With just days to go until the most expensive – and heavily reported – federal mid-term elections in American history come to a close, there’s a lot of dispute between the two parties about the final outcome. Will the Democrats continue to hold Congress, or will the Republicans win the House or the Senate, or both? Barring a rash of contests requiring recounts, the answer to that question should be known before America goes to bed next Tuesday evening.
The results of federal elections have a tremendous effect on individual states, as much of what state government does is directly affected by federal policies. Although Virginians will only be participating in 11 of the 472 races for the House and Senate to be decided on November 2, the Commonwealth has a very real stake in the ultimate outcome of those races.
There is one of those 472 contests to which members of the Virginia Senate Republican Caucus are paying particularly close attention. In Virginia’s Fifth Congressional District, Virginia Senator Robert Hurt (R-Pittsylvania) is challenging Democratic Congressman Tom Perriello. Senator Hurt has run an exemplary campaign, travelling throughout the Fifth District, which with more than 8900 square miles is Virginia’s largest.
This decade, the Virginia Senate Republican Caucus has become accustomed to its members pursuing new challenges. If Senator Hurt wins his race next Tuesday, he will be the fifth member of the Virginia Senate Republican Caucus to be elected to another office since 2001, an impressive record of success.
Senator Randy Forbes was elected to represent the Fourth Congressional District in a special election in 2001. Senator Bill Bolling was elected our Lt. Governor in 2005 and was handily reelected in 2009. Also in 2009, Senator Ken Cuccinelli was elected Attorney General of Virginia and Senator Ken Stolle was elected Sheriff of Virginia Beach.
Why have Republican Senators done so well at winning election to other offices? We believe it’s because they have accumulated a record of service that voters respond to positively. Our members have a proven track record of standing for fiscal responsibility, insisting that the Commonwealth’s resources be focused on delivering the core services of government, and not shrinking from the tough decisions and hard choices that must be made in these changing times.
Of course, a victory by Senator Hurt next Tuesday also means we would have to say “goodbye” to a valued and respected colleague. That is never easy. But, as we learned when facing similar situations after the elections of Congressman Forbes, Lt. Governor Bolling, and Sheriff Stolle, we might have the opportunity to welcome another valued and respected colleague, like Senators Blevins, McDougle, and McWaters.
Robert Hurt will be a great Congressman and a strong conservative voice for the people of the Fifth Congressional District. His colleagues in the Virginia Senate Republican Caucus know this because he has served with such distinction as a member of the House of Delegates and the Senate of Virginia. Virginia is fortunate to have someone of his caliber willing to serve all of us in Washington.