Americans are dissatisfied with a dysfunctional Congress that has placed rabid partisanship and the influence of lobbyists above the interests of the Americans who elected them.
This Nov. 4 affords an opportunity for Americans to force change. Voters in Virginia's 6th Congressional District can help to hasten reforms by electing newcomer Sam Rasoul to replace longtime incumbent Bob Goodlatte.
Rasoul, at age 27, is the youngest person running for Congress. He is still wrapped up in the naïveté of youth. He believes that, with enough principled members, Congress could change. He is idealistic but doesn't seem to fully grasp or appreciate how the system works. Still, voters could do worse than give Rasoul a chance to prove himself.
He has shown through the campaign that he lives up to his principles. He won the Democrats' support as their nominee, but he has shunned all party and political action committee money.
The Roanoke Times also endorsed Tom Perriello in the 5th District. Saying that Virgil Goode gives "conservatism a bad name" and that Goode had run an ugly and negative campaign, the Times went on to praise Periello:
He is an intelligent, articulate, caring individual who has done important work in Afghanistan and Darfur.
Unlike Goode, he does not appear to be driven by partisan ideology, repeatedly saying that governing shouldn't be about "right or left, but about right or wrong.
The voters of Virginia's 5th Congressional District should elect a representative who will make them, and the rest of the commonwealth, proud.Unseating an entrenched incumbent with a huge war chest is always tough. A newspaper endorsement doesn't guarantee victory. But, it is heartening to see a respected editorial board, which has closely followed both races, come out with a bold and positive statement supporting Rasoul and Periello. Hopefully, in this last week before votes are cast, the Roanoke Times has given undecided voters a reason to take a second look at these two qualified candidates. That second look may just change the outcome in one or both contests