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Competition is healthy

The competition that’s being seen in two state House of Delegates’ races in the Heart of Virginia is healthy for democracy.

Understand that this column is in no way, shape or form an endorsement for any candidate, but most certainly is an endorsement for people who care about their communities becoming involved in the democratic process. Involvement and activism are keys to a healthy democracy.

In November, voters will see more than one candidate on the ballot in races for the 59th and 60th House Districts.

Incumbents Del. C. Matthew Fariss, R-Campbell, in the 59th House District, and Del. James Edmunds, R-Halifax, in the 60th House District, will see competition, while incumbent Del. Tommy C. Wright Jr., R-Lunenburg, who represents the 61st House District, will be unopposed.

Buckingham lies in the 59th District, while Prince Edward is in the 60th. Cumberland is in the 61st.

Jamaal Johnston, a Democrat, is running against Edmunds, who says it’s the second time he’s seen competition — the first time having been in the 2013 election.

“I think it’s people on both sides, Republicans and Democrats, are inspired and seem to be actively engaged in the political process, and I’m (hoping) that will translate to a good turnout at the polls,” Edmunds said.

I agree with him and share his hope that voters take advantage of this paramount right allowed to us because of the visions of our founding fathers, safeguarded by those who’ve protected our freedoms as Americans since 1776.

The 59th District has four candidates running, including incumbent Fariss, Green Party candidate Marcus T. Sutphin, Independent David Wade Ball, of Buckingham, and Democrat Tracy Carver.

It’s an interesting race to say the least — one that includes a member of the Green Party and a Democrat, who says he’s running in part to protest the proposed 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline, slated to span Buckingham County, adding a compressor station to Route 56 between Shelton Store and Union Hill roads.

Fariss cites the “political bug” as to why so many are seeking to represent the 59th House District in Richmond.

I’m glad the political bugs are out, biting at the ankles of those who want to run for office to better our community, allowing us more options at the polls, strengthening democracy.

JORDAN MILES is managing editor of The Farmville Herald and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. His email address is Jordan.Miles@FarmvilleHerald.com.