‘Let your voice be heard’

Published 2:02 pm Wednesday, May 31, 2017

On June 13 you can join in deciding the direction of Virginia for the next four years. Both political parties are holding primaries. Virginians do not register by party. You can vote in either but not both. For attorney general, there is only one candidate for each party. For lieutenant governor there are six candidates — three Democrats and three Republicans. My knowledge of the Democrats is limited because they have never held public office and all are from Northern Virginia. They have generated few news stories in our area probably because they have not spent time here. The Republicans are better known in our area because they have each been elected and re-elected in their respective districts. They better understand what is required to win. Each came to Nottoway last month to answer questions from the voters of the area. All three, Del. Glenn Davis, Sen. Bryce Reeves and Sen. Jill Vogel, agreed on issues and were impressive. I wish I could make an endorsement, however, both senators serve on my General Laws and Technology Committee and at least one will continue there in January. Both understand better how the Senate operates and have more legislative experience than Del. Davis. For governor, the Democrats have two candidates with different experience. Each has moved to more liberal positions from the first time they ran for office. Ralph Northam currently serves as lieutenant governor. Since that election, he has moved to more liberal positions just as Tom Perriello has since he defeated Virgil Goode. This campaign has seen the race move further and further to the left. The three Republicans are Ed Gillespie, Corey Stewart and Sen. Frank Wagner. I cannot say anything bad about my friend, Frank Wagner. We have served together both in the House and the Senate. We do not always reach the same conclusion, but he is passionate about issues relating to the economy and what is needed to bolster it. He was slow to commit to run and, therefore, has not gotten the traction needed for a statewide race. Corey Stewart is a member of the board of supervisors from Prince William County. He has chosen to run on issues that other people are passionate about, but in which state government has little say. He has chosen Charlottesville and their disrespect of the Robert E. Lee statue as his No. 1. issue. As a Virginian by birth, I appreciate the battle, but it must play out in court. As one that has worked closely with the community colleges that was created under the leadership of Gov. Mills Godwin, I question why he has shown little respect for Gov. Godwin. He celebrated the renaming of the Godwin School in Prince William. If he respects history as he professes, why would he turn his back on Gov. Godwin and all he did to enhance education in Virginia?  The third Republican candidate, Ed Gillespie, has my support. While he has not held elective office, he gained the respect of many of us because he ran a very good race two years ago for the U.S. Senate. Ed has worked hard over the last year working with many legislators about the needs of Virginia and how best to address them. Combined, he has drawn on years and years of experience from legislators. Gillespie will bring that experience as well as the working relationships he has developed with many of us. I have found him very willing to respond to the ideas that have been presented to him. You choose those candidates you support in whichever primary, and let your voice be heard. Frank Ruff represents Lunenburg in the state Senate. His email address is Sen.Ruff@verizon.net.