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Our Endorsements in Virginia
District 43 : Voters should support incumbent Mark D. Sickles (D), if only to punish his opponent, Ron M. Grignol Jr. (R), for running a sleazy campaign ripe with the stench of innuendo. As it happens, Mr. Sickles, a promising first-term lawmaker, is also right on the need to invest in Virginia's future, while Mr. Grignol would starve the state of revenue.
District 44: Incumbent Kristen J. Amundson (D) is the easy choice here, having chalked up a record of community service that Greg B. Scoma (R) cannot match.
District 45: Two strong candidates are vying to succeed retiring Marian Van Landingham in one of the state's most solidly Democratic districts. Newcomer David L. Englin (D) has run a turbocharged campaign both in the primary, where he beat a crowded field of Democrats, and since then against Chris J. Gregerson, a moderate Republican. Mr. Gregerson has deeper roots and a longer record of community involvement in the district, but he has championed a proposal that could squeeze schools and social services by artificially holding down residential property tax assessments. Mr. Englin, though he moved into the district just two years ago, has made up in energy what he lacks in longevity there. He has promise.
District 46: Brian J. Moran (D), who wields some clout as the Democratic caucus leader in the House of Delegates, deserves reelection in his campaign against Matthew A. Mueda (R).
District 50: The incumbent, Harry J. Parrish (R), is an institution in the General Assembly -- a 24-year veteran who chairs the House Finance Committee. He is the obvious choice against Donald E. Shuemaker Jr. (D).
District 51: Michele B. McQuigg (R), who has held this seat for eight years, is an energetic but lackluster delegate who opposed Mr. Warner's signal achievement, last year's tax overhaul. Her opponent, Earnest W. Porta Jr. (D), a finance officer at Georgetown University, is our choice.
District 52: Hilda M. Barg (D), 72, is a generation or two older than incumbent Jeffrey M. Frederick (R), a 30-year-old House freshman -- and she has the wisdom to prove it. Mr. Frederick, in office just two years, has aligned himself with the most extreme elements of his party. Ms. Barg, a fixture of local politics as a Prince William County supervisor for 18 years and an effective public servant, is a much better alternative.
District 67: If there were a prize for worst candidate of the season, Chris S. Craddock (R) would be a strong contender. In the race for this seat, Mr. Craddock -- who's managed to rack up at least nine traffic tickets since 2001, including one for reckless driving a few weeks ago -- used a 14-year-old endorsement by a gay newspaper to smear his primary opponent, incumbent Del. Gary A. Reese. Mr. Craddock, a 27-year-old youth minister who hates taxes, and has attributed AIDS in Africa to those who seek sex "with anything with a pulse" -- and that may not be his dumbest or most offensive pronouncement. We hope his main opponent, C. Chuck Caputo (D), wins, if only to spare voters more of Mr. Craddock's callow inanity.
District 88: The incumbent, Mark L. Cole (R), voted to outlaw baggy pants and opposed Mr. Warner's tax package. Wisdom prevailed, and he lost on both counts. The district would be better served by the challenger, C.A. "Chuck" Feldbush (D).