Mona Charen

Comstock authored legislation to ease telework (traffic congestion plagues her region), to require competitive bidding on state transportation projects (unions were unhappy, but taxpayers saved $400 million), to curb human trafficking and to provide more in-state slots at Virginia colleges. She sponsored legislation on Lyme disease and joined efforts on all-day kindergarten programs and instant background checks for gun purchasers. Why those? Because her constituents requested them. "You're supposed to be serving them," she notes, "not the other way around."

Government agencies usually spend all available funds at the end of the fiscal year rather than return money to the treasury. McDonnell passed legislation offering state employees a 3 percent pay bonus if they could identify savings in their agencies. It was a win-win; state employees got a raise, and taxpayers got less spending. Comstock suggested applying the same principle to schools -- with the surprising approval of the teachers union. "Lots of teachers are in favor of eliminating 'curriculum specialists' and other bureaucrats," she notes.

Comstock finds common ground where it won't compromise important goals or principles. She founded a Young Women's Leadership Program for middle- and high-school students and invited a number of leading Democrats, including Donna Brazile, as well as Republicans, including Kate O'Beirne, to share their experiences and advice.

People expect their state and local governments to take care of things such as roads, bridges, congestion, schools and public safety, she explains. One of her mentors is former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, who, among other reforms, reduced wait times at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles from hours down to an average of seven minutes. It was a symbol of efficiency and good stewardship.

Comstock doesn't believe in "putting sticks in the eyes" of her opponents. She fights false accusations aggressively, but she smiles whenever possible and offers concrete accomplishments that make her constituents' lives easier. Virginia is more conservative because its House of Delegates has such a smart and savvy member. She hasn't compromised her principles. She is not a sellout, a squish or a RINO. She's something all Republicans should aspire to be -- a winner.

Mona Charen

Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist, political analyst and author of Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help .
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