The November election in detailed review
Thank you to all those who did their civic duty and voted last week in the November elections.
I appreciate the dedicated people who cast their vote for me to continue to serve you in the State Senate.
While it is a lawful citizen’s right to vote or choose not to vote, I hope that by the next election all who are qualified will decide to register to vote and then come to the polls on Election Day to cast a vote for those candidates who best represent their views.
After all the television commercials and all the mailings, the end results left the General Assembly about where we started out.
In the House of Delegates, Republicans entered the election holding 67 of the 100 seats. After the election, they control 66 seats.
Two seats represented by retiring Republicans went Republican and one Democrat seat was won by a Republican. In the Senate, Republicans kept all 21 seats with no turnovers and Democrats held all 19 of their seats.
But they will not be all those seated now. Interestingly, 30 percent of those elected four years ago will not be there in January.
This will be a major change for voters when the 2016 session begins.
Those retiring will leave a major gap to be filled by the newly elected members.
In particular, the expertise of Walter Stosch and John Watkins will be missed because of their fiscal experience.
The new members bring a wide range of experience — from business, to medicine, to law.
Two served in the House of Delegates — Bill Steph from Virginia Beach and Scott Surovell from Northern Virginia. Dr. Siobhan Dunnavant will give the Senate a stronger grasp of medical issues.
There will be nine women; the highest number in history for the House of Delegates.
Of those newly elected last week, two were Republican women tripling those in the Republican caucus.
With this many new members, each returning member can expect to be called upon to take a greater role as we develop policy over the next several sessions.
As for myself, I expect to take a greater role in building the state budget and continue my work focusing on skills needed for today’s opportunities and those expected in the coming years for our local residents and citizens.
Much of the state political news over the last six months has been focused on the Governor’s effort to win a majority in the Senate.
With all of the out of state money that he drew into the commonwealth, he was, however, unable to take a single Senate seat.
Strangely, he now claims that winning the Senate was not really that important.
Hopefully, we can now all get past the campaign mode and return our focus on what are the best interests of Virginia.
There are many issues that were raised in various campaigns.
Often they were issues used to impassion voters with little expectation that they would be passed into law by both the House and Senate.
This silliness pushed many important issues into the shadows.
Now is the time to turn to those important issues on which we can agree on and work together to move the state forward.
Job creation is one key issue. Another issue is re-aligning our education policy to better focus our young people on preparing for the jobs available now and in the coming years.
We always love to hear from you.
You can reach our offices by mail at P.O. Box 332, Clarksville, VA 23927 or by telephone at (434) 374-5129.
Frank Ruff, a Republican, represents Lunenburg County in the Virginia State Senate. His email address is Sen.Ruff@verizon.net.