Editor: Last week, I attended the public forum at the Great Falls Grange for the 34th District House of Delegates race. Unlike some previous forums at the Grange which were rather boisterous, this forum was calm and the audience was respectful. I listened to both candidates, incumbent Delegate Kathleen Murphy and challenger Cheryl Buford, discuss their experience and accomplishments. When the forum ended, I was impressed by the incumbent, Kathleen Murphy.
Delegate Murphy has worked on projects that we care about. She worked vigorously with communities throughout her district to direct VDOT to reduce cut-through traffic in neighborhoods, reduce the impacts of Route 7 widening, oppose tolls and aggressively pursue future solutions for the American Legion Bridge. In contrast, Ms. Buford, who has no electoral experience, could only refer to the experience of former officials collaborating on local transportation projects.
When asked questions by the moderator, Ms. Buford’s extensive pause before providing an answer left the audience with the impression that she lacked familiarity with some of the issues. On the other hand, Delegate Murphy showed the audience she understands our concerns. Murphy acknowledged the difficulties of being in a minority in the House of Delegates, yet she documented successes in reaching across the aisle to obtain Republican support on key issues of gun control, public education, and limiting the predatory practices of for-profit schools.
Murphy has proven experience which she gained over her 3 legislative sessions. She will fight for our interests in Richmond and deserves our support.
Kathy Stewart Shupe, Sterling