After months of waiting, election day is on the horizon. I think most of us would agree it comes not a moment too soon.
It is time for us to exercise that rite of democracy that ties us — and our fates — together: voting. Despite the sometimes divisive tenor of the presidential election, our fates indeed are tied together today and still will be on Wednesday morning after we've chosen new leaders. Our forefathers agreed to that on our behalf back when Williamsburg was the state capitol.
We won't all like the decisions made Tuesday or agree on a path forward, but it is incumbent on us to find a way to walk it together.
Below is a review of our endorsements for races in our area. With the exception of the presidential race, we met with the candidates, asked questions and made our calls. Good luck making yours.
President: Hillary Clinton
Democrat Clinton's seriousness of purpose, experience and stamina commend her as best fit for this office. We agree with her stands on fighting terror, immigration, family and medical leave, taxes and more. Simply put, we see her as a smart, committed and strong candidate who we think will carry those traits into her role as president.
1st Congressional District: Rob Wittman
Wittman, a Republican, has represented the 1st District since 2007, and we think his time in Washington serves the district well. He is a member of on the Senate Armed Services Committee and the House Committee on Natural Resources – two continuing areas of special interest and need in this area.
2nd Congressional District: Scott Taylor
Taylor, a Republican member of the House of Delegates from the 85th district, seems to be a straight talker on a lot of things; some we agree with, others not so much. But we like where he stands on Social Security, moving to a biennial budget, trade agreements and efforts to clean the Chesapeake Bay. We think his time spent as a Navy SEAL and his background in international relations will serve us all well in D.C.
1st State Sentate District: Monty Mason
Mason, a Democrat, is seeking to move from the House of Delegates to the Senate seat left vacant when John Miller died in April. We think that's a good move. We like his commitment to education issues, his ideas for funding transportation projects and his understanding of how to support and grow the region's economy. We like his history of collaborating to get the work done.
93rd House of Delegates: Mike Mullin
Mullin, a Democrat and criminal prosecutor from Newport News, takes a broad view of issues, and like much of the district lands in the middle ground on most of them. He says courts and jails have become the providers of last resort for the mentally ill, addicts, and young people who would have benefited from intervention earlier in their lives. If we invested more of the money spend on courts and jails up front, in schools and education, we'd need less of it on the back end, he says. Mullin is cautious about raising taxes – even for transportation — and says we should keep working on updating high school curriculum to reflect 21st century opportunities.
W-JCC School Board, Powhatan District: Lisa Ownby
Ownby has spent years involved in schools here, and she's ready to take her understanding and experience to the Williamsburg James City County School Board. Don't underestimate the fruits of that involvement: It has given her a front-row seat on how schools actually work — what the experience is like for children, parents and teachers. She also works as the Director of Operations for Landtech Resources, so she also brings pragmatic nuts and bolts experience to the table.
Bellows is editor of The Virginia Gazette. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 757-345-2347.