One of the defining characteristics of the South is that we have tended to keep re-electing our legislators, some good, and some perhaps a bit less so, and by doing so end up with a very senior legislative delegation that ends up running the show. That's typically worked well to control important committees and ensure a delegation has enough clout to defend the interests of their constituents, but times have changed. No longer are a handful of Southern Congressmen the committee chairmen pulling the strings in Washington. No longer is, or should, seniority be the key determining factor for voters.
20th District voters this year will have the choice between Roscoe Reynolds, a longtime incumbent Democrat, and Jeff Evans, his Republican challenger. More than recognizing the familiar Roscoe Reynolds name, I hope voters will be aware of just how this shy, uncertain cartoon character of an embarrassment has truly harmed the image of Martinsville and utterly failed to help us move from a small town perpetually stuck in the year 1966 to a place that has found it's way in this new era, while retaining all that makes Martinsville, and Henry County this place that I so deeply love. To hear Roscoe Reynolds is to be subjected to an exercise in frustration, as he is perhaps the most inarticulate and incomprehensible example of the "Peter Principle" one would ever care to see. As Woolworth's is long gone, Roscoe Reynolds should closely follow. Our habit of valuing seniority over competence, stability over ability, and familiarity over character has left us behind, as a declining locality searching for some degree of relevance in a "Silicon Dominion" that has never arrived in Southside.
Jeff Evans offers a different way forward. Not only does he clearly understand that "business as usual" means fewer jobs, more vacant storefronts, and communities in jeopardy, he knows how to move Southside forward. Those things that make us strong, our faith, our values, and our eagerness to roll up our sleeves and get to work only need government to get out of the way in order to allow our creativity and dedication to develop the means for transforming our communities and our economy. Listening to Jeff, you can't help but be infected with his powerful optimism in the ability for ordinary citizens to collectively make the difference that government so typically frustrates. He's done a tremendous job as Supervisor in Carroll County, and is ready to take his passion and determination to the Senate where we've rarely gotten anything of value under Roscoe Reynolds.
If you're ready to change the rationale for your vote from seniority to actual results, you probably will want to support Jeff Evans. If you're well beyond ready, as am I, you need to be an active part of this campaign. Democracy happens because people show up, and unless you do, get ready to deal with more of the same.
As I noted in another post, this post was part of a group April Fools Day experiment. Several of us Virginia bloggers conspired to ghost write for each other.
This post was written by Greg Letiecq as part of that exercise. I agree with it completely, and I do believe that Greg managed to mimic my awkward writing style perfectly, so perfectly that I needed to change only one word.
I'm glad to know that if I ever have to take time off I can call on Greg to keep my readers fulfilled.