About 70 percent of Virginians voted in the last two presidential elections when President Barack Obama carried the state as the first Democrat to do so since Lyndon Johnson won the Old Dominion. In the gubernatorial election in 2009 voter turnout was half that number with the expectation that voter participation in the election on Nov. 5 will also be light. While the presidential elections get a lot of attention and high participation, statewide elections do not attract as many voters. In many ways, voters who stay home are pushing off their responsibility in voting to a group of people unknown to them who do bother to vote. Such a situation can lead to a small group of highly motivated voters swinging the outcome of an election. Please encourage your family, co-workers and neighbors to participate as the consequences of the election are critically important to the future of the commonwealth, and we each need to take part in the decision.

Seldom has there been a clearer choice than in the statewide elections this year. I enthusiastically endorse Terry McAuliffe for governor, Ralph Northam for lieutenant governor and Mark Herring for attorney general. My endorsements are not based on my being a Democrat; there are some elections in which I have chosen not to endorse anyone. McAuliffe, Northam and Herring bring a combination of business and legislative experience among them that is essential for Virginia’s future. There is not a shred of difference among the three Republican statewide candidates who are ideologically driven on social issues that have dominated their careers. While Ken Cuccinelli is best known among the three with the highest negative polling from his attacks on climate science, women’s reproductive rights, and the transportation package, his running mates share the same negative and divisive views.

Although I am unopposed in the election, I nonetheless ask for your vote as an affirmation of the work I have been doing as your delegate. I bring the same level of enthusiasm to the position as I have always had. I pledge to work for sane and reasonable solutions to our problems and wise investments in our future.

While it could be debated that the sheriff of an urban county like Fairfax should be a civil service position, we will vote for a new sheriff this year. We have the opportunity this time to vote for a person who would be the best candidate in an election or in a merit, civil service selection: Stacey Kincaid. With more than two decades in the office already and excellent experience, Stacey will be the first woman sheriff of Fairfax County.

The school board referendum on the ballot merits our support in the continuing effort to keep our facilities up to date and to meet the needs of a school population that continues to grow.

On Tuesday, Oct. 29 I will be placing a telephone conference call to voters in my district at 8 p.m. Stay on the line to take my call so that we can discuss the election and candidates more fully.