[Sun Gazette editorials represent the viewpoint of Sun Gazette Newspapers, which provides content to, but is otherwise unaffiliated with, InsideNoVa or Rappahannock Media LLC.]
It’s a given that the seven members of Arlington’s legislative delegation – Democrats all – are going to win on Nov. 5. Most, in fact, are unopposed.
It hasn’t been a particularly good year for some of the legislators, who managed to contort themselves into pretzel-like shapes in first demanding that Gov. Northam (and, in some cases, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax) resign, then abruptly reversing course. It was amateurish, and fortunately a few – though not all – of our delegation avoided looking so foolish.
It’s still early, but we think a number of the legislators are so deserving of endorsements that there is no point in waiting:
• State Sen. Janet Howell (D-32nd) counts a number of Arlington precincts in a district that meanders west to Reston. Given her seniority and gravitas, Arlington is lucky to have her. We don’t always agree with her on the issues (which will be the case with our other endorsees, too), but she is doing an effective job in Richmond.
Howell’s Republican opponent, Arthur Purves, deserves credit for his leadership of a taxpayers’ group in Fairfax County, for views on some issues that align for ours and for a civil tone, but the Democrat is in step with her district and merits a new term.
• Del. Rip Sullivan (D-48th) has less tenure in the legislature than Howell, but he, too, offers a sense of gravitas too often missing in Richmond. He is serious and soberminded, and we endorse his bid for re-election.
Sullivan is unopposed on the ballot.
• State Sen. Barbara Favola (D-31st) is one of those legislators who should have known better than jumping into the Northam debacle back in February. But she did, and looked bad in the process.
That said, Favola – who defeated Nicole Merlene in the Democratic primary and is unopposed for re-election – is a solid legislator who brings with her knowledge of local governance.
Though not without blemishes, Favola’s record is credible enough to merit re-election.
That leaves four legislators to be evaluated: State Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-30th) and Dels. Patrick Hope (D-47th), Alfonso Lopez (D-49th) and Mark Levine (D-45th). We will turn to them in a future edition.
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As a reminder, the Sun Gazette already has endorsed County Board member Katie Cristol, Sheriff Beth Arthur, Commissioner of Revenue Ingrid Morroy and Treasurer Carla de la Pava for re-election. More endorsements are on the horizon.