresses or slows home and real property sales and keeps folks driving in gridlock for hours to seek better paying jobs. Hence, one Democratic candidate’s quip, “If you want broad band, vote for a broad.”
Almost all Republicans voted against expanding Medicaid. The poor barely have access to health care, putting incredible pressure on free clinics and emergency rooms at the expense of preventive care. Local hospital scandals demonstrate that without insurance you can be charged incredible fees that will cost you your home.
Zero movement on reducing gun violence or enacting common sense gun safety bills. Republicans have spent years gutting mental health services, and then blame gun violence on the mentally ill.
No movement on increasing the minimum wage.
Our jails are bursting at the seams because no substantive action has been taken toward criminal justice reform.
Republicans stopped Virginia passing the Equal Rights Amendment, again.
These Republican failures have given Democrats in the General Assembly their new “to do” list.
The “Republican Creed” is more cover story than a plan for action. They allow out-of-state money to threaten local influence. Nick Freitas has accepted the donation of a tea party Illinois billionaire tycoon for a half million dollars, a larger single donation than any other candidate from either party in the entire General Assembly during this election cycle.
This is democracy?
Culpeper citizens deserve better than the thin gruel these Republicans have delivered. On November 5th, you have the opportunity to take back your county and your commonwealth, and truly return them to government of, by, and for the people. Vote like your lives depend upon it.
Because they do.
Editor’s Note: this originally appeared in the Culpeper Star Exponent and has been edited to include links to relevant information, and is reposted here with the author’s permission.
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