Original Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/for-virginias-state-senate/2015/10/19/5a4676ee-769c-11e5-b9c1-f03c48c96ac2_story.html

The Post's View: For Virginia’s state Senate

VIRGINIA’S STATE legislature is where sound legislation goes to die — on health care for the needy; on safeguards to protect people from the epidemic of gun violence; on tuition subsidies for students who were brought to the United States illegally through no fault of their own. That’s why it isimportant to elect state lawmakers able to strike level-headed compromises, for example to break the impasse over expanding Medicaid, a measure that would extend health insurance to tens of thousands of poor Virginians and create jobs. Some 30 states have embraced the expansion, including at least nine with Republican governors. Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) has made it a priority. But in Richmond, Republican legislators, almost unanimously, have refused to move.

Their obstinacy — on Medicaid and a variety of social issues — makes it difficult for us to find Republicans to endorse in the handful of Northern Virginia state Senate races that look plausibly competitive.

Our endorsements below are denoted in bold type:

District 13. Sen. Dick Black’s antics in Richmond have embarrassed colleagues and constituents; the Republican is notorious for ranting against gay men and lesbians, dismissing spousal rape and, in a fight over abortion,distributing plastic fetuses to fellow lawmakers. He outdid himself last year by writing an obsequious letter to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, praising the dictator’s army as “heroic.” Flattered, the Iranian-backed Mr. Assad, a tyrant who has presided over one of modern history’s bloodiest cataclysms, posted Mr. Black’s letter on his Facebook page.

The district would be better represented by Democrat Jill McCabe , a doctor who leads a pediatric emergency practice in Loudoun County. Ms. McCabe, a first-time candidate, is deeply versed in health-care and children’s issues, and would press for expanding early-childhood education.

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