This will be my second post criticizing The Smithfield Times. I was pleased with Ryan Kushner’s response to my previous criticism, but am now once again disappointed with the Times’s unfair reporting.
In the “Our Forum” section of the Smithfield Times, the Times states that the race for the 64th Virginia House district has already been decided because the district is “solidly Republican”. They don’t say who the better candidate is, but can only muster lukewarm support for the presumptive winner, Emily Brewer.
She is personable and engaging, and while much of her literature has checked all the party-line blocks — less abortion, more guns, fewer taxes — she strikes us as an intelligent and reasonable person who will quite likely listen to all of her constituents. The 64th District could do a lot worse, and on occasion, has.
It would be nice for the Times to elaborate on why they feel the candidate who sticks to party line talking points might listen to all of her constituents. If Emily Brewer has spoken to anyone other than her base supporters, why doesn’t it show in anything she’s said or written? By contrast, Rebecca Colaw has met with Confederate as well as African American groups before forming an opinion on monuments. Colaw has been knocking on Republican and Democratic doors during her campaign, and like most of the people she has spoken to, supports background checks while vowing to fight more restrictive gun control measures.
Before partisan redistricting, the 64th elected Democrat Bill Barlow ten times in a row, and Democrat Hardaway Marks was elected five times before him. Many of the voters who elected Bill Barlow counted themselves as Republicans but crossed party lines to elect the more qualified candidate. Many still live in the district and have a chance to do so again.
Rational Republicans and Democrats alike can only elect the more qualified candidate if they vote. They should avoid being discouraged by the Smithfield Times’s undemocratic resignation that the candidate they tacitly support has already won.