To the Editor:
As a candidate in the Democratic primary for Virginia’s 8th congressional district, I read with particular interest Michael Pope’s article "Blind Trust" [The Gazette, Jan. 5, 2012] on the disparity among candidates for ballot access.
In 2011 I ran a principled campaign as an Independent for Fairfax County chairman to voice concerns and stop cutting education funding, stop increasing students per teacher, and stop reducing the take home pay of teachers and first responders.
Working with people across political lines, I am proud and thankful Democratic and Republican senators and delegates signed my ballot petition.
Michael Pope’s excellent article exposes the inconsistency of how partisan and Independent candidates are treated in Virginia.
For example, no one reviewed the ballots submitted by Mitt Romney’s campaign for the March 6, 2012 Virginia Republican Presidential Primary to verify their authenticity. Separately, former Republican candidate Tim McGhee admitted several of his ballot petitions in his campaign for delegate lacked addresses.
Pope quotes Del. David Albo (R-42) saying, "It just seems to me that we should all be playing by the same rules. Independent candidates shouldn’t be subject to more scrutiny than Republicans and Democrats. That’s just not right."
Delegates David Albo and Bob Brink (D-48) both said they would support legislation requiring partisans to meet the same standards, although neither is sponsoring legislation currently.
The Democratic Primary for Virginia’s 8th congressional district requires my campaign to turn in at least 1,000 voter signatures with dates and addresses on a petition so I may have ballot access.
My campaign will submit signatures collected in Arlington and Alexandria to their respective registrars to verify. We will do the same in Fairfax and Falls Church if their registrars will verify.
We will meet the highest standards in seeking public office.
A. Will Radle, Jr.
Candidate for Democratic nomination in the 8th Congressional District