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Sun Gazette endorsements: General Assembly races

It hasn’t been a particularly good year for some state legislators from the Sun Gazette coverage area – Democrats all – who managed to contort themselves into pretzel-like shapes in first demanding that Gov. Northam (and, in some cases, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax) resign, then abruptly reversing course. It was amateurish, and fortunately a few – though not all – of our delegation avoided looking so foolish.

It’s still early, but we think a number of the legislators are so deserving of endorsements that there is no point in waiting:

• State Sen. Janet Howell (D-32nd) represents a district that meanders from Arlington west to Reston, taking in some of the local area. Given her seniority and gravitas, the community is lucky to have her. We don’t always agree with Howell on the issues (which will be the case with our other endorsees, too), but she is doing an effective job in Richmond.

Howell’s Republican opponent, Arthur Purves, deserves credit for his leadership of the Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance; for his views on some issues that align for ours. and for a civil tone. But the Democrat is in step with her district and merits a new term.

• Del. Rip Sullivan (D-48th) has less tenure in the legislature than Howell, but he, too, offers a sense of gravitas too often missing in Richmond. He is serious and soberminded, and we endorse his bid for re-election in a district that includes portions of McLean as well as a slice of Arlington.

Sullivan is unopposed on the ballot.

• State Sen. Barbara Favola (D-31st) is one of those legislators who should have known better than jumping into the Northam debacle back in February. But she did, and looked bad in the process.

That said, Favola – who defeated Nicole Merlene in the Democratic primary and is unopposed for re-election – is a solid legislator who brings with her knowledge of local governance.

Though not without blemishes, Favola’s record is credible enough to merit re-election in a district that stretches from Arlington west to Loudoun County, taking in Great Falls and parts of McLean in the process.

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There are other legislative seasons in the Sun Gazette coverage area on the ballot. We will turn to them in the near future.