89th House District election tonight

I usually wait at least a day before linking to my latest op-ed in The Virginian-Pilot. Today is different, because the urgency is different. The firehouse primary tonight in the 89th will basically decide who will represent the people of the 89th House District through the next election, which will be November 2013.

The only thing worse than an unassembled caucus, which is what a firehouse primary is, is an assembled caucus. The former allows you to show up, cast your ballot and leave. The latter requires you to stay there the entire time. Neither is particularly democratic: you have to vote where the party says vote and when the party says vote. Can’t make it? Too bad. No absentee ballots.

So I urge everyone who lives in the 89th to show up between 5:30pm and 8:30pm at the Masonic Temple, 7001 Granby Street, and participate.

As to who to vote for – well, I’m out of the endorsement business these days. But if you respect the opinion of the person who represented the district for ten years, now Senator Kenny Alexander, if you respect the opinion of uber Councilman Tommy Smigiel, if you respect the opinion of faith leaders from across the city, then the choice is clear.

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The vote on December 18 may include an independent candidate, Lionell Spruill, Jr., who failed to qualify for the Democratic ballot. He also lost an appeal late yesterday to be included. He has until this Friday to file his paperwork to be included on general election ballot.+

My column appears in The Virginian-Pilot on Wednesdays (unless something comes up, in which case it’s Thursdays). You can see the columns as they are published here, or navigate to them from the PilotOnline.com homepage by clicking on Opinion and then choosing my name at the bottom of the dropdown list. You can also see the columns by liking my Facebook page. Although my column appears weekly, I am not and have never been an employee of The Virginian-Pilot.

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