Columns Opinion — 18 November 2011

When I ran for the Senate four years ago, I pledged to represent the people of the 39th District with energy, accountability and full-time dedication. I believe I have accomplished much for the people of Northern Virginia thus far, and would be humbled to receive your vote again on Tuesday.

Working with Democrats and Republicans, I was the only Northern Virginia senator to get 20 bills passed this year, with measures to bring jobs to our region, protect women from dating violence and give our returning veterans in-state tuition rates at our universities. I also carried three successful bills for Gov. Bob McDonnell.

The most gratifying part of working in Richmond is the spirit of balance and compromise that distinguishes us from Washington. With split control of state government, we are able to get more done, such as balancing the 2011 budget unanimously without a tax increase, which resulted in a $500-million surplus.  Extremism and partisanship dont accomplish these goals moderation and effectiveness do.

I still have much I hope to accomplish in the Senate, such as improving accountability at senior retirement communities, restoring K-12 funding, expanding capacity at our Virginia colleges to get more slots for Virginia students and developing a longterm funding source to ease our transportation woes. These are areas in which I believe Democrats and Republicans, the House and the Senate, and Gov. McDonnell can work together to make real progress.

I would be honored to serve you for another term in the Senate.

The writer represents the 39th District, which includes parts of Alexandria, Fairfax County and Prince William County, in the Virginia Senate.

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