Election Day

There is a very important election in our community today:  the Republican primary for House of Delegates.  There is no Democrat running so whoever wins this election will be our delegate.  Turnout will be very low but the consequences of this election could be very significant.

You wouldn’t know it from looking at or listening to the candidates.  As far I can tell they publicly agree on every issue.  Both are very conservative, fiscally and socially, as any candidate with a chance of election here would have to be.

But lurking beneath the surface is the biggest issue this county has faced in over 150 years–whether the moratorium on the mining and milling of uranium should be lifted.

Both candidates say they oppose lifting the ban.  But can they both be trusted on that issue?

Les Adams and his family are friends and supporters of our farm.  They are members of our CSA.  They recognize the value and importance of agriculture for our community.  Les is the 6th generation of his family to live here.

His opponent, Mr. Bowman, moved here a few years ago to take a job heading the county’s economic development effort.  A couple of months ago the county Board of Supervisors fired him and, presumably with nothing else to do, he decided to run for delegate.

While in his previous job Mr. Bowman was flown to Canada by the uranium promoters to see and inspect their operation there.  The Board authorized the trip, on the condition that the submit a report of his conclusions.  He took the trip but never wrote the report.

During the last session of the General Assembly we were in grave danger of having uranium mining forced on us by legislators from other parts of the state, many of whom had received hefty campaign contributions from the uranium interests.  Our delegation was firm in opposition.  But some in Richmond questioned whether our community genuinely opposed lifting the ban, citing the fact that the Board of Supervisors had not passed a resolution on the subject.  So our delegates, Danny Marshall and Don Merricks, urgently asked the Board to pass a resolution, showing our resolve.  It was vitally important to their efforts.

Cherie and I attended the meeting when that resolution was adopted.  Our Supervisors passed the resolution, with only one vote opposed.  That dissenting vote prevented our delegation in Richmond from saying that the Board was unanimous in opposition.   That vote was cast even though it was certain that the resolution would pass.  That vote was cast by someone who advocates allowing disposal of uranium milling waste in our county.  That vote was cast by Mr. Bowman’s wife.

Now I realize it may seem unfair to impute to Mr. Bowman the political views of his wife.  But can we really trust Mr. Bowman on this under the circumstances?  Why take that risk?

If any of you are residents of the 16th District, I hope you’ll go to the polls today and cast your vote for Les Adams.