Rick Boucher is one of us

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 Who is Morgan Griffith? 

Frankly, I don’t know him, and that’s my point. He plodded around here during the Leaf & String Festival, handing out fliers, but since then, I’ve seen no effort to capture my vote.

Here’s what I do know: he’s attempting to represent a district in which he has never lived.

He’s quick to point out that the border of his property in Salem lies within a foot of the 9th Congressional District, but that geography lesson says nothing about his level of knowledge about matters important to where WE live.

A six-month campaign touting only philosophy with very little specifics speaks volumes about his grasp of issues relevant to our neighborhoods — he has none. How could he?

He has no plans to move here, so why would he? Should we trust that a man who has represented the Salem-Roanoke area for years overnight to magically become an expert in the affairs of far Southwest Virginia?

Carpetbagger is a term that comes to mind. If you know your history, it’s a word used to identify politicians who moved to the South from points north to exploit an area where they had no close communal ties.

Morgan Griffith, the man, has no close bonds to us.  Morgan Griffith, the politician, will have no reason to care about our issues, as he lives in his home outside the 9th District.

Here’s another way to look at this situation: Canada is a fine country with wonderful citizens. Yet, would you want a Canadian politician representing your interests, even if he lived a foot away from the U.S. border?

Is geographical closeness that important? When it comes to understanding my issues and affecting my life and livelihood, you bet it is.

With Rick Boucher, we have a hard-working candidate who knows us, who chooses to live among us, who conscientiously supports the people he has represented well for nearly 30 years.

Rick Boucher’s sentiments aren’t those of supposition as Griffith’s would have to be. Rick Boucher is one of us.

Patrick Butler