Historically, very few people show up to vote in primary elections like the one that will happen tomorrow (Tuesday, June 12) in Virginia. But there are all sorts of reasons why we should. One is that higher numbers of primary voters signals to national parties and others that people in our part of the state care about the outcomes of our elections.
In Virginia, you do not have to be registered with a particular party in order to vote in the primary. But you do have to choose to vote in one of the two parties’ elections tomorrow when you show up to the polls, which you can do anytime from 6am – 7pm. And you do have to take a photo ID with you.
If you choose to vote Republican, you will be choosing the person who will run against Senator Tim Kaine for one of Virginia’s U.S. Senate seats. More information on your options here.
If you choose to vote Democrat, you will be choosing the person who will run against Congressman Morgan Griffith to represent the Ninth District in the US Congress. For a bit more information on each candidate, check out this story on WVTF.
At this point, we won’t make an endorsement in the race, but we will share an awfully compelling letter from Pulaski local Dawn Glass explaining why she plans to vote for Anthony Flaccavento tomorrow:
The first time I met Anthony Flaccavento, I instantly knew that he gets it. I feel odd saying this because I was raised hardline Republican. I was born in a time where the religious right movement was still strong, and I learned early that to be Christian meant to be Republican. There was never a question in my mind that the two had to be synonymous. But as I’ve watched my hometown and the people in it suffer because of conservative policies, I’ve begun to yearn for change. I’ve started to look for someone who really gets people like me: the granddaughter of a dairy farmer from deep in Washington County, the daughter of blue collar factory workers, and the first in my family to get a bachelor’s degree. Anthony gets me. He gets the people of the 9th District.
As a Millennial, I find it very hard to relate to many of the people in politics and the platforms they have. The Southwest Virginia of today is not the Southwest Virginia of thirty years ago. The industries that once thrived here don’t really exist anymore. Our communities must find ways to reinvent themselves. Access to community college education and entrepreneurship must be the guiding principles for us now. Unfortunately, I don’t believe our current representation in Congress sees things this way. I firmly believe Morgan Griffith wants to keep going down a path that may help the big dogs but will continue to leave our district in disarray.
I don’t know that I can say that I have ever had much in common with the representation I’ve had in the government. I am proud to say now, though, that I see so much of myself and the people of the 9th district in Anthony Flaccavento. He has a proven record of fighting for the people of small towns that others overlook. He will always fight for us because he is one of us.
I feel one of the biggest issues facing the people of the 9th district is access to healthcare. I myself have dealt with health issues that require me to have health insurance, so that I can see a doctor as necessary and have costly prescriptions filled every month. I know what it is like to be in and see situations where people must choose between medically needed treatments and other necessities. No one should ever have to choose between a roof over their heads and medical treatments that keep them alive. Every day in the 9th district though, people are being forced to make these choices. Anthony Flaccavento will fight for “Medicare for all”. He knows that having healthcare accessible to all is not only the moral thing to do, but it will also greatly improve the health of our country.
The Jesus I learned about as I was growing up was concerned about things like access to health care and economies that work for everyone, especially those who have the least. When I talk to people about why these sorts of policies are important for our nation, and specifically Southwest Virginia, I am reminded of something John F. Kennedy said: “We should not let our fears hold us back from pursuing our hopes”. It is my hope that the people of the 9th district and Pulaski County will let our hopes for a better nation drive us towards a promising future.
Remember to vote Anthony Flaccavento for Congress in the June 12 primary and in the general election on November 6.