Cynthia Neff, the Democratic candidate for the 58th District in the Virginia House of Delegates is a courageous progressive who doesn't flinch from answering tough questions - including stating that she supports marriage equality for LGBT Virginians.
The 58th District includes portions of Charlottesville, probably the most progressive city in Virginia, and some of the more conservative surrounding counties, including wealthy Albemarle County. Charlottesville voted for Obama by nearly 78% last year. Albermarie County, once a bastion for the GOP, also voted for Obama in 2008.
Neff is precisely the type of Delegate needed in the Virginia General Assembly. She realizes that we are in the 21st century rather than the 19th century favored by neanderthals within the GOP members of the House of Delegates.
I'm not only excited about Cynthia because of what her victory would mean for reelection prospects, what it would mean for the national narrative, or even what it might mean for the future of Virginia politics. I'm excited because Cynthia is a bold, courageous progressive who isn't afraid to speak her mind on tough issues. She took such a bold stance last Wednesday at the first public forum opposite Rob Bell when - faced with an obviously planted question - Cynthia didn't even flinch before coming out strongly in support of marriage equality.
In her time at IBM, Cynthia rose to the level of VP of Human Resources, and was instrumental in making IBM the first major corporation in the entire nation to include sexual orientation in its nondiscrimination policy. Cynthia has consistently said on the campaign trail that nondiscrimination is not only the morally right thing to do, but also smart from a business perspective, because we're always stronger when we're inclusive and stand together. This is exactly the kind of language we want Democrats to be using to talk about this issue, and I think she should be applauded for taking such a stance in a close election in a close district.
My mother, brother and one of my sisters all live in the Charlottesville area and I will certainly make them aware of Cynthia Neff's candidacy.
If Virginia is ever going to regain its place as an enlighten and progressive state, we need more people like Cynthia Neff in the General Assembly and fewer backward thinking individuals like her opponent Republican Rob Bell.
I urge readers in the 58th District to get involved in Cynthia's campaign and to vote for her on election day this November.