While we have not endorsed candidates in local elections, some of the endorsements have been noteworthy. The News and Messenger has endorsed newcomer John Bell for delegate of the 13th state district. John Bell is resident of South Riding which is a newer, more progressive section of Loudoun County, right over the Fairfax County line. The area tends to vote Democrat. Bell is interested in transportation, education,the economy and things that affect people’s daily lives.
We thought that endorsement article should be reprinted in its entirety since most challengers to the 13th have been local. Additonally, most of Gainesville and Haymarket include the 13th:
ENDORSEMENT: Lend your support to John Bell in the 13thOur View
Published: October 22, 2009In the 13th District, it is time for a change.
For more than 18 years, Republican Del. Bob Marshall has served parts of Prince William and Loudon counties, and he has done so honorably.We ask that you give your vote to Democrat John Bell in the 13th District.
We have great respect for his intelligence and passion.
For example, Marshall defended Virginia against unconstitutional taxes and fees.
The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority would have had the power to collect taxes and fees from Virginia residents, yet none of its members were to be elected directly to their posts by the electorate. Marshall’s case went to the Virginia Supreme Court, and the revenue-generating scheme was found unconstitutional in 2008.
Marshall was also a stalwart defender of families with autism this past session, and for that he deserves admiration.
However, his antagonistic approach to legislating in general has restricted his influence in the House. He has even been denied at least one committee chairmanship because of his behavior. As the 18th
highest-ranking member in the House, he should be able to wield the power that comes from seniority. But his behavior has drained whatever prestige time has given him.
Also, his focus on social issues takes up time that would be better spent focusing on matters that have more direct effects on his constituents.
Democrat John Bell would be a welcome change.
Bell recognizes the need to make transportation a priority. He has good suggestions, such as putting a dedicated lane for Bus Rapid Transit down the middle of Interstate 66.
He supports ideas such as “Slug West,” which would transport the concept of slugging, widely used on Interstate 95, to areas of I-66 and Va. 267.
Bell, like Marshall, wants to do what he can for small businesses. But we have faith that Bell, not distracted by pet projects, would actually dedicate time to improving the climate for these businesses.
On education, he proposes common-sense cost-saving measures such as using smaller vehicles to transport students to school when there are too few to warrant a gas-guzzling bus.
These are just some of the reasons we support him.
In our editorial endorsement interview, Bell showed an impressive level of understanding on the issues and displayed a creative and a practical approach to solving them.
We wish that Marshall could find a way to become more influential in Richmond, but after more than 18 years, we don’t think it’s going to happen.