Forbes would make a terrific senator

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 14, 2007

News that U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes won’t seek the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by John Warner, while disappointing, is not surprising. Forbes’ unassuming, workmanlike brand of public service is well suited for the House of Representatives, where the Chesapeake Republican is serving his third term.

Forbes’ name was among a handful that immediately surfaced when Warner announced his retirement recently. We think Forbes would make a tremendous senator, carrying on the Warner tradition of passionately protecting Virginia’s military installations and reaching across party lines to build effective alliances. Forbes, during his short time in Congress, has won admiration for his knowledge of - and support for - national defense. He is one of the House of Representatives’ leading voices on China, which he sees, correctly, as the biggest threat to America’s military and economic pre-eminence in the world.

But Forbes, when asked by a reporter last week about his political future, squelched speculation about a Senate run. The former state GOP chairman said he’s committed to remaining in the House and helping build a “culture of change” in an institution that has suffered from too much partisan infighting.

If the entire state can’t benefit from Forbes’ leadership, we’re grateful that he plans to continue his first-rate representation of the 4th District in Washington.