Letter: Rob Abbot, Arlington

Editor: Over the last several years the lack of cooperation between the president and the Congress has led to gridlock, with very little getting done on issues that matter to Americans and the rest of the world. For residents of Northern Virginia, gridlock has a local flavor, in part because the recurring brinksmanship on government shutdowns has a direct effect on our livelihoods and the well being of our communities.

The competitive race in 10th Congressional District (which includes McLean, Great Falls, all of Loudoun County, and two counties west of the Blue Ridge Mountains) offers voters a choice about how best to make our government function again. One thing that would help is to bring back a spirit of bipartisan cooperation.

The current 10th DIstrict Congresswoman, Barbara Comstock, is a longtime partisan warrior who cut her teeth in the 1990s as a Congressional staffer pursuing Travelgate, Whitewater, and various other attempts to discredit and weaken President Clinton. This work endeared her to the Republican establishment and helped her rise in the ranks to become a member of the House of Representatives. However, it is hard to imagine her taking the risks necessary to compromise on issues like repairing infrastructure, achieving immigration reform, or fighting climate change. Breaking gridlock would be a particularly difficult course for her in the event she considers a run for Tim Kaine’s Senate seat if, as seems likely, he is elected vice president.

Better to vote for the pragmatic newcomer, I think. LuAnn Bennett has lived and worked in Northern Virginia for three decades. She understands our community’s values and priorities. She has an open mind about solutions to our problems, and she doesn’t think of compromise as a sign of weakness.

Rob Abbot, Arlington

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