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Herald Endorsement

Once again, 5th C.D. has only one candidate


U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks, a Democrat who represents southwest Queens, Elmont, Inwood and north and south Valley Steam, is, barring an unforeseen write-in campaign, guaranteed election.

For the second straight election, Meeks defeated Democratic challengers in the June primary and faces no opposition in the general election.

Meeks has been in office since 1998, and since being cleared of ethics charges in 2013 involving financial disclosure statements from 2007, 2008 and 2009, he has been a model advocate for his district. And though a majority of the district is in Queens, part of it is in Nassau County, and we would like to see him here more often.

The real issue, however, is the lack of choice. Meeks could be doing a good job, and we believe he is, but our political system thrives when there is an opposing viewpoint.

Whether Meeks deserves another term should be up to the electorate. Because the Republican Party has not offered up a candidate, though, it has once again denied voters a choice and deprived them of the chance to hear divergent ideas.

According to voter registration numbers, the 5th Congressional District clearly favors a Democratic candidate, and because Meeks has won re-election for the past 20 years, Republicans, we assume, want to invest their precious resources in races in which they stand a better chance of winning.

There is something lost, though, when political parties abdicate their responsibility to endorse a candidate and offer an opposing viewpoint. The more this happens, the weaker our democracy becomes.

We endorse Meeks to continue his work in Congress and urge the Republican Party to offer up a 5th Congressional District candidate in 2022.