It's the Voters' Party in Nov.

In this November's general election, Loudoun voters will elect a new Board of Supervisors, five constitutional officers, and two delegates and one senator to the General Assembly. Voters should be free to exercise their choices in these important elections. To this end, the political parties need to control excessive partisanship.

Republicans recently held primary elections for a number of offices that will be decided in November. To participate, the Loudoun Republican Committee required voters to pledge to vote only for Republicans in the general election.

My advice to those who participated in the Republican primary is to ignore a pledge that attempts to deprive them of the right to vote for the person of their choice. Forcing a straight party vote, irrespective of the qualifications of individual candidates, is out of place in a democracy. It is also excessively exclusionary, because it discourages independents, probably a majority of Loudoun's voters, from participating in primaries.

Democrats did not hold primary elections. In fact, they failed to field any candidates for several offices. Should the Loudoun Democratic Committee seek a more comprehensive slate by endorsing independent candidates for offices that are not contested by Democrats?

I believe they should, provided the independent candidates are well qualified and do not diverge materially from Democratic positions on the issues. Without party endorsements, it is often difficult to ascertain the positions of independent candidates, and there will be a number of them running in November. A political party that vets and endorses independent candidates fulfills an important public function.