To the editor:

I am writing in support of Frank Ruff’s candidacy in the June 11 Republican Primary and the fall general election. 

I know for a fact that Sen. Ruff has worked his backside off to keep the economy of our region afloat, especially through his work as vice-chair of the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission and as chairman of the Virginia Rural Caucus of the General Assembly. 

In his 20-year career in the Virginia Senate Frank has been a strong and effective advocate for Southside. The Rural Caucus meets weekly when the General Assembly is in session in order to insure that the state’s rural interests are represented in new legislation. 

More recently it has been active in expanding broadband connections in rural localities. The tobacco commission alone has done more for the promotion of broadband, new industry and the expansion of higher education in Southside than any other entity, so it is exceptionally important that Frank’s position as vice-chair of the commission be maintained.

Not too many people know that Frank is also chairman of the General Assembly’s Major Employment and Investment Project Approval Commission, which was instrumental in providing state assistance for the expansion of the Merck & Co. plant in Rockingham County, and he was the sponsor of the economic expansion legislation that provided the crucial financial incentives that convinced Amazon to give up locating its East Coast headquarters in New York City and placing it in Virginia. 

These facilities may be a ways from Southside, but they sure will help the state’s economy as a whole. 

It is obvious Frank Ruff is a major player in the statewide industrial development effort, and he deserves our support.

For those voting in the Republican primary, please don’t forget to go to the polls on June 11.

Elbert I. Conner