In a recent Op-Ed, Virginia 26th District State Senate candidate Ms. April Moore wrote, “To serve in the Virginia State Senate, a person must first take an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States … Mr. Obenshain, why aren’t you fulfilling that sacred oath?”

No graver charge than this can be lodged against an elected official. But to set the record straight, the oath Sen. Obenshain actually took reads, “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia …”

However misinformed and baseless her accusation, Ms. Moore is correct that Sen. Obenshain does focus more on local, county and regional issues than on climate change, US-China trade, slavery reparations and impeachment.

If Sen. Obenshain was running for president, he’d surely devote less attention to 26th District issues like decentennial redistricting, elder abuse, and the future of Interstate 81. But as our delegate to Richmond, he sees the commonwealth’s business as his proper responsibility – and this is how he faithfully honors his (actual) oath of office.

Aspiring candidates – unburdened by the reality of holding office and serving actual constituents – often seek attention by trumpeting national headline issues. For example, Ms. Moore wants to end the opioid crisis – but thinks the solution is to legalize marijuana. She also wants to end gun violence – by voiding our Second Amendment rights.

To the voters of the 26th Senate District, nationalizing this local election doesn’t make much sense. We citizens do care about national issues like gun violence and trade wars, but we vote with our local issues in mind.

James R. Poplar III, Quicksburg

James R. Poplar III, of Quicksburg, proudly served with the U.S. Government for over 40 years. He specialized in national security affairs at both Vanderbilt and the National Defense University.