It's bad enough that next Tuesday's Democratic primary elections in this section of Northern Virginia (there are no Republican ones here) are being held in the middle of the summer, due to a delay caused by the state government's approval process of redrawn district lines based on the 2010 U.S. Census, something that happens every 10 years.
What makes it even harder to generate voter interest is the fact they are all intra-party races, which means that the fear factor, the fear that a wrong electoral outcome will put a monster in office, just isn't there as a motivator.
Indeed, there are four contested Democratic primaries in the North Arlington-Falls Church area, and in all four cases, all the candidates seem just fine to those staunch partisans attending candidate forums (we've had two in this area, one hosted by the Northern Virginia Democratic Business Council and the other by the LGBT Caucus of the state Democratic Party).
But most Democrats are concerned not only for the personal qualities and policies of their choices next Tuesday, looking beyond that to the balance of political power in the state as a whole. No matter who wins Tuesday in the elections around here, they will undoubtedly also win in November.
So, the choice of candidates Tuesday may have more to do with their perceived ability to strengthen the party's hand statewide, with leadership that can resonate beyond this area to contribute to maintaining the slim Democratic control of the State Senate and erode the Republicans' control of the House of Delegates.
This criterion seems valid to us, not only applied to the November elections this year, but for the federal ones in 2012, and beyond.
With this in mind, but with other considerations as well, we endorse the following candidates in next Tuesday's election:
- For the 49th State Delegate District, we endorse Alfonzo Lopez, another strong voice that promises to resonate far beyond the boundaries of that district.