Editor: I write this letter out of concern for the upcoming decision by the Virginia 10th Democratic Committee that might limit voting access to select a candidate for the 10th Congressional seat in 2018. The decision on the primary process to select a candidate for the 2018 election will be made by the committee in early November.
Currently, there are eight announced candidates. Despite having other options to consider on which primary process to use to select the candidate to represent the party in 2018, the committee will probably only consider a closed convention or state-run open primary.
I’m compelled to ensure the importance of this decision and the messages conveyed to the committee and the membership be taken seriously. Hopefully, we all can agree that the open and unlimited access to vote is the priority for the committee to consider.
The same political strategies and processes used for years cannot continue if they alienate voters and will ultimately ensure failure during the upcoming elections. We work hard to get voter turnout and despite the activities in many communities it is a struggle.
This is a serious and timely issue as voter suppression laws are being debated and the voting opportunities for our active duty military and working families will be impacted if there is not a state-run primary used to select the democratic candidate for the 10th Congressional District seat in Virginia.
There is too much at stake with all elections and the future of our ability to make a political difference is at risk if we discourage candidates to enter the process and don’t allow voters to decide who gets on the ballot.
All candidates running to represent democrats for the 10th Congressional District seat have a right to be heard and respected without divisive discourse. I believe that having a candidate selected in an open primary would have the best chance of earning the majority of people’s trust and ultimately their votes in a general election.
I applaud Lindsey Davis Stover and Deep Sran for speaking out against a limited participation convention primary process and expressing their support for a state-run open primary. The freedom for all to vote is the only thing that matters and I call upon all elected officials and candidates to state their full support for this position.
We are one party but not one people. We are one party with different voices that must be respected and not feared when those voices challenge or ask for change or better paths for full inclusion.
The democrats in 10th Congressional District should be proud to have so many qualified candidates wanting to serve. I am adding my voice to this conversation in the hopes that we all will have the same open opportunity to vote for our choice.
If the voice of the people can’t get the attention of our party leaders, then we will all know that people don’t really matter, just their votes at election time.
Ron Campbell, Leesburg
[Editor’s note: The writer is a member of the Leesburg Town Council.]