Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS

The Commonwealth of Virginia continues to deal with COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019), a respiratory illness that originated in Wuhan, China, last year and has since spread throughout the world. In an effort to slow the spread of the disease in the Commonwealth, Governor Ralph Northam (D-VA) has imposed a number of restrictions. We are now going through a phased reopening.

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Former Vice President Joe Biden (D), the presumptive Democratic Party nominee for President of the United States, has selected Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) to be his vice presidential running mate. Biden announced the choice in a Twitter posting this afternoon.

Harris served as District Attorney of San Francisco, California, from 2004 to 2011, and then as Attorney General of California from 2011 to 2017. In 2017 she was elected to the United States Senate from California, where she serves today. She unsuccessfully sought the 2020 Democratic nomination for president. Harris is mixed-race African American and Indian American, and will be both the first African American woman and the first Indian American woman on a national ticket.

She, like Biden, is generally considered to be a moderate, mainstream Democrat, though this characterization is becoming less meaningful as the party continues to shift further and further to the left with each election cycle. Her background as a ‘tough on crime’ prosecutor has led to criticism from members of the party’s socialist wing, many of whom are currently calling for defunding or even eliminating the police.

Biden and Harris are expected to be formally nominated by the Democratic Party at the Democratic National Convention, which will be held August 17-20 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, most of the convention’s activities will occur online rather than in person.

Toyota Prius

The ugliness continues! Only one model on last year’s list—the Smart Fortwo—has been discontinued (in the U.S. market), making room for a newcomer from Nissan. And while the BMW X6 and Mercedes GLE Coupe have been redesigned, they’re still just as ugly as their predecessors.

The criteria for inclusion are unchanged. I don’t include models that aren’t sold in the United States. I don’t include models that sell in very low volume (and volume is defined subjectively based on how many I see on the highways in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area). I don’t include exotic, military, or special-purpose vehicles, or vehicles reserved exclusively for the commercial market like the persistently horrific Ram Promaster.

This list is my personal opinion. If you own one of the cars on this list . . . well . . . don’t take it (too) personally.

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Former Vice President Joe Biden (D) has won a majority of available delegates for the Democratic presidential nomination and is now the presumptive Democratic nominee. Biden had been all-but-assured to win the nomination after his only remaining competitor, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), dropped out of the race in April.

With wins in several states that held Democratic primaries on Tuesday, vote counting in the days since had awarded Biden a majority and he is now practically guaranteed to receive his party’s nomination. This likely would have occurred earlier, but many state primaries were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Biden is expected to be formally nominated at the Democratic National Convention, which is now scheduled to be held in August. It had been previously scheduled for July but it, too, was delayed due to the pandemic.

President Donald Trump (R), who faced no national opposition in the primaries, became the presumptive Republican Party presidential nominee when he won a majority of available delegates in March. The Republican National Convention is scheduled to be held in August.

Primary elections for the Democratic and Republican parties will be held on June 23, 2020. They were originally scheduled for June 9, but have been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Off on a Tangent is making recommendations to party primary voters in each contested state- and federal-level primary race in Virginia. Primaries for the office of president were held earlier in the year and were reviewed in a separate article.

Political parties are private organizations that should not have any official standing in our political system, but Democratic and Republican primaries are held by the Virginia Department of Elections and are funded by Virginia taxpayers. The purpose of a party primary should be for members of that party to choose who will represent them on the general election ballot. Virginia, however, has an “open primary” system where any registered voter may vote in any one (but not more than one) primary each year.

This series of recommendations only applies to taxpayer-funded primaries. Both the Republican and Democratic parties are making some of their nominations at party conventions. The Libertarian Party, which currently qualifies as a major party under the Tangent style guide (section 10.70), nominates its candidates in party conventions.

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