30th Senate District
In this race, Libby Garvey, Adam Ebbin and Rob Krupicka are facing off. This seat was one that Democrats didn't mess up too badly in redistricting, and should be an easy hold for any of these three candidates against the GOP.
Krupicka is by far the best speaker in the group and has provided the most eloquent vision of what he would do with a Senate seat. But where has Rob been for the last 10 years? I've seen Garvey and Ebbin at events all over the region, in competitive districts knocking for candidates and working hard for Democrats. The only times I've ever been in the same room as Rob were at state JJ dinners and events in Alexandria City. I find his argument of being the candidate who wants to help more Democrats get elected to be puzzling from the guy who has done the least of any candidate in the race to make that happen. If Rob wins (and he's probably the favorite right now) I might grow to like him. But for now, talk is cheap.
Which leaves this primary as a choice between Adam Ebbin and Libby Garvey. Earlier in this year I tilted in the direction of Garvey, who has been an outstanding member of the Arlington County School Board. I still think she'd be quite a good member of the Senate. That having been said- Garvey has spent her campaign focused on targeted micro-issues. Yes, talking about BRAC hurts Krupicka and is a contrast, but it doesn't lay out a vision for the district or the state. Her bio is compelling, but again it doesn't lay out a vision for the district or the state.
Which brings us to Adam Ebbin. I've disagreed with Adam on a few of his votes in RIchmond, but not many. In fact when we did the legislator rankings here for the last two years in the House, Adam placed 4th and 5th overall, so he really does have a solid progressive record. His campaign hasn't been that impressive either, as they have clearly sat back hoping Garvey and Krupicka would blow each other up.
So why endorse Adam? Let me take you back to 2003 to explain...
Back when Adam ran for the House of Delegates this was a very different state and legislature than it is today. When Mark Warner was sworn in as Governor in January of 2002, he issued his first executive order that every Governor puts out banning discrimination in the workforce based on gender, race, disability, etc. But he refused to include sexual orientation, leaving GLBT Virginians in the same position they are today under Bob McDonnell.
This was a time when conservative Delegates (including some Democrats) wouldn't hesitate to compare the GLBT community to rapists, bestiality or polygamists on the House floor when these issues would come up.
Along came Adam's election and a funny thing happened. Virtually every member (with a couple exceptions like Dick Black and Bob Marshall) didn't want to say those things anymore. Once they had to say it to a colleague's face who could stand up and personally challenge them, many Delegates changed their behavior. In addition, the vote tally's on these issues started to change, as many Democrats in the caucus didn't want to cast votes against the GLBT community with Adam sitting there.
In fact, noticing the change and how out of touch he was looking, even Mark Warner turned it around. Before Adam had even finished his first term in the House, Warner amended his first executive order and added sexual orientation as a protected class- something Tim Kaine continued and it stayed as the law of the Commonwealth until Bob McDonnell's election last year.
Elections are about the future and not the past. So why Adam now? If you are a liberal like myself and care about how we treat others, this is a very important election. Not because Rob or Libby would cast bad votes- both would be 100% on these issues as well- but because of what it means to the debate in Richmond to have one legislator who is openly gay- something we would lose if Adam doesn't win this election. There are so many critical issues coming up in this area, as Virginia crafts policy to deal with out of state gay marriages that relocate here and become divorces, sometimes with children involved or begins grappling with the repeal of the Marshall-Newman amendment. If you care about those issues, you don't want to return Richmond to a time where no legislator was able to personalize the debate the way Adam has.
In short, this is one election where the voice is more important than the votes. Adam is the huge underdog in this race, but anything can happen next week. If you live in the 30th Senate District, I urge you to vote for Adam Ebbin.