The Dillard Doctrine

Urban Conservative Commentary on Politics & Life

In re: The 6th Senate District

The 6th Senate is my home district in Norfolk; Republican Ben Loyola is challenging incumbent Ralph Northam, who has held the seat since 2008. A little about Sen. Northam:

[Ralph] served 8 years active duty in the United States Army, rising to the rank of Major. Ralph was stationed in Landstul, Germany during Desert Storm, where he treated wounded soldiers returning from the front lines. Ralph was honorably discharged in 1992.  Since that time, he has worked as a pediatric neurologist in his practice based at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk.

In addition to his work as a doctor Ralph is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS). He has received the Hayes Teaching Award from CHKD and the Faculty Teaching Award from EVMS for the past three years running. He also serves as the Medical Director for Edmarc Children’s Hospice in Portsmouth.

…and on Mr. Loyola:

Ben’s parents instilled within him an intense love of country. Always grateful for the opportunities America had afforded him, Ben decided to serve his country in the Navy, attending the U.S. Naval Academy and eventually achieving the rank of Captain.

In 1991, Ben founded Loyola Enterprises Inc., an engineering service contracting firm, starting operations out of a spare room in his house. Today, Loyola Enterprises Inc. has scores of employees working in offices in Virginia Beach, Hampton, and Richmond.

Ben is very active in the local community, having volunteered for the Special Olympics Committee, tutoring students for the Virginia Beach Public Schools in both math and science, serving as chairman for the Back Bay Amateur Astronomers Scholarship Committee, as well as volunteering and financially supporting such organizations as the Plaza Volunteer Rescue Squad, Boy Scouts of America, Make A Wish Foundation, the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Virginia Ballet, and the Fraternal Order of Police.

I know Loyola for his race last year in the 2nd (congressional) district last year;; I can vouch for his conservative credentials, and he’s said little-if anything-that I disagree with. From what I know of Northam, he’s not the rabid liberal that some have made him out to be. That said, he’s definitely to my left (he didn’t support the Health Care Freedom Act, which he later called the “Colossal Waste of Time Act“).

I’ve been watching the campaigns of both men, and have been purposefully non-committal to either side (I did extend to both an opportunity to visit my college, that-for reasons unrelated to them-fell through). As I’ve observed the campaigns, I’ve noticed something very telling: while I agree with (most) of what he’s saying, Loyola isn’t talking very much about what he wants to do relative to the district itself. There’s a lot of national issues being discussed, but nothing that the General Assembly of Virginia has any control over or hasn’t already voted on (healthcare, for example). That could be troubling, to some.

It’s almost like Loyola’s still running for Congress.

Sen. Northam, on the other hand, has developed a track record for being absent. According to reports, he’s missed 37 of 39 meetings of the executive committee for Norfolk’s light rail system-yes, the year-late, $100M over budget one. That doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. And the little I’ve heard from him suggests that either he really is a moderate (which isn’t completely supported by his voting record) or is very good at playing one.

Not to mention the fact that there is a sizable black community in this district-the Park Place area near downtown Norfolk-that I haven’t heard either candidate address.


In all likelihood, the GOP is going to take control of the state Senate. It would be beneficial to have a state senator who’s in that majority-which would lend toward endorsing Loyola. It would also be beneficial for that state senator to actually have some knowledge of the district and be able to articulate his plans to look out for its citizens-which would lend toward endorsing Northam.

Either of these men would make a good representative of the district. However, neither one really jumps out at me as someone I can get behind and fully support.


Written by Coby Dillard

October 23, 2011 at 8:00 am

One Response

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  1. Small words .Come to Meetings on Tue.,Wed.&Thur.Nights
    And candidates would come down to the”Park Place Area”.Back in Aug.(2011)
    I was one(01) of four(04)Africa American to attend a Norfolk City Council Meeting.
    Over 25,000 voters & Five(05) came to the Tue. night Meeting……


    October 24, 2011 at 1:05 am

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