Our Choice

8/8/2014, 4:31 p.m.
For 22 years, legendary civil right attorney Henry L. Marsh III held the seat.

There are four candidates in Saturday’s Democratic nominating contest for the 16th Senate District seat.

It’s an important choice.

For 22 years, legendary civil rights attorney Henry L. Marsh III held the seat. He resigned for a lucrative gubernatorial appointment.

Let’s consider the candidates.

Two can quickly be ruled out.

Businesswoman Gerry J. Rawlinson has never served in public office and would need too much time to learn the ropes. We hope she will start building experience by running for local office.

And Delegate Rosalyn R. Dance of Petersburg ruled herself out with her General Assembly votes.

Most egregious: Her support of a House budget in committee and on the floor that did not include expansion of Medicaid to provide health care coverage to people who cannot afford insurance. That vote was a slap in the face to many of her constituents and to the party’s titular leader, Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who has pushed expansion.

With only 32 Democrats in the last session, she and other party members have little say in the Republican-dominated 100-member House. So her vote was essentially a vote on principle. Her vote said she, a retired health care professional, expressed her belief in not expanding health care.

That leaves two party stalwarts, Delegate Delores L. McQuinn of Richmond and former Richmond Mayor Rudolph C. “Rudy” McCollum.

For us, the clear choice is Delegate McQuinn, who could hit the ground running in the Senate, unlike Mr. McCollum, who has never served in the General Assembly and has been out of elective office 10 years.

Delegate McQuinn has the right stuff. She is a staunch Democrat who has spent 20 years in public service, including the Richmond School Board and City Council.

She also has taken an active role in preserving African-American history in the former capital of the Confederacy as chairwoman of the city’s Slave Trail Commission.

Jobs and economic growth in the city always have been cornerstones of Delegate McQuinn’s legislative efforts.

However, no matter who you support, your most important responsibility is to vote if you live in the 16th Senate district. This election is Saturday, as our story on A1 reports. This is your chance to have your say on the next representative.