- The Washington Times - Monday, October 31, 2005

This year’s race for lieutenant governor of Virginia provides voters a real choice for the Old Dominion: The Republican nominee is state Sen. Bill Bolling, 48, a conservative stalwart from Henrico County who has demonstrated real leadership on critical issues like tax relief — even when standing for principle has strained his relations with the Republican-in-name-only state Senate leadership.

His ideological opposite: former delegate, former congresswoman and former state Sen. Leslie Byrne, 58, an ardent pro-choicer who supports homosexual “marriage” and higher taxes. She is arguably the most liberal person to win a major party nomination for statewide office in Virginia in the past 20 years.

There is much to like about Mr. Bolling’s record in the Virginia Senate and his stands on the issues of the day. He was one of the few Republican senators to oppose the tax-increase package rammed through the General Assembly last year. Mrs. Byrne criticizes Mr. Bolling for his opposition to the tax increases. Mr. Bolling is solidly pro-life, and has supported parental-consent and parental-notification standards on abortion. He is a strong defender of Second Amendment rights. He is opposed to same-sex “marriage” and believes that marriage should be between one man and one woman.

Bill Bolling is a solid conservative who represents Virginia values. Unlike Mrs. Byrne, who has suggested that Virginia’s right-to-work law should be repealed, he is strongly opposed to compulsory unionism. Like Republican gubernatorial nominee Jerry Kilgore, he supports greater cooperation between the state and federal governments in combatting illegal immigration, and is sharply critical of Mrs. Byrne’s vote two years ago against legislation banning illegals from receiving lower in-state tuition at state universities. In general, Mrs. Byrne has done her best to avoid addressing the issue during this year’s campaign.

Some of the sharpest differences between Mr. Bolling and Mrs. Byrne involve the criminal-justice system. He supports Virginia’s death- penalty law and criticizes Mrs. Byrne for voting against capital punishment during her term in Congress. By contrast, Mrs. Byrne last month suggested that capital punishment might be analogous to “legalized lynching.” Mr. Bolling has also criticized Mrs. Byrne for suggesting that the state police should make enforcement of truck-safety laws a higher priority than fighting narcotics production and trafficking. Mrs. Byrne, who has also supported automatic restoration of voting rights of convicted felons, served as state director of Howard Dean’s presidential campaign. She is far to the left of Virginia’s political mainstream.

The Washington Times is pleased to endorse Bill Bolling for lieutenant governor of Virginia.

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