Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, 2021

Seal of Virginia
Seal of Virginia

In the open race to serve as the Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Delegate Hala Ayala (D-VA 51st) faces former Delegate Winsome Sears (R-VA 90th). Incumbent Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax (D) is not seeking reelection.

The office of lieutenant governor is established by the Constitution of Virginia, and the office holder’s primary duty is to serve as the president of the Senate of Virginia. The lieutenant governor may vote in the senate only to break ties. In addition, the lieutenant governor is first in the line of gubernatorial succession and would become governor in the event of the governor’s death, resignation, or removal. Because Virginia governors may only serve one consecutive term, the office of lieutenant governor often serves as a “stepping-stone” toward the governor’s mansion.

Virginia lieutenant governors must be at least thirty years old, citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and have been a resident and registered voter in the commonwealth for five years preceding the date of the election. They are elected to four-year terms and there are no term limits.

The Senate of Virginia is made up of senators elected from forty districts across the commonwealth. The Democratic Party holds a narrow majority with twenty-one seats. The Republican Party holds nineteen seats.

Attorney General of Virginia, 2021

Seal of Virginia
Seal of Virginia

In the race to serve as the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Virginia, two-term incumbent Attorney General Mark Herring (D-VA) is challenged by Delegate Jason Miyares (R-VA 82nd).

The attorney general has a constitutional responsibility to provide legal advice to the state government, including the governor and the General Assembly, to defend the state in lawsuits, and to defend the constitutionality of state laws. The attorney general is also second in the line of gubernatorial succession, after the lieutenant governor.

Traditionally, the attorney general’s office is used as a political stepping-stone for higher office and campaigns for the office often become inappropriately politicized. In considering the Off on a Tangent endorsement, I only consider issues that are germane to the role of the attorney general—mainly legal competence.

Virginia attorney generals must be at least thirty years old, citizens of the United States, and hold the qualifications to be a “judge of court record.” They are elected to four-year terms and there are no term limits.

Virginia House of Delegates, 87th District, 2021

Seal of Virginia
Seal of Virginia

In the race to represent the eighty-seventh district in the Virginia House of Delegates, one-term incumbent Delegate Suhas Subramanyam (D-VA 87th) is challenged by entrepreneur Greg Moulthrop (R).

The Virginia House of Delegates is the oldest legislative body in the Americas, having been established (as the House of Burgesses) in 1619. Delegates must be at least twenty-one years old and residents of the district they wish to represent, and they are elected to two-year terms with no term limits. There are one hundred districts across the commonwealth. Today, the Democratic Party holds a fifty-five seat majority, and the Republican Party holds forty-five seats.

The house’s eighty-seventh district includes much of the eastern border area of Loudoun County and a small portion of northern Prince William County. Communities in the eighty-seventh district include Antioch, Arcola, Dulles, South Riding, and parts of Ashburn, Broadlands, Cascades, and Sterling.

(Recommendations for other house districts are listed at the bottom of this post.)

Loudoun County Bond Referendums, 2021

Seal of Loudoun County
Seal of Loudoun County

Article VII, Section 10, of the Constitution of Virginia requires local governments to obtain voter approval to issue bonds. Voters in Loudoun County, Virginia, will be asked to consider three bond referendums on this year’s ballot.

Bonds are debt. When they are sold, the issuing government receives an influx of cash from the purchasers. But, like a bank loan, that money must be repaid over time with interest.

Like any other loan, bonds should be used only when necessary. Most projects should be funded directly from the general fund (i.e., from the “money in the bank”). Only when some specific project is very important, but too large to fund directly, should we turn to using bonds for financing.

Announcing Website 26

I’m proud to announce the launch of a new major revision to Off on a Tangent, bringing the site to version 26.0. This is the twenty-sixth major update to the website since its launch in 1995.

The outgoing twenty-fifth version was the most long-lived in the site’s history. It went live on July 11, 2016, and had one significant revision on August 26, 2017. Since then it has had only minor updates and bug-fixes. It was a good site, but it was starting to show its age.

This new version has been completely re-worked. It is still based on the open-source WordPress platform, but the Tangent theme has been rebuilt from scratch using the latest version of the Underscores (_s) starter theme and the Tangent plugin has been refactored, improved, and expanded. There are too many updates and improvements to describe in detail, but here are some key points:

Scott Bradford has been putting his opinions on his website since 1995—before most people knew what a website was. He has been a professional web developer in the public- and private-sector for over twenty years. He is an independent constitutional conservative who believes in human rights and limited government, and a Catholic Christian whose beliefs are summarized in the Nicene Creed. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from George Mason University. He loves Pink Floyd and can play the bass guitar . . . sort-of. He’s a husband, pet lover, amateur radio operator, and classic AMC/Jeep enthusiast.