We're nearing the end of January, 2009, which means that races for the House of Delegates are shaping up. Unlike some previous years, the Democratic Party will be fielding candidates to take on all the elected Republican Delegates in Loudoun. And the candidates we have lined up are strong and proven leaders for our county and our commonwealth.
First, in the 33rd District, which Del. Joe May has been representing since 1994, Col. Mike Turner of Waterford has stood up to carry the Democratic banner. Mike has been a prescient observer of facts and trends in foreign affairs, with early and cogent critiques of the war in Iraq. Locally, Col. Turner was instrumental in planning and executing Democratic victories in Loudoun County in 2006 and 2007, and ran for the Democratic nomination in the 10th District against Judy Feder last year. During that race, he came out strongly for many important progressive positions, including the Responsible Plan for Ending the War in Iraq and single-payer healthcare.
(Full Disclosure: I was a strong supporter of Judy Feder last year because I believed her experience with previous attempts at Health Care reform was critical to have in Congress. But I know and have worked with Mike, and believe he is a superior candidate and the right man for the 33rd District. Leesburg Tomorrow enthusiastically supports Mike Turner in the 33rd.)
Mike Turner has earned the respect of the citizens of Loudoun and the 33rd District with his service to his country and his community. He has clearly and forthrightly stated his informed opinions on matters of national and local importance, and invited people to weigh them on their merits. His experience and perspective will be a strong asset for our community in Richmond.
The 86th District, currently represented by Del. Tom Rust, will see a race thanks to Supervisor Stevens Miller. Supervisor Miller was elected to the Board in 2007, and has ably represented the Dulles district through some very difficult votes and decisions. Meanwhile, Del. Rust has been a cog in the Republican machine in Richmond, opposing important progress that is critically necessary for his constituents in the 86th. Del. Rust's constituents voted strongly for the Democratic ticket in 2008, and the time has come to change the face of the District in the Assembly.
Stevens Miller is another Democrat who has fought long and hard to establish clean, rational governance in Loudoun. He has a reputation for putting his constituents first, even when that means going against what might be seen as the "Democratic" position on matters. This pragmatism and focus on the voters stands in sharp contrast to Del. Rust, and will serve Stevens well in his campaign.
Loudoun and Virginia are lucky to have such able candidates with demonstrated dedication to their communities taking up the heavy load of public service, and putting themselves on the line for the 33rd and 86th. We will all do well to give them our support and strength for what promises to be a long, hard race in 2009. The Democrats are only 6 seats away from control in the House of Delegates, with Mike Turner and Stevens Miller running, the Democratic Party has a strong chance to win two of them.