Get ready to rumble

6/16/2017, 1:26 p.m.

The votes are in from Tuesday’s Democratic and Republican primaries.

Virginians now know our choices for the next governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.

The Democratic and Republican lineups for the Nov. 7 ballot are detailed for readers in Free Press staff writer Jeremy M. Lazarus’ coverage of Tuesday’s primary elections in this edition.

Let’s just say voters need to get ready to rumble.

Just hours after the votes were counted Tuesday night, some political observers tagged the upcoming general election as a referendum on President Trump.

We reject that notion.

Instead, we view the November election as a referendum on what’s best for Virginia.

In particular, we are looking for the candidates whose platforms and policies on education, health care, jobs, voting rights, justice issues, gun safety and the environment provide hope and substance to advance Virginia’s 8.4 million people.

Virginia is a special and diverse place, with a population that continues to grow. The state’s $65,015 median annual income is higher than in many other states.

But 11.5 percent of our fellow Virginians live below poverty and 24 percent only have high school diplomas.

When the candidates talk about what they envision for Virginia’s future, they must put forth plans that will lift our children — who comprise 21 percent of our population — and positively shape their chances for success.

The candidates also must articulate specific ways in which they will assist Virginians who are at the other end of the life cycle. Thirteen percent of our state’s people are age 65 and older. How will they be able to age in place, and afford health care, medicine and food?

Yes, we understand that what happens in Washington under a careless President Trump will greatly impact Virginia. But the next Virginia governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general must be guided by the highest of ethics, principles and sense of right that are missing from the White House.

The state’s next governing team must be just that — a team — that possesses the skills, leadership and flexibility to handle what rolls down from Washington. They must have the wisdom and be ready to lead Virginia and its people. The future of our state, and our people, depend on it.