Jackson Miller for 50th District

This endorsement decision for the special election for state delegate from the 50th District perhaps has been the most difficult for the newspaper’s editorial board.

We agree with many of the thoughts expressed by Democrat Jeanette Rishell and we disagree with Jackson Miller’s opinions on several issues. However, from our perspective the deciding difference must be experience with and attention to the specific concerns of the community.

We therefore endorse Jackson Miller to take Harry Parrish’s seat in Richmond.

We disagree with Miller’s “strategies” for relieving transportation woes. He sounds like a clone of the rest of the GOP Northern Virginia delegation, expressing the “Let’s use the surplus” mantra. Rishell, too, sounds a bit clonish — for the other side — claiming something that we’ve heard over and over: that the general fund would be better spent on education. Each parrots the non-answers without offering something that might work so each would fit in quite nicely with the present Richmond cadre. But Miller, at least endorses using bonds, a tool that has worked in the county.

Rishell’s answers to the concerns of her potential constituents are mostly broad-brush. Regarding illegal immigration, she offers good concepts, such as creating a “livability court” and she mentions the root causes of illegal immigration, like the economy in Mexico. It shows that she understands the big issues, but it does not offer the people of the 50th District any concrete action that might help them in the short run.

Miller, on the other hand, is more grounded in his approach to the problem. While we may disagree with his proposal to get U.S. Immigration and Customs enforcement training for Manassas police, we still recognize that he’s attempting to find some tangible solutions to the problem.

We don’t want to discourage Rishell’s interest in public life. We’re sure she will have much to offer when she gets more practical experience.

However, of the two, only Miller has dealt with the practicality of being a public servant, having been a police officer and having spent the last two years as a member of Manassas City Council. His answers, although not always what we want to hear, are straightforward and it is clear he can make decisions.

Everyone agrees that no one can truly replace Harry Parrish. His constituents in Manassas, Manassas Park and western Prince William will miss him — as will the whole state — no matter who takes his seat.

We endorse Jackson Miller for that position.