Tomorrow is another election day … at least on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Voters in Virginia’s 6th senatorial district, which includes the ESVA along with sections of Norfolk and Mathews County, will have the opportunity to elect a replacement for Lt. Governor-elect Ralph Northam. They will choose between Del. Lynwood Lewis (D-100) and Norfolk businessman Wayne Coleman. The choice is simple. Coleman exemplifies the values on which the people of Accomac and Northampton counties take pride in – hard work, individualism, devotion to family and community, and fiscal responsibility.
Coleman personifies Eastern Shore values. Virginia needs more small businessmen (and women) like Coleman in the General Assembly, not more lawyers like Lewis. Lewis, while living on the Shore, has shown himself to be a poster child for “Richmond values”, voting for tax hikes, more spending, and growth in state government.
Lewis obviously hopes that the historical parochialism of Virginia’s Eastern Shore will be enough to get him to the Senate. The ESVA has always been the “red headed step-child” of Virginia. The state government routinely neglects to even include the Shore on official images of the Commonwealth. Shore residents can hardly be blamed for their inherent parochialism. However, when Shore voters have chosen folks from across the Bay to represent them in Richmond they have been well-served. While I may have my own problems with Sen. Tommy Norment (R-3), does anyone (other than Bill Fears) honestly argue that he did not serve the Shore well? Northam played on the ESVA’s inherent parochialism to defeat Nick Reras and voted more like a senator from Arlington County than the Eastern Shore.
Sending Lewis to the Virginia Senate is akin to “cutting your nose off to spite your face”. Akin to Shore Democrats in the Maryland General Assembly, Lewis tosses his “Shore values” in a bin* when he crosses the Bay on his way to Richmond. In Richmond he has represented the Democrat Party, NOT the 100th District or the Eastern Shore. Coleman will represent, and fight to protect, those Shore values irrespective of where he resides. Why? Because they are not just “Eastern Shore values”. They are Virginia values. They are American values.
* – Thanks to Maryland Del. Mike McDermott (R-38B) for his now famous analogy from the 2010 election.