Cruice chal­leng­ing Vi­ola in District 26 house race

Newark Post - - ELECTION PREVIEWS - By BROOKE SCHULTZ bschultz@ches­

Repub­li­can Justin Cruice will seek to un­seat 20-year in­cum­bent John Vi­ola, a Demo­crat, in the District 26 state house race on Tues­day.

District 26 cov­ers an area south of Ne­wark, stretch­ing from In­ter­state 95 to Route 40.

Cruice see ed­u­ca­tion, in­fra­struc­ture and the econ­omy as the most press­ing is­sues in District 26.

He works as a con­sul­tant for a soft­ware com­pany that con­nects with school dis­tricts through­out the coun­try to eval­u­ate teacher ef­fec­tive­ness in class­rooms and pre­vi­ously served as vice pres­i­dent of sales for a small busi­ness. He be­lieves he will be able to use his ex­pe­ri­ence to im­prove the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem and the econ­omy.

“I was able to in­ter­act with many small busi­ness own­ers and through that gained keen in­sight into the needs and de­sires of small busi­nesses to help de­velop the econ­omy bet­ter here, as well as to give ideas to bring cor­po­ra­tions back into Delaware for up­per-level man­age­ment po­si­tions,” he said.

For in­fra­struc­ture con­cerns, Cruice men­tioned re­cent con­struc­tion projects on Route 72 and Walther Road that forced traf­fic onto Salem Church Road.

“I would like to pass mea­sures that would bet­ter hold them ac­count­able to on-time and on-bud­get com­ple­tion of projects as well as bet­ter strate­gies for risks that may oc­cur as they per­form the project,” he ex­plained, adding that he’d also like to re­quire con­struc­tion sites to be spread out to avoid the “fun­nel-ef­fect” onto other roads.

Cruice said he would like to bring bet­ter jobs to the state by “bet­ter ed­u­cat­ing and equip­ping our work­force to be ready for the new man­age­ment jobs when they come,” he said, adding that he would like to re­quire busi­nesses that in­cor­po­rate in Delaware to bring jobs here.

As a Repub­li­can, Cruice said he will rely on bi­par­ti­san sup­port to get into of­fice and to get things done in of­fice.

“I have lis­tened to con­stituents and the needs and con­cerns they’ve shared and given them di­rect ac­cess to me so that we can work to­gether to make sure that ev­ery­body has a fair play­ing field in Delaware,” he said. “While I ap­pre­ci­ate that my op­po­nent has served for 20 years, I be­lieve that we de­serve the op­por­tu­nity to have fresh ideas and new en­ergy and pas­sion to rep­re­sent District 26 in Dover.”

Vi­ola, who has served 10 terms in the state house, said his record speaks for it­self.

“It’s al­ways been about giv­ing back to the com­mu­nity,” he said. “It’s what I’ve done ever since I was 18 years old.”

Vi­ola said that he’s been in­volved in vol­un­teerism for 40 years, adding that he was in the first class to be­come na­tion­ally reg­is­tered EMTs in the state. He en­listed in the mil­i­tary and joined the Na­tional Guard and has been ac­tive in the civic arena, he said.

In of­fice, he said that he’s spon­sored bills that fo­cus on in­fra­struc­ture im­prove­ments, job cre­ation and bet­ter­ing the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem to make it more eq­ui­table for ev­ery­body. He sup­ported the ef­fort to en­large the Port of Wilm­ing­ton.

“Hun­dreds and hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars will come in to build the new in­fra­struc­ture,” he said. “The pro­jec­tion is around 5,000 or so ad­di­tional jobs in that en­deavor. That’s what we need. We need to put peo­ple to work so that they can live their ev­ery­day lives.”

Should he be re-elected, he hopes to con­tinue work­ing on con­trol­ling the bud­get, in­fra­struc­ture im­prove­ments and crim­i­nal jus­tice and bail re­form. To ac­com­plish those pri­or­i­ties, Vi­ola wants to work with stake­hold­ers, have open con­ver­sa­tions and reach across the aisle to get things done.

Vi­ola said that, be­cause he is re­tired, he has the abil­ity to meet with peo­ple as things arise.

“I think I have the ded­i­ca­tion, the ex­pe­ri­ence and the lead­er­ship abil­i­ties to get stuff done,” he said. “At the end of the day, it’s about serv­ing the com­mu­nity, re­spond­ing to the com­mu­nity that you serve. I will con­tinue to re­spond my con­stituents and do the best I can to meet their ex­pec­ta­tions.”



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