Letter: White withdraws from race; supports Bowen
I am writing to advise the citizens of Mathews County of my decision to withdraw my candidacy for Commonwealth’s Attorney. While I remain steadfast in my belief that I am the best person qualified to fill this office, I am withdrawing because the possibility of the incumbent winning due to a divided opposition vote is unacceptable. For me, the primary mission of this election and my candidacy is to bring new leadership and energy back to the office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney. This is imperative if we are to turn back the scourge of hard drugs and preserve our Mathews way of life. In order for this transformation to occur, there needs to be a single challenger with a unified vote base. My withdrawal accomplishes this.
In a three-man race, the number of votes necessary to win can fall as low as 34 percent and the incumbent gains a huge advantage as the votes against him are split between the challengers. He could win even though two out of every three people voted against him. My withdrawal levels the playing field and returns the power to the voters to decide which course we will follow.
I have had several in-depth meetings with the other challenger, Tom Bowen, and he has assured me that he has the vision, commitment and energy to challenge the dynamics of the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office. He has promised that he will vigorously protect those who cannot protect themselves and will seek to bring additional resources to the fight against drugs and focus those we have properly. He was Commonwealth’s Attorney for Tazewell County, Virginia for eight years and can hit the ground running. I am placing my faith and support with him.
In the course of the last two months, I have collected over 500 petition signatures and spoken with close to a thousand people. It has been one of the most moving and uplifting experiences of my career. The commitment and support from both friends and strangers alike has been heartwarming. This has led me to the conclusion that it is the mission rather than the individual that must succeed. Regardless of my feelings, I must act to insure that Mathews gains new leadership and direction in the fight against crime. I will always remember this experience and be humbled and grateful to you.
John T. "Jack" White III
New Point, Va.