Tea-partier Mark Berg, the one-term delegate in whom Bob Marshall finally found a friend, has been defeated by Frederick county supervisor Chris Collins. Berg is a medical doctor who points to his degree for credibility, and consults his bible for constitutionality (being yet another official who believes God wrote the Bill of Rights, so phooie on you, James Madison).
Collins is no leftie, so whatever cheers this deserves should be specific to getting rid of another extremist. From his Web page, Collins is clear that he’s a solidly conservative Republican. Yet, compared to Berg, he may be (I said, “may be”) relatively moderate. His statement on the issues speaks approvingly of, “friendly labor laws,” and says that a woman who, “chooses to have an abortion” should be given “better options.” Better options is subtly different than fewer options, which the Marshalls and the Bergs prefer. I’m not saying Mr. Collins is pro-choice. I doubt that he is. But it is refreshing, at least, to read the position statement of a Republican who speaks in terms of things like friendly laws and better options, rather than proclaiming divine knowledge and declaring support for more proscriptions on women’s rights.
There is no Democrat or other candidate on the ballot. (Kristine Stubbs “failed to qualify, according to VPAP.) Mr. Collins is assured of election. Whether we can be assured he is at all moderate, compared to Mr. Berg, will have to be seen. What’s worthy of note today, however, is that he appears to have run as comparatively moderate during his primary race, and beaten an incumbent, far-right fellow traveler of Bob Marshall’s by doing so.
One takes one’s evidence of moderation in places like Frederick county with a healthy bit of skepticism. So, for the victory of Mr. Collins over Mr. Berg, I can’t quite say, “Hurray!!!” But it’s a sign at least worthy of approval.