The Commonwealth Iconoclast

A site dedicated to covering issues relevant to the Commonwealth of Virginia, and nation at large, plus other interesting things too, as I see fit...

Thursday, June 23, 2005

26th District House of Delegates Race...

Here is a campaign of interest for a Delegate seat to those of us living in the 26th District in Virginia. Of course, for those living in the region, you know this is a solidly republican district. I mean if you have an "R" next to your name, your chances of winning are pretty damn good, period.

In this race both the republican and democratic candidates are employed in agriculture (aka farmers) - the republican candidate is Matt Lohr, who is not only makes a living from farming, but also as a motivational speaker (Ok, I find "motivational speakers" to be a bit creepy, but whatever) - the democratic candidate is Lowell Fulk - who previously ran for this same seat verses an entrenched incumbent, but lost in a tight race. So I guess the conventional wisdom is that since Fulk barely lost to a long serving incumbent, he should have the advantage running verses the young newcomer Lohr.

By all accounts both seem to be competent candidates. Fulk is a middle aged man, with strong ties to the region, Lohr on the other hand is young guy (maybe 33 years old or something) with strong ties to the region too. Both appear to have a strong passion and interest in agricultural issues, which is very important to this region as well.

Here's my beef: Lohr appears to be entirely content on trying to win the race solely on the fact that he has an "R" in front of his name. Thus, he as declined to "discuss" the issues with Fulk in a series of debates to be held throughout the region. Ok, Lohr's campaign manager suggested that Lohr doesn't feel comfortable with letting his opponent set the time, and dates of the debates, and that Lohr might have prior obligations to attend too.

Look, I can buy the argument that you don't want your opponent to set all the times and dates of every debate, but I think a more appropriate response would be to agree to the idea of multiple debates, and simply comment that the two campaigns were communicating in order to find mutually agreeable times. Time will tell if Lohr truly intends to debate Fulk, and my gut feeling is that Lohr feels that he can win the election with out the debates, he will not debate. This is fine for winning elections, just bad for the an informed electorate.


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