Liberty comes with choices

Published 12:03 pm Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The unrelenting inertia of politics usually stands on choice — one that isn’t always there.

In 2016, out of 510 elected races in Virginia, about 146 were uncontested.

That means more than a quarter of races in 2016 — roughly 28.6 percent — were uncontested.

The uncontested races came mostly from the local positions as congressional races tended to have at least one challenging candidate to the incumbent.

I’m declaring support — not for one candidate over another — but the chance for choice in the 60th House of Delegates District seat in the upcoming November election.

Days after Del. James Edmunds, R-Halifax, announced his re-election bid, small business owner Jamaal Johnston announced his candidacy to challenge Edmunds for the seat.

Johnston, of Meherrin, is running as a Democrat against Edmunds, who was first elected in 2008 to the House.

My support for choice doesn’t mean that I don’t recognize the value of experience, which Edmunds having spent nearly 10 years in the General Assembly brings a lot of. My support for choice allows me to recognize the ability to become stagnate and that sometimes changes are needed.

It’s not up to any one person to decide, but the community as a whole.

So, as we come closer to November, which is still a little more than six months away, remember that one of the most important parts of democracy is participation.

That’s not just voting, but holding public office as well.

We can pat ourselves on the back for taking pride in our vote, but it only means so much when the choice is null and void due to a lack of choice on the ballot.

Morgan White is a staff reporter with The Charlotte Gazette. His email address is