Thoughts on the Canceled Forum for Virginia HOD 84 Democratic primary

The Democratic chairs in Virginia's 84th House of Delegates district were planning a forum with candidates Michele Joyce and Nadarius Clark, but Mr. Clark has backed out. I've been thinking about why he might have made this decision.

I believe that Michele Joyce and Nadarius Clark are both good Democrats and intelligent people. I don't believe that Mr. Clark was afraid of being exposed as an idiot or as having any unpleasant views. Michele Joyce and her opponent would both fight Republican lies about bigotry and economics. Both would work hard to promote Democratic values of fairness and common sense.

I believe the difference is local. I believe Mr. Clark was worried that he wouldn't be as versed in local issues as Michele Joyce.

Working in the General Assembly isn't just about ensuring that truth is taught in our schools or that gun violence is treated as a serious issue. It's also about such things as transportation, broadband, and solar energy. On these issues, our region should be represented by someone who has lived here for decades, not by someone who moved here last month from Portsmouth to avoid an unwinnable primary.

I'm not suggesting that our issues are exclusive. We who live in the 84th District share values with those of us who live in Mr. Clark's old district. What benefits people in one area will likely benefit all. But when our leaders have to make decisions on a wide variety of issues, the people who live in different districts should each have a voice. The people in Mr. Clark's old district will have their voice in Don Scott, who has lived there for more than a decade. The people of the 84th district deserve a voice as well.

Michele Joyce put two children through school in Smithfield. She crosses the James River to get to work. She has chaired the Isle of Wight Democratic Committee and worked closely with the Suffolk Democrats to get voters informed and motivated. She was an organizer in this region for OFA. She was a healthcare navigator and a volunteer for the Greater Hampton Roads Diaper Bank. She has spent decades helping, working with, and listening to people here about the issues that affect us.

Michelle Joyce should be the voice of the 84th House of Delegates district. Early voting has begun. Vote now for Michelle Joyce