By House Delegate Jim LeMunyon (R, VA-67)
Letter to Constituents
Election Day is only 39 days away.
Those of us who are privileged to be on the ballot have an obligation to conduct campaigns that allow voters to make informed decisions on Election Day. This includes going the extra mile to assist voters in comparing and contrasting candidates, their abilities, and their views on various issues.
Preserving the integrity of our democracy in this way is more important than winning.
It is for this reason that in August, I formally requested three, one-on-one debates with my Democratic challenger. In doing so, I also suggested that the local Republican and Democratic political organizations co-host these debates to demonstrate that both local political parties can cooperate and stand against the partisan discord that is so common in American politics today. (It’s an unwritten rule in politics that challengers, not incumbents, ask for debates, but I don’t mind breaking the rule.)
My opponent, Karrie Delaney, rejected my request for one-on-one debates.
Without such debates, the best opportunity is lost for voters to compare us on healthcare, education, transportation, public safety, job opportunities, redistricting, the environment, and many other issues important to people in our area. Such debates would also allow you to hear “the other side of the story” related to some things you may have seen in the mail recently.
She noted there are some “multi-candidate forums” scheduled this fall in Northern Virginia. I appreciate the organizations that host these forums. I have participated in one already and I plan to participate in two more. They typically consist of multiple candidates on a panel from legislative districts across Northern Virginia. Each candidate speaks only briefly without much opportunity to address issues in depth. Only one of these meetings will be held in the 67th district. Candidate forums aren’t real debates.
And of course, when we debate in the House chamber in Richmond, it’s not a panel discussion.
I find it hard to believe that my Democratic friends have nominated a candidate, a Virginia political newcomer, who seeks to speak for the people of the 67th district and debate on the floor of the House of Delegates in Richmond, but can’t be bothered with debating one-on-one in our community during the campaign.
I’ll leave it up to the voters to render their opinion in November. In the meantime, I continue to be available to answer your questions and provide the information you need to make an informed decision on Election Day. Please check out my website at www.LeMunyon.com and feel free to contact me at 703-829-5165 or firstname.lastname@example.org.