Randy Forbes won’t debate. Virginian-Pilot won’t endorse.

Sixteen of the eighteen paragraphs of the Virginian-Pilot’s editorial, “4th District needs better choices”, are a succinct description of why Randy Forbes has not been good for Virginia. It basically says that Randy Forbes does little other than sponsor divisive and unproductive legislation.

Forbes has instead wasted his time in Congress on inconsequential and unnecessarily divisive issues (does Congress need to inform Americans about the role of prayer?) that appeal to a narrow band of the electorate.

Which is all he needs to get re-elected.

But the editorial makes a strange turn as it seems to reach for a justification of its own title.

Elliott Fausz, a newspaperman from Chester, is almost certain to become the latest victim. The Democrat, running for the first time, is genial enough, but his inexperience shows. He has been unable to persuade Forbes to even join him for a debate.

Somehow, the fact that Randy Forbes refuses to debate is Elliott Fausz’s fault.

We do have better choices. I have participated in three campaigns for better choices than Randy Forbes, in which he refused to debate and the Virginian-Pilot failed to endorse his opponent. We had a better choice when Forbes was challenged by an Army doctor and successful entrepreneur. We had a better choice when Forbes was challenged by a teacher, school administrator, and experienced councilwoman. And we now have a better choice as Randy Forbes is being challenged by a smart, young newspaper and business man with fresh ideas. We don’t lack better choices. We lack better endorsements.

At least this time the Virginian Pilot has recognized the silliness of endorsing Randy Forbes, but it is still on the path to curing itself of whatever illness prevents it from endorsing whoever opposes him. The 4th district has about two weeks to show even more progress.

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